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  Home > Index > Articles Archive > My 4th of July Vacation - Part 1  
 
Articles Archive  (07/10/2005)

My Fourth of July Vacation: A ride through the Midwest during that patriotic time of year. (Jerome A. Holst © 2005)

During the Fourth of July weekend, most people gather to celebrate the founding of our country by hosting parties with a patriotic theme and consuming mass quantities of burgers, chips and soda pop - and topping that off with a fireworks display. Well, this year, I decided to leave the gatherings behind and hit the road. My plan? To travel to Metropolis, Illinois (pop. 7000), the home of Superman and then continue into Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and then back to Pennsylvania, my home turf.

I began my adventure by heading south towards West Virginia, then turning west through Kentucky. Two days into my trip I passed north of Nashville, cruised by Paducah, Kentucky and crossed the Ohio River to find the town of Metropolis, Illinois located off Interstate 24.

Arriving late in the day, I checked into a motel on the outskirts town, chow-downed on junk food, watched cable TV and hit the hay. Had I arrived a few weeks earlier, I could have participated in the town's annual celebration (their 27th) held in the second week of June that features such events as the Superman Road Race, the SuperTrek Bicycle Tour, the Little Miss Supergirl and Little Mr. Superboy pageants and the Super Car Show. The original Superman Celebration featured a mock bank robbery where Superman arrives on the scene to save the day.

Superman Posters Fill the Town
Superman Posters Fill the Town

The next morning, I arose well rested, packed up my belonging and then slowly steered my car into Metropolis looking for a large red, yellow and blue painted statue of the Superman character that reportedly stood guard over the town square.

As I enter the town square area, I can't help but notice the streets of Metropolis are lined with old-fashioned lampposts that are adorned with lovely hanging baskets of petunias and attractively made posters that advertise the city of Metropolis and their merchants. Pulling out my camera to take a few snap shots, I noticed a lamppost fallen on the sidewalk. Could there be TROUBLE IN METROPOLIS? My imagination quickly sketched a scenario of Superman battling some nefarious criminal which caused the lamppost's destruction. But, it probably was just knocked over by an errant driver not paying attention as he/she pondered the wonders of the town's "super" tourist attractions


A Metropolis lamppost takes a tumble.

As I found a parking space near the center of town, I walked over to the town square to take a good look at the Superman statue that celebrated the legend of the strange visitor from the planet Krypton. It was amusing to watch the many tourist as they stood in front of the statue and had a friend take the obligatory photograph of them with the Man of Steel (actually the statue is Bronze). Taking their place in front of the Dell Comic inspired statuary, some people hugged or kissed their companions, others held their children high over their heads as if flying but many mimicked the akimbo stance of Superman for their photo op. The base of the statue bore the words "Truth - Justice - The American Way."


Superman Guards the Town of Metropolis

Continued >


 

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