Today, I’m in Leamington, Ontario for the long weekend to attend an event for my in-law relations.
I’ve been to Leamington several times before. In addition, to the inlaws, it is close to Point Pelee National Park and other attractions such as Colasanti’s Tropical Gardens. But my favourite site is the world’s largest tomato, as pictured on this postcard:
As the slogan on the tomato states, Leamington is the tomato capital of Canada – hence the giant tomato. I have great affection for giant things and related postcards.
This postcard was sent from one of my wife’s cousins, who lived near Leamington. Here’s the back of the postcard:
This unique attraction in downtown Leamington serves as a tourist information booth. Leamington, the Tomatoe Capital of Canada, is a short drive from Point Pelee’s Beaches, Monarch butterfly’s and Bird watchers’ Paradise.”
“Thank you for your wonderful postcards of the tulips and Big Ben. I am glad you had a fun time. It would be nice to see you again. On the looonnggg weekend I went to my Grandparents to celebrate Grandpa 90th birthday. I made him pictures of birds. We went to Colosanti’s, it was fun there. I am glad you are still my pen pal. I can’t wait till school is over. Bye. P.S. Write me.”
It’s interesting that the front of the postcard spells the fruit (yes, it’s a fruit) as “tomato” but the back has it as “tomatoe”. I have never seen tomatoe (singular) spelled that way. Is it some old British spelling?
We’ve been having a more miserable-than-usual winter here (as I may have mentioned once or twice or twenty times). The furnace on our place has been working so hard that it is conking out. So I thought what we need in Toronto is a giant stove like they have in Detroit. In fact, we need the world’s largest stove:
In researching this awesome big thing, I discovered that just a few years after it was rebuilt, the stove burned down in 2011. Sadly, it has not been rebuilt. For more on the history of the giant stove, check out the back side. The caption is likely the longest caption in the Collection.
“The Michigan Stove and State Fair
When the Michigan Stove Company and the Detroit Stove Company merged to become the Detroit-Michigan Stove Company in 1927, they moved Detroit’s giant stove to 6900 East Jefferson Avenue, just west of the Belle Isle Bridge. There it stood until 1965, when it made its first appearance on the Michigan State Fairgrounds. The decaying stove was dismantled and placed in storage in 1974. In 1998, MIchigan State Fair management rallied corporations, labour unions, and individuals to put this unique Detroit landmark back together. The carefully restored symbol of nineteenth-century Detroit industry was unveiled on the eve of the grand opening of the 150th Michigan State Fiar, August 24, 1998. Painted to look like metal, the wood structure weights 15 tons, measures 35 feet high, 30 feet long and 20 feet wide.”
“Man I’m glad I’m not really stopping here… gotta go catch my plan… man stamps are hard to buy at an airport.”
With apple season under-way, I thought I’d share a postcard of the Big Apple. It’s in Ontario, by the way, in the not-so big town of Colborne. It’s the world’s largest apple, as seen here:
I’ve never seen so many bigs fruits before – and surprisingly so many are from Down Under! I now have some new travel destination – the banana being my #1!
I have no idea what the person, a faithful donor to this collection, has written. It seems like “Ah the drink Kingdom!”. Let me know if you can decipher it – and feel free to send me any postcards of giant things – fruit or otherwise!
Yesterday’s post included incredible specimens from a friend’s recent incredible travels. Here is another one of her recent glorious donations:
Text on postcard:
“Welcome to Blue Earth Minnesota”
I’ve seen many giant things Wawa’s goose Sudbury’s nickel, Louisville’s bat, Castroville’s artichoke, but never a giant giant before!
I loved the Green Giant commercials as a kid. But I have to admit his skirt is a bit short and it would be unpleasantly easy to see his bean sprout and niblets.
Here’s the backside:
“Green Giant (55.5′ tall) towering over the “Rain Gardens” of Blue Earth, Minnesota”
“Ho, ho, ho! Green giant!
This guy was paid for by private donations – none of it from the vegetable company itself. He’s fiberglass and weighs about 9000 lbs. They call him an ‘engineering feat’.”
In honour of the Canadian folk-country singer Stompin’ Tom Connor’s passing yesterday, I put together three of his songs and postcards from the places that Tom helped make famous in song. Stompin’ Tom was an incredible Canadian and one of the few artists to proudly include his love of our culture and history in his work.
Tom’s take on how the residents of a mining town in Northern Ontario enjoy their weekends: “The girls are out to bingo, and the boys are getting stinko, And we think no more of Inco on a Sudbury Saturday night”. As a friend put it, it’s always a Sudbury Saturday Night somewhere:
Prince Edward Island
Bud the Spud is Tom’s song about P.E.I.’s legendary potatoes. “It’s Bud the Spud from the bright red mud, Rollin’ down the highway smiling. The spuds are big on the back of Bud’s rig, And they’re from Prince Edward Island”.
Most of Canada’s tobacco is farmed in the area of southern Ontario near Tillsonburg. I can’t pass the town of Tillsonburg without singing “my back still aches when I say that word”!
I never saw Stompin’ Tom in concert, but once when he was playing in Ottawa I stood outside one of the clubs during his concert. Even listening to him like that, it was still one of the best performances I’ve encountered!
For more tributes on Stompin’ Tom, CBC has a great collection of stories, videos, and forums.