Tag Archives: world’s largest

World's largest pecan sketch by Chandler O'Leary

World’s largest pie filling

Just in case you were worried about making enough pecan pie for the holiday this year, I think I know where there’s a good supply. To all my readers in the United States, wishing you a happy Thanksgiving! Now if you’ll excuse me, there’s a slice of pie with my name on it…

50 States pictorial map illustrated and hand-lettered by Chandler O'Leary

Rereading the map

I finished this map before the airwaves were inundated with red and blue election maps—and today it’s a good reminder that America is more than its electoral divisions. That there is good in every state, and that there is so much to love and celebrate in every nook and cranny of our nation. This is why I started the 50 States project three years ago, and I’m taking the fact that I happened to finish the series right before the most divisive election in living memory as a sign that I need to remember this fact going forward. After all, the real work of our country involves all of us.
Those of you who read this blog know that I express my love for every state—blue, red, purple, whatever—through my drawings. I will continue to do so, to feature the beauty and wonder and hilarity and kooky humor of every state. That is what will get me through the fear and sadness and anger I’m feeling now—and I hope it will help you in some small measure, as well. So the break I took from blogging to focus on my book is over; posting here starts back up again tomorrow.
In the meantime, you can celebrate all 50 States with me tonight at the Ted Sanford Gallery at Charles Wright Academy in University Place, WA, where the entire series is on display through November 29. From 5:30 to 6:30 tonight I’ll have a gallery reception and small pop-up shop. Let’s talk about the good that’s out there—from Paul Bunyan to Elvis to the World’s Largest Frying Pan, and everything in between, from sea to shining sea.
Seattle giant trophy sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Big winner

The Summer Olympics are starting this weekend, though I must confess I’m more of a winter sports gal. So I’m not sure how much attention I’ll end up paying to the spectacle—still, if anyone is looking for a trophy to hand out, I think I know where there’s a really big one…

Giant Spokane milk bottle sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Milking it

Remember my post about Mary Lou’s Milk Bottle? Well, it might be the best giant milk bottle in Spokane, but it’s not the only one. Built in the 1930s, the bottles served as neighborhood satellite stores (read: ducks!) for the Benewah Dairy Company. After Benewah folded in 1972, the bottles came to serve different purposes. This one might not be as fun or picturesque as Mary Lou’s—in fact, it’s downright head-scratching that it now holds a chimney masonry business. But it the end, that doesn’t matter: I’m just glad there are still two giant milk bottles in Spokane, and that they’re both being lovingly cared for.

Lucy the Elephant sketch by Chandler O'Leary

The mammoth of Margate

We’ve all heard of the elephant in the room, but how many people can say they’ve been in a room in an elephant? Well, last week I finally joined the ranks of those who can.

There are probably thousands of roadside attractions in the U.S.—some (like the Corn Palace, Paul & Babe, the Blue Whale and Salem Sue) are so iconic they almost transcend the genre. And Lucy might just be the queen of them all.

Lucy the Elephant sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Her story is a bit of an odd one. She was built in 1881 by a real estate developer—as Lucy was one of the taller buildings (yes, she is a building, not just a sculpture!) in town, the developer invited prospective customers to climb her staircase and view adjacent property parcels from the houdah (pavilion) at the top. Lucy, of course, became a bigger tourist draw than the local real estate market—her owner even built a much larger copy at Coney Island (Lucy’s big sister burned down in 1896).

Lucy was sold and resold over the years, and the room in her belly served as a residence, a restaurant, a business office, and even a tavern at one point. She survived visiting tourists, rowdy barflies, several remodeling jobs, a tavern fire, and many hurricanes. By the 1960s, though, she was in such a sorry state she was slated for demolition. A group of concerned locals banded together in the 1970s to move her slightly inland and restore her to her original glory—in 1976 she was designated a National Historic Landmark.

The rest, as they say, is history. Now, you know how I’m going to finish this story, right?

Lucy the Elephant sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Yep, you guessed it. The end.

Giant Frying Pan sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Serves four (hundred)

Well, I can’t feature the Winlock Egg without giving you something to cook it in, can I? Just over the coast range from Winlock is the town of Long Beach, home of the perfect roadside companion to the World’s Largest Egg.

Since it’s not exactly as flamboyant as, say, a giant orange, people often blow right by this one without even noticing it. But this giant frying pan is much more than just a monument. It’s a replica of a real, no-kidding, fourteen-foot pan that was actually used to cook food. For many years this frying pan was a permanent fixture of Long Beach’s annual Razor Clam Festival—where chefs actually used it for the clam fritter cook-off. I don’t know about you, but that fact alone raises this humble giant right to the top of my personal list of favorite roadside attractions.

Giant Frying Pan sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Speaking of which, my roadside attractions gallery exhibit is closing tomorrow (Washington folks, hurry!), so today is the last post about roadside giants—for a little while, at least. Next week I’ll be back with a different topic and a broader range of sketches. But I hope you’ve had as much fun as I have these past few weeks—because as you can probably guess, there’s a lot more where this came from.

Happy weekend—see you on Monday.

World's Largest Egg sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Eggstra large

Now, I know I can go to the market and find eggs in small, medium, large, extra-large and jumbo. But can I get a round dozen in World’s Largest?

(Maybe that’s what those Washington cooperative farmers have been hatching…)