Sunday, June 20, 2021

Ditch Ducks

Highway 65 in Minnesota has a ditch with its own ducks. These aren't the kinds of ducks that come and go, though. They are decoys, in a rainbow of colors. Is it a joke, an art installation, a local tradition, or a crowdsourced project? It's kind of all the above. The story of how they came to be there is pretty neat. These ducks even have their own Facebook page. (via TYWKIWDBI)


Bicycle Bill said...

Well, that's about a five-hour drive from me. Little too far to justify just picking up and heading off on a road trip, but the next time I have a reason to go up into northern Wisconsin (like up to Superior), I'll definitely have to take the longer way home.


Marco McClean said...

When I was little in Los Angeles my mother used to take me to work with her, but when it was somewhere she couldn't do that she'd leave me with her friends Wanda and Jack Curtis, who smoked like chimneys, lighting each cigaret with the previous one, and they had a dry wishing well in their front yard, with plaster or plastic animals near it: a deer family, a flamingo, bunnies-- and ducks in all different colors, just like in your picture, but on the grass, which was always clipped close around the ornaments. They lived across the street from Ron Howard when he was Opie in the Andy Griffith Show. I never met him or saw him, but they mentioned it.

When we went back to visit in the late sixties or early seventies their son had been killed advising in Vietnam. His room was kept as he left it, festooned with chains of beer-can pull tabs. I was told not to go into the room, let alone touch anything, but everyone was in the front room, smoking cigarets and drinking coffee and talking, so on my way out from the bathroom I went in and touched a chain, broke it, tried frantically to fix it, broke it worse, and worse again, of course, and fled, horrified, saying nothing about it.

Jack and Wanda were avid hunting-trip hunters, with a cab-top camper on their pickup truck. The last time I ever saw them --early 1970s-- the yard had only the wishing well by then; all the animals (and colored ducks) were gone, Aunt Fluffy (Wanda's mother, always in fluffy slippers) was dead and gone, and all the smoking, and probably plenty else, had made Jack and Wanda brittle, gray-faced, emaciated, and shaky before their time. When they smiled it was just with the mouth. They spoke in a rustling-paper vocal-fry sound. I don't think they lived into the 1980s. I'll ask my mother next time I talk to her.