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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Today's Cul de Sac, October 10 2010


This Sunday was done while I was in the thick of doing some Grandma dailies last month, so I was in a kind of Grandma mood. My neighborhood has sections like this, where some grandma-sized houses have been replaced by mini-mansions, sometimes at a rate of 1 to 3. And sometimes leaving behind a lone grandma house nestled in like a squirrel among elephants. 

When I was a kid one of my favorite picture books was about a grandma whose small house stood in the path of a planned superhighway. What I remember of it most vividly was a flock of construction machinery looming over her tiny house, poised to superhighwayize the place. It had a happy ending of course; the highway bifurcated to avoid her house and the last picture was of her waving to the endless clog of traffic like it was a friendly neighbor. I don't remember the name of the book and I've forgotten the vagaries of the plot, but that last bit I'm pretty sure is accurate. I do remember that the part of the book that most appealed to me then was the road-building machinery. I used to think that stuff was great and I still do, and I'll rubberneck like an idiot at big yellow heavy contraptions that flatten out roads and hoist bridge pieces into place. Everybody else in the car might roll their eyes, but get your fun wherever you can find it I always say.

8 comments:

The Bug said...

I think I remember that book too. Being a girl I could have cared less about the equipment (in my experience this stereotype about the sexes is true - but whether it's nature or what our parents teach us? I don't know). Now I wish I could remember the name of the book...

proftempus said...

Was it maybe "The Little House" by Virgina Lee Burton?
http://www.amazon.com/Little-House-Virginia-Lee-Burton/dp/0395181569#_

Rick said...

Great strip, I love the grandma appearances (& mentions). I've not heard of the book, but it was also the plot of a Bugs Bunny short: "No Parking Hare" (except he wasn't waving to the commuters at the end).

habamom said...

The problem of mansions overshadowing old homes happened in my hometown, White Bear Lake, which used to have a lake with a bunch of summer/vacation cottages surrounding it. Then it turned into a suburb of St Paul, MN.

I still cheer for the lil cottages when I see 'em!

paul bowman said...

Old friends of mine have lived in one of the Grandma-sized houses in your neighborhood for years, a rancher, built in the 50s I'm guessing. Happily, they've been pretty unambitious about the property. Just getting around to putting a little kitchen expansion on back — won't even be visible from the street, from what they've described.

richardcthompson said...

We're in one of the few untouched houses on our block, which is kinda embarrassing.

It wasn't "The Little House," though it's similar. Agh, now it's going to drive me crazy. And, I hope, you too.

RoB said...

Hello, all,

I just happened to wander here from Mike Lynch's site and saw this bit about one of my favorite books from childhood. I still have my copy! It's title is Make Way for the Highway, though it also had editions called Make Way for the Thruway. The pictures are great--colorful and comic-booky; I especially liked the night scenes. As a child I found the ending satisfying, though now I would feel bad about the poor woman having to put up with the constant traffic.

richardcthompson said...

Rob, that's it. Thanks for restoring my sanity.