Route 66 #1

Route 66 #1
Route 66 Museum

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Route 66 Kids Picks - #6 Illinois: Land of Giants?

A Kids Opinion  - James 9 Years Old

"There are a bunch of statues of giants in Illinois. They are really funny cause the all look alike and are holding things. I like the Gemini Giant the most because he is an astronaut and has a rocket. The restaurant (the Launching Pad) had good food too". 

Yes, Illinois has three "giants" on Route 66. The most notable being the Gemini Giant located outside the Launching Pad Diner in Wilmington, Il. The 30 foot giant is dressed in a green short sleeved spacesuit (say that five times fast), with a silver helmet holding a rocket with Launching Pad markings. The Gemini name is an obvious reference to the Gemini (pronounced Gem•a•née in NASA speak) NASA program of the mid-sixties, about the time the giant would have found his way to Wilmington. 

The next giant is "Tall Paul" in Atlanta, IL. Essentially it is the Gemini Giant but in lumberjack clothes, no helmet, and holding a hot dog. It is my understanding that Tall Paul wondered Route 66 for many years, and at one point held an axe (Paul Bunyan), before the residents of Atlanta, IL welcomed him. 

Lastly, there is Lauterbach Tireman in Springfield, Il. Think of the other two giants, but with a beard. Holding a tire (formally a muffler), wearing a blue shirt and black pants with his name in yellow on the legs of his pants, oh and wearing floods. Sorry I don't have a picture but he's easy to lookup. 

Apparently these giant fiberglass "giants" where a popular advertising gimmick in the 60's. Considering that was Route 66's heyday it's fitting these giants are here. Route 66 isn't the only place you can find these guys it's just a fitting place to find them. Kids love them because...well kids love giants especially ones wearing spacesuits. Guess it gives a whole new interpretation as to how high the beanstalk went. Anyway, make sure you stop by and see these guys, and get some pics. 

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