A Landing a Day

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Posts Tagged ‘Andre the Giant’

Ellerbe, North Carolina

Posted by graywacke on October 8, 2011

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-a-week blog), I have my computer select a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”  I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location.  To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is and what the various numbers and abbreviations mean in the first paragraph), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.

Dan –  Getting’ wild ‘n crazy now, with my third USer in a row (and 4/5) as I landed in an erstwhile OSer but now a proud USer . . . NC; 34/35; 5/10; 156.8.  Here’s my landing map, showing my proximity to Ellerbe:

Here’s a broader view:

I landed in the Cartledge Ck watershed, on to the Pee Dee R (8th hit), on to the AO.

Here’s my GE shot, which shows I landed in a little patch of woods near a highway, but also near some peculiarly-cleared areas:

It looks kind of like they’re clearing out the woods to build a highway, eh?  Well, wouldn’t you know.  When I activated Google Earth’s Street View feature, this very peculiar view came up:

The blue lines are roads that were present when the Google Street View camera-carrying cars went through the area taking their Street View pictures.  Obviously, these are brand new roads that were built after the date of the basic Google Earth aerial photo.  I’ve never seen this before . . .

So anyway, here’s a Street View shot of my landing from one of the newly-built highways.  I love the way the push-pin appears to be sunk down in the trees . . .

Anyway, back to Ellerbe.  Maybe the folks that live around there would disagree, but the big story the surrounds Ellerbe is the fact that Andre the Giant had a ranch near the town, and after he died in 1993, his ashes were spread there. 

So, Dan.  Do you know who Andre the Giant is?  From Wiki:

André René Roussimoff (1946 – 1993), best known as André the Giant, was a French professional wrestler.  His size was a result of acromegaly, and led to him being called “The Eighth Wonder of the World“.

André Roussimoff was born in France to parents of Bulgarian and Polish ancestry. As a child, he very early displayed symptoms of his acromegaly, reaching a height of 6’3″ and weight of 240 pounds by age 12. Unable to fit on the school bus, he was driven to school by playwright Samuel Beckett, a friend of his father.

FYI, acromegaly is the syndrome that involves the production of an excess of the growth hormone. 

Eventually reaching a height of 7’ 4” and weighing over 500 pounds, Andre was a huge hit in the wacky, weird world of professional wrestling.  His career peaked in the 70s and 80s.  In 1987, he performed in front of the largest wrestling audience of all time (90,000 fans), at “Wrestlemania” event featuring Andre and Hulk Hogan  at the Pontiac Silver Dome in Detroit.

Here’s a picture that gives you an idea of how big ol’ Andre was:

Oh yea.  That’s him on the left. . . (and the guy on the right ain’t small)

So, this is the first post where I’ve run into Samuel Beckett.  Strange, isn’t it, that Sam drove Andre to school in Paris?  But hey, true confessions:  being a geologist / engineer type of guy, I guess I knew Samuel Beckett was a writer, but I don’t really have a clue what he was all about.  Here’s a quick summary from Wiki:

Samuel Barclay Beckett (1906 – 1989) was an Irish avant-garde novelist, playwright, theatre director, and poet. He wrote both in English and French. His work offers a bleak, tragicomic outlook on human culture, often coupled with black comedy and gallows humour.

Beckett is widely regarded as among the most influential writers of the 20th century. Strongly influenced by James Joyce, he is considered one of the last modernists. As an inspiration to many later writers, he is also sometimes considered one of the first postmodernists.  He is one of the key writers in what Martin Esslin called the “Theatre of the Absurd“.

Ouch.  I’m a more-or-less straight-ahead kind of guy.  There’s probably a good reason I don’t know much about Mr. Beckett.

But hey, they built a beautiful bridge in Dublin that they named after him.  Check this out:

It’s time to turn the page on my Ellerbe chapter, but not until I show you this shot of “butt rock,” located in Blewitt Falls Lake, a dammed-up piece of the Pee Dee River located about 7 miles southwest of my landing:

That’ll do it. . .



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