Updated Wed, Jul 13, 2011 3:37 pm
Take a road trip this summer with NPR. The series "Honey, Stop The Car!" highlights those special moments on the road when you spot something that just compels you to pull the car over and investigate. The stories profile monuments that honor local heroes (perhaps long forgotten), statues on the square of favorite sons and daughters and roadside signs that pay tribute to a town's history or an important event.
The series begins Wednesday, July 13, and airs through August on Morning Edition, Weekend Edition Saturday, and Weekend Edition Sunday.
Honey, Stop the Car! King Neptune Memorial, Anna, IL
Morning Edition, Wednesday, July 13
KRCU's Jason McCleland reports on a pig memorial he remembers hearing about as a child growing up near Anna, IL. The memorial honors King Neptune, a Navy mascot pig who helped raise bonds for the war effort. Each time King Neptune was auctioned off he was returned to be auctioned again, raising $19 million. Living out his life on a farm near Anna, the pig died in 1950 and had a full military funeral.
Honey, Stop the Car! The Van Buren Elm, Plainfield, IN
Weekend Edition, Weekend of July 16
In Plainfield, Indiana, a stone with a plaque marks the site where President Van Buren met with an unfortunate accident in 1842 -- he was dumped in the mud after his carriage hit an elm tree's roots on a rough road. Van Buren had just vetoed money for the National Road linking the Midwest to the Atlantic, and the driver wanted to show the president just how much the road needed improvement. As WFIU's Sara Wittmeyer reports, the elm is long gone, but pieces of it still exist.
Honey, Stop The Car! Old Joe, Foresthill, CA
Weekend Edition Saturday, Saturday, July 23
NPR producer Cindy Carpien reports on a tribute to a local legend gunned down in a stagecoach robbery in 1901 in Northern California's Sierra Nevada mountains -- Old Joe the horse.
Honey, Stop The Car! Bucky O'Neill, Prescott, AZ
Morning Edition, Wednesday, July 27
Reporter Gillian Ferris-Kohl of KNAU has the story of Prescott, AZ's favorite son, the Rough Rider Bucky O'Neill who died in battle of San Juan Hill. The statue of O'Neill in the Prescott town square was sculpted in 1907 by Solon Borglum, brother of the designer of Mount Rushmore.
Honey, Stop the Car! General William Jackson Palmer, Colorado Springs, CO
Weekend Edition Sunday, Sunday, July 31
Reporter Mike Lamp of Colorado Public has the story of the statue of General William Jackson Palmer, railroad builder and founder of Colorado Springs. The statue stands in the middle of a busy intersection, and is the subject of some controversy that results in occasional calls requesting the city relocate it to a park nearby.