True, I'm not a very religous man, but still, one can't help but be fascinated by all this. I'm sure that the influence of John Paul II will be debated for years to come, but one thing's for certain: he had an impact.
Finally made it to St. Paul today. The UFO landing pad really is a symbol of...faded elegance. It's showing it's age, some of the concrete is chipped away, but there's still a little something about it that makes you go "Huh. Cool."
I'm certian I've seen it once before. I have fuzzy memories of driving past it when I was a kid.
But, what was new since last time, is the UFO-shaped gift shop/tourist information centre right next door. I wandered over to it to take a look. It was closed for the season, but a lowly clerk let me in to have a look around. Now, with hospitality like that, how could I not buy chinzy souvineers? Everyone's got a UFO landing pad postcard comin' in the mail.
Then I wandered down St. Paul's main street. Buried deep in the back of the Value Drug Mart, I found some "historical artifact" postcards. They were pics of the UFO landing pad BEFORE the gift shop/tourist info booth was built. It's been minorly modified over the years. The most glaring change is how it's connection to the Canadian Centennial is now being downplayed. (The pad was originally a Centennial project for St. Paul.) It used to be adorned the with the coat-of-arms of Alberta and the emblem of the Canadian Centennial, but now, only the Alberta coat-of-arms remains.
Anyway, the St. Paul UFO Landing Pad is truly an OG of roadside attractions.
Took a cruise around town today to check out the rest of the Episode III figures now on sale. I found more Darth Vaders. I really, really, REALLY want an Episode III Darth Vader. Usually, I don't buy duplicates of figures I already have. (Finally got my hands on a Darth Vader from Return of the Jedi back in the fall.) But this is the Episode III Vader! This is first appearance Vader! I'm conflicted.
I'm also strangely drawn to the pregnant Amidala figure. That's bizzare. Maybe it's because it's the first pregnant action figure I've ever seen. The only thing is the sculpt on it is horrible. Hardly looks like Natalie Portman. Well, it does look kind of like Natalie Portman...if Natalie Portman became a chain-smoking, bar floozie. Hmmm.... Maybe, in Episode III, Amidala DOES become a chain-smoking, bar floozie. Maybe that's how she coped with Anakin's long time away fighting in the Clone Wars. Just a thought.
But then, I should show a little more self-control. I really went crazy buying action figures in the past month. In the past 30 days, I bought: Batgirl Barbie, Supergirl Barbie, Herbie the Love Bug, Marvel Legends Elektra, Marvel Legends Dark Phoenix, Anakin, and Palpatine. That's a big month. I gotta slow down a bit.
"the Difference is the Music in the Air." Don't let me forget that. That's the genesis of a brilliant column.