Tuesday, April 18, 2006

A Horse of the Same Color


In our travels to and through scores of small towns we find many in the process of reclaiming and resuscitation of their faded downtown commercial sections. In some towns those areas are coming slowly back from the dead. In others, the city fathers have brought the main stream back to Main Street before the last of them had checked out.

We've noticed that in most of these revived towns a hallmark of the restoration involves some sort of theme. For many it is animal mascot statuary, models of which grace their corners and squares. Hendersonville, NC, proudly posted bears in many postures, Athens, GA, placed dogs ( dawgs ) of a single design on the sidewalks, Aiken, SC, has horses. Aiken is home to more real than statuary horses, but their displays are far more colorful than the real thing. A decided advantage is that they draw visitors, but do not drop road apples in the path of tourists.

Being fond of the horse metaphor we were taken by Aiken's distinctive steeds and toured the town for them. Being the blue Pony car, as it were, we were drawn to a horse of the same color. In the center paddock of the town we found the above pictured (four legged) beauty. Well, he's blue in the neck only. Otherwise, the horse seems to be sectioned off to represent various promotional messages. He looks rather like one of those old U.S.D.A. beef maps of a cow detatiling its various cuts. Perhaps he's a guide to the more tender chops of the town which lights the way through the choice into the prime portions of Aiken.


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