Sunday, April 20, 2014

Bad postcard of the week: The mystery of the disappearing Wawa goose

It's a really, really big goose.
Today we have a sad tale, which we shall call “Mysterious Demise of a Landmark.”

I’m talking about the apparently late, great Wawa Goose.

This week’s bad postcard takes us to the northern shore of Lake Superior and the little town of Wawa. Wawa means “Wild Goose” in Ojibway . I know you were wondering.

I must say that I was intrigued by the title, “The View From Wawa’s Famous Goose.” I’m not sure I’d climb especially high to get a look at the Canadian version of an interstate, especially if I’ve been riding for hours on said road.

Do Canadians call their interstates “interprovinces?” We’ll have to look up that one.

Anyway, the view really isn’t that spectacular, so the goose must be the attraction. Let’s read the back:

“High on a hillside at Wawa, Ontario, the huge, 30 foot WAWA GOOSE, built of steel on a concrete base, stands as a monument to the completion of that section of the Trans-Canadian Highway No. 17. In the view at the left, the highway, known as the Lake Superior Circle Route, is seen winding through the valley below.”

Now, I’m the kind of roadtripper who will stop at just about anything, especially if I have the Gnome of Victory and Celebration along to pose.

So on the off chance that I am in Wawa, I would likely pull over to check out a 30-foot steel goose, especially if it is one of the three weeks of the year when it is not snowing there.

Plus, seeing a Canada goose in Canada is kind of cool.
The goose might be gone, but it looks like there are plenty of other things to do in Wawa.
And, check out the glowing review left on “Bigger than Life: Really a stunning statue. It really is a majestic bird. The sculpture/artist captured a unique pose of this avian beauty. There were several other variations of this statue throughout key locations in Wawa. Each unique by the pose captured.”

Now I’d point out that a “bigger than life” goose could actually be not all that big. A bigger-than-life goose could conceivably fit in the trunk of my Civic. But this one does appear to be really, really big.

Sadly, I might not ever know – and not because my travels don’t often take me to northern Canada.

I saw the link to the Wawa goose cam and pounced. Don’t tell me you wouldn’t have done the same. This is why the Internet is an amazing thing.

The goose is … gone. OK, here’s our mystery. What the heck happened to the goose?

There are different versions.

The goosecam site reads:
“Wondering how the goose flew this coop...?  A little bird told us that the structural engineers say that our Goose is cooked!  It’s been laying golden tourism eggs for Wawa for years but now Wawa is on a wild goose chase for $500,000 needed to re-feather our town. Let’s flock together and fly over to  Put a feather in your cap - make a $50 contribution towards towards a new HONKER!”

Keep in mind, that’s probably $500,000 Canadian dollars, which means it’s probably like $700,000 American dollars.

Then, the always accurate Wikipedia tells us “The Wawa Goose has been temporarily removed for refurbishment after heavy flooding damaged the sculpture in late 2012.”

Flooding?  The sculpture is 30-feet tall and up on a hill that provides views of the interstate-like road. That would be a flood of Noah-like proportions!

Then, the official Wawa goose fund-raising site tells us another story:

“:Unfortunately, our old Goose has announced that he will be retiring by this Fall. Even though he will be missed, he ‘s told us that he is tired and his weary knees can’t handle the long standing periods any longer, not to mention our really cold winters! So it’s official, he needs a replacement to take over his important job and we need your help to make this happen!


So it looks like we will never know.

We did learn that this is actually the second goose. The first was made of plaster and chicken wire and lasted three years before the Canadian winters did him in. He now resides in the safety of a downtown general store.

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