“ground control to major tom...”
Along a lot of the back roads in Oklahoma, there's not much to see but stunning landscapes, but along E 300 Rd near the tiny town of Winganon, you'll stumble across something that just might surprise you: a NASA space capsule. Alright, full disclosure, it's not actually a real capsule that was really in space for reals, but the story behind it is a little more interesting than you might expect. In 1959, a cement mixer was on its way to help build a bridge in nearby Oologah Lake when it rolled over. As one might imagine, the mixer stopped mixing the cement, and when the tow truck came to haul the vehicle away, they found that the cement had already hardened. Ooops. The tow truck couldn't handle the weight, so they simply detached the mixer and left it. Perhaps they planned on coming back for it, or maybe it was just so heavy they meant to leave it there forever, but either way, they never returned. The locals didn't seem to mind the cement mixer's presence, though. In fact, they seemed to take to the new landmark pretty well, decorating it with various graffiti messgaes and designs. In September, 2011, a local couple, Barry and Heather Thomas, both artists, decided to celebrate their 5th wedding anniversary by giving the mixer a special paint job-- one they hoped would be so awesome that no one else would want to paint it over. Noting that its shape was similar to a space capsule's, the couple went all out to turn the old cement mixer into a replica of one. In fact, according to the space capsule's Facebook page, when they were trying to find out if anyone owned the land where the mixer was, they met a couple who lived nearby who not only both worked for NASA and could help them make their design look even more authentic, but the husband was living in Winganon when the cement truck wreck happened. Fate... it's weird how it works sometimes! Not only did they give it a shiny, fresh coat of paint, but they also added in all the details: thrusters, reflectors, hose, and more, all made from household objects. They got every detail, down to the rivets. Some of the little details are gone now, victims to the harsh Oklahoma winds, but the Thomases are always looking out for their creation... but it's almost more realistic that way; you don't crash land a space capsule in Oklahoma and have it remain in pristine condition. Besides, the Winganon Space Capsule is still able to do its job: confuse the heck out of people passing by on the road.
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Winganon Space Capsule
- Sun - Sat: 12:00 am - 11:59 pm
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