November 4, 2013

Driving to Memphis...

Since the Green Bay Packers host the Chicago Bears tonight on Monday Night Football, I thought I'd share some observations I recently made about our rival team's state while passing through it a few weeks ago.

On a whim, and facilitated by the fact that the Packers had a bye week that week, we took a road trip to Memphis at the end of September. As we drove and drove and drove through the central part of Illinois on US Route 51 (and even on a good portion of Interstate 57 coming back home), this is pretty much what we saw....

You may now be saying to yourself, "well, isn't that the pot calling the kettle black?" as Wisconsin, too, has a reputation for having more than a few of its highways coursing through monotonous stretches of farm land. True enough, and while we do have our share of cornfields, it's nothing like what I saw driving through Illinois. In fact, if Illinois ever wants to trade in its Land of Lincoln tagline, they could easily adopt Land of Corn without anyone raising an eyebrow. No...here, here in Wisconsin, we've got cows folks, and they like to graze - which requires a respectable amount of open space. But I digress...

The cornfields were occasionally broken up by clearings that would include a farmhouse, barn and several outbuildings scattered about the open space...which brings me to the most curious observation I made about the State of Illinois...almost all of the barns and outbuildings that I saw in my neighbor-state to the south have cupolas on them! Upon seeing the first one, I simply thought it was one farmer's way to express his creativity and love for architectural elements. But then, after driving just a few miles further and seeing the feature repeated over and over again on the rooftops, it was obvious this was not just one farmer's yearning for artistic recognition among his peers, these cupolas were clearly a necessity!





But why...why the cupolas in Illinois? I mean, Wisconsin has barns...
lots of barns...


But nary a cupola! 

OK, maybe not "nary." But the vast majority of barns and outbuildings in Wisconsin do not have cupolas!

So what's up with the Illinois cupolas? After some hasty and roughshod internet research, I've come to the conclusion the answer is...CORN! Corn is what's up with the cupolas! The cupolas allow for proper ventilation in the buildings when storing corn, simple as that...and I'm here to tell you, they gotta have a place to store all that corn!

Go Pack, Go!

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