Saturday, March 07, 2009

it rocks

The last time I took a vacation, my wife and I had the good fortune of seeing the World's Largest Rocking Chair on the one day that it actually rocked.

I signed the guestbook and have occasionally gotten correspondence from the Fanning Outpost and General Store. I'm starting another vacation today and can spend a little extra time at the beach by copying and pasting some excerpts from the press release the Rocking Chair folks sent me:
The steel 42’1” rocking chair that took its place on Route 66 on April 1, 2008, celebrates its 2009 birthday with the Guinness World Records designation of Largest Rocking Chair. The Guinness designated Largest Rocking Chair adds one more Route 66 attraction to the Show-Me State, which bills itself as "Close to Home, Far From Ordinary."

As part of his plans for the rocker Dan Sanazaro began the process to have the chair certified by The Guinness World Records organization. Cuba’s Mayor Kenny Killeen and family priest Father James Finder certified the official measurements and details of the rocker. Cuba Fire Department personnel measured the chair.

Officially, the chair measures 42’1” tall and 20’3” wide although heat and cold cause the chair to expand and contract. Sanazaro estimates that the rocker weighs about 27,500 pounds.

One more detail that Guinness requested was that the chair actually had to rock while it was videotaped. Joe Medwick cut the welds so that Sanazaro and some of his workers could push the chair to rock it. Medwick then re-welded the chair in place.

With the documentation mailed to the Guinness corporate offices in England, it was a waiting game for official notification. There was one setback when Guinness officials told Sanazaro that his documentation never arrived and appeared to be lost. However, it surfaced and the Guinness Certification arrived in February.

In December, a Route 66 mural by John Bland took its place on the side of the store building to add to the setting. A civil war cannon replica sits near the rocker. Sanazaro is trying to figure out how to fire it once a week to create even more interest.

The businesses are expanding. To complement the outdoor 3-D archery range, Sanazaro is building a computer generated Techno Hunt indoor archery range to add to his full service archery business. The second annual archery tournament is Sept. 26. New taxidermy customers arrive weekly. This spring the General Store adds Mother Road Red Wine to its current offerings of Rt. 66 Red and Fanning Outpost White wines. The store has its own World’s Largest Rocking Chair candy bar. Soon an old fashioned “penny press” will create Route 66 mementos that celebrate the rocker’s new designation.

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