Roadside Americana-The Headless Dinosaur
Summer is officially almost over and soon the kiddos will be returning to school. Gowing up in the rural wilds of Florida, our summer vacations were to go camping. And I mean sleeping under the stars, bathing in the Withalacoochie River, and the woods was our personal restroom (look before you squat). And I have to point out that my family wasn’t your typical family-think more like the Addams family here. Family movie night was the latest horror movie on HBO and we took great pride in our ability to scare the pants off of each other. We told scary stories around the campfire and on at least one occasion, yours truly jumped in a big box to hide from Bigfoot! Okay it was my dad stomping through the woods, but we all know that it could have been the big guy himself!
On the road to our usually camping site was a large headless dinosaur. Over the years, I noticed that there was never any work done on the dinosaur, so I innocently asked my teenage siblings why it was never finished. They told me that the man who was building it had fallen from the top and died. That revelation sent an absolute chill through me, and it formed in my stomach. I looked to my parents for comfort, but they confirmed the story. Tragic. I became convinced that the dinosaur was haunted by the poor soul of the man who fell to his death. I envisioned a broken heap all bloodied from the fall. Every time we drove past, I stared in wide eyed horror looking for any sign of his ghost.
I haven’t thought of or seen this area of my home state in many moons and had all but forgotten about it. But there is a local unfinished build I recently discovered that put me in mind of the headless dinosaur. I’ll write about that later. According to Roadside America, the dinosaur is a Brontosaurus built by August Herwede. In 1967 he indeed feel from the scaffolding and later died. His inspiration was the 1964 World’s Fair Dinoland, presented by Sinclair. He had wanted to make his own version. When I was a child, there were more than just the one unfinished dinosaur. There were a few smaller ones that had already been completed standing by the road as if just wandering out from the nearby woods. If you happen to get down to Hernando County FL, check out this weird roadside attraction!
25421 Lake Lindsey Road Brooksville FL