While Spud was in
the area, he thought he'd take his new
wheels for a spin and set out for a tour of the Michigan countryside.
First stop was a visit to the birthplace of Motown: Hitsville,
USA; the insurgent atelier that brought the African American sound to
Nestled in one of
Detroit's older neighbourhoods, 'Hitsville'
is a modest home that houses the infamous "Studio A" where
musical great like Stevie Wonder and Smokey Robinson crooned songs destined
Hitsville was a
favourite for pop superstar Michael Jackson who recorded many hits in
the tiny studio. While Historians claim Jackson found the acoustics
unparalleled, Spud learned the real reason he went was that there was
a plastic surgeon living next door.
Next stop on Spud's
itinerary was Greenfield
Village in the suburb of Dearborn.Greenfield is a collection of
historically significant buildings that are symbols of American ingenuity.
The village contains
many structures such as the first home of automotive pioneer Henry Ford,
the workshop where the Wright brothers developed the plans for the first
airplane and even the Heinz House where H.J. Heinz gave birth to the
condiment industry. Each
building has been painstakingly restored to its original condition.
Spud took particular
notice of the Edison homestead - refuge for the father of electricity:
Thomas Edison. Apparently, the inventor was so far ahead of his time,
he even had an interlocking sidewalk and a motion sensing alarm system.
his tourbook, Spud quickly found his next destination: The city of Battle
Creek - home of 'Cereal
City': Never one to tire from visiting corporate
monuments to self indulgence, the tater forked out the $7.95 admission
fee to gain access to the synagogue of the cereal which recounts the
history of J.H. Kellogg.
In 1894, Kellogg
was the Medical Director of the Battle Creek Sanitarium. Having experienced
a decline in patients, the doctor explored alternate ways of generating
revenue in order to keep the doors of the sanitarium from closing. Noting
that many of his patients suffered from seborrheic eczema, the industrious
Dr. Kellogg collected their dandruff flakes, dyed them with food colouring,
flavoured them with corn meal and then sold them in the sanitarium gift
shop as a breakfast cereal coined 'Corn Flakes'.
The rather macabre
concoction proved to be very popular and sold as fast as Kellogg could
make them. Soon the doctor sold off his medical practice and concentrated
on the much more solvent business of making cereal. Within a few years,
he turned his dead-skin delicacy into a staple of the North American
diet. Eager to capture the profitable children's market, the entrepreneurial
Kellogg looked to his former psychiatric patients for inspiration and
developed the hugely popular 'Froot Loops'.
has continued to flourish for over a century, even amidst a 1997 embezzlement
scandal involving company directors Snap, Crackle & Pop.
While Spud was enroute
to Battle Creek, he passed through the tiny hamlet of Colon. Even though
the small farming town is fairly attractive, Spud learned that its chamber
of commerce has had little success in attracting tourism or industry
to the area. Perhaps its the ever present green miasma that veils the
village. Maybe its the fact that the tap water is a cocoa colour and
lumpy in its consistency. Of course, it could be the rather foul stench
emanating from the colon shaped reservoir tower. This didn't bother
the potato though, as he held his nose as he drove through town.
In a last ditch
effort to bring in tourists, the chamber has rebranded the town: 'the
magic capital of the world'; hoping this will draw the hordes of elusive
tourists. Spud doesn't know if there's any truth to the claim, though
he always suspected Siegfried & Roy came out of a colon.