Touring Michigan

Spud visits the home of the Motown sound

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 the world.

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 for gold.

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.

Spud admires the handiwork of the interlocking pavers

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.

Leafing through 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.

Cereal City - another corporate monument to self indulgence

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'.

Kellogg's industry has continued to flourish for over a century, even amidst a 1997 embezzlement scandal involving company directors Snap, Crackle & Pop.

Spud enters one of the body's least appealing organs

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.

Spud holds his nose

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.



The Motor City

Spud goes racing in the Irish Hills

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