Thursday, October 30, 2003

Once Upon A Time, in Wisconsin...

There was a place called The Gobbler.

The motel's design was a unique spoked "Prairie" style semicircle; luxurious purple, red, blue and pink shag carpeting graced many of the Gobbler's surfaces in its early-1970's heyday, a period when grooviness meant a bedroom covered floor-to-ceiling in the stuff.

Every detail - from lavender vinyl dining room upholstery to built-in 8-track stereos [in the "business suites" - as if we couldn't guess what sort of "business" was conducted in a motel room with a red shag-covered heart-shaped bed] exemplified over-the-top kitsch luxury.

Staying at the Gobbler, a traveler could enjoy hip sleepquarters, and then roll downhill for fine dining specializing in Meleagris gallopavo at the matching Gobbler restaurant. That would be - ahem - gobbler, because Clarence Hartwig Sr., the original owner of the complex, was a well-known Wisconsin turkey farmer.

Some people believe every object contains a bit of the energy of everyone that came in contact with it: considering its rich lore, that alone would have been enough reason to keep the Gobbler standing. Sure, we can't keep every old building - we'd be overrun with collapsing hulks in a few generations. Still, we can try to remember the interesting, the adventurous, and the unique. The Gobbler certainly was all of those.

Don't forget to stop by the recently-updated (April 2005) Gobbler Links section, with connections to fresh news stories on the Gobbler Motel and Restaurant!