Monday, January 12, 2015

Odd Ogg

That was a plastic toy that my brothers and I thought was just hilarious.  Sort of a mutant frog thing that joined us in the bathtub.  I guess no one remembers it now (hasn't shown up on "Pawn Stars"), but that may have been the beginning of my love of oddball stuff. 

Fellow blogger Clyph (at "Just Another Life" on this fine network) referred me to a site,, wherein you can gawk at creepy, old or forgotten places in all 50 states, some of which are in your own backyard but you've probably have never seen.  Castles, amusement parks, eerie abandoned towns, spooky industrial structures -- even rusted locomotives lurking incongruously among the pines of Maine.  The one selected for Pennsylvania is the monstrously oversize Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic church in East Liberty, Pittsburgh.  Built in 1890 and closed in 1992, its claim to fame is having been used in the film Dogma.  Not all of it looks as bad as this,

but it's so huge no one can come up with a way to refurbish and repurpose the building. 

Strange places can be either ones just abandoned in hard-to-find locations (like former asylums), some are true mysteries (like the Elko Tract near the Richmond, VA airport), and some are attractively unique (giving rise to rumors and myths)  but the story behind them can be found out.  Among the last type: the dome houses of Cape Romano Island.

Now, and...

Situated south of Marco Island on Florida's Gulf Coast, this group of structures seemingly from "Lost in Space" is deteriorating and slipping, listing like a ghost ship, into the water.  Built as a vacation house in 1982 by retired oilman "Big Bob" Lee, it was an experiment in self-sustainability, with solar panels and a 23,000 gallon cistern in which rainwater was collected.  It also boasted a large outdoor hot tub, satellite TV and a special underfloor heating system.  The home mostly survived Hurricane Andrew in 1992, but the windows failed.  The family moved out and sold it in 1993.  Subsequent hurricanes have eroded the beach, leaving the former home in paradise standing forlornly in the Gulf waters, while two other structures built alongside have disappeared completely.


It is now rated the #3 Marco Island attraction on Trip Advisor.

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