|Hills of Snow, Smithfield, NC. Photo by Kate Medley.|
As kids, we used to talk about the meal of a great Giant. His appetite was imagined, of course, but he was real: a six-foot, headless fiberglass man that lay half covered by grass in a field near my home in Smithfield, North Carolina. We glimpsed him often when biking near Massey Street, a residential road that cut through to Hills of Snow—another larger-than-life sculpture and building that resembled the snow cones it sold. The proximity of the two made us wonder: Did the Giant lose his head after too many snowballs and a subsequent brain freeze?
|The Gaffney, SC, giant peach. Photo by Emily Wallace.|
The Giant (his purpose and origin are still a mystery to me) was removed from the field years ago. But I still think of him often when I spot similarly large fiberglass foods, including the Gaffney peach-painted water tower I passed on my way into South Carolina last week. “There’s the Giant’s fruit,” I thought, echoing the game of my youth. “There’s the Giant’s corn,” I said a few months before, eying a stand at the North Carolina State Fair.
|Photo by Emily Wallace.|
|A pig watches over Crook's Corner on the Chapel Hill-Carrboro (NC) town line. Photo by Kate Medley.|
Such sculptures encompass some of my favorite pieces of artwork. They are beacons, often indicating good food served nearby: Think of the pig perched high above Crook’s Corner in Chapel Hill, NC. And they’re landmarks, offering better directions than any GPS coordinate could ever provide: “Turn left by the taquería with a cow on top.” You could call them my go-to southern roadmap.
|La Vaquita taqueria, near the author's Durham, NC, home. Photo by Emily Wallace|