Monday, May 14, 2012

A giant strawberry yields to progress

If you've traveled down US 220 in North Carolina toward Myrtle Beach (or Rockingham or Darlington), you've seen it--a giant strawberry on the side of the road.

Now that strawberry has been uprooted to make way for highway improvements.

The News and Observer reports
With wooden beams, Sheetrock and foam, Lee Berry built the world’s largest strawberry – a 20-foot monument to his homemade ice cream business, a red-and-yellow beacon so garish and eye-catching that the beach traffic couldn’t help but stop for a lick.

Then state government shut him down, took his land by eminent domain, wrote him a check for his life’s work – and evicted his 16,000-pound, fruit-shaped building for the sake a new bypass.

...He hoisted his strawberry onto a flatbed truck and hauled it one mile north, taking up both lanes of U.S. 220 along the way. He plunked it down on a new patch of land and started back churning out triple-scoop waffle cones.
But this story comes with an all-too-American twist. Berry is suing the state.