World's Largest Loaf of Bread
You wouldn't think a giant loaf of bread would be hard to find, no matter what size the town... Well, sometimes it just ain't that easy. First off, the towns further east tend to put in traffic circles- not bad when you're toodling around in a sporty little car, or if you're used to the rules. But, alas, I'm in a big ol' Traveling Roadside Attraction, trying desperately to keep an eye on which sign points where, as well as trying to spot the local Chamber of Commerce.
After going through the circle a minimum of 3 times, I followed the most major-feeling road to somewhere. I came across the county offices, and went inside. The receptionist didn't know where I'd find a World's Largest Loaf of Bread, or the Chamber of Commerce. I went to the Extension office (which, from years in 4-H, you know is the place to go for answers in agricultural matters...). She, also, didn't know what I was talking about, and assured me that as a person in the Extension Office, she'd know if one existed. But, she did direct me to the Chamber office.
So, back downtown, and around the circle (4). A little sign said 'Out to Lunch, Back at One". It was 12:45. I had a cheese sandwich. It was 1:00, I tried the door. 1:10, tried calling. 1:20, tried the door again. 1:30, called, tried door, walked down the road to the Quick-E-Mart for a coffee so I wouldn't scrawl mean messages on the CoC window in lipstick. While at the Quick-E-Mart, met a man with three teeth who worked at American Pan. He said "Well Shure I know where dat loaf o' bread is..." and drew directions for me.
Went back to the Chamber office, tried the door again (1:40), got in the bus, left a message on the CoC voicemail expressing my disappointment at wasting 40 minutes in front of their office, and went to find the big loaf. Went through the circle again (5), didn't find the turn-off I needed. Stopped at the local airport, got directions again and a newly drawn map, went back into town through the circle (6), turned a couple of times, and found American Pan.
But, no loaf in site. Sitting there in the parking lot, I noticed what seemed to be an extensive collection of bread memoribilia in the building in front of me. Tried a door, locked. Looked around for a more likely culprit, and found a door with a lady behind glass behind the door.
She asked if she could help me.
I said "I'm looking for the World's Largest Loaf of Bread".
She said, "I don't know if I can help you."
I said, "I know it's here."
She said "Just a moment. Let me call someone."
In a little bit, she opened nother large wooden door, asked if I would please take a seat, and if I'd like something to drink. I sat on the overstuffed leather sofa and said no thank you.
When she reappeared, she informed me that Mr. XX (for privacy, names have been omitted) said I would be allowed to view the bread museum and the World's Largest Loaf of Bread. She disappeared for a bit more. She came back. She said Mrs. XX is on the phone with Mr. XX, and they were arranging a tour. Soon, a young man appeared, saying he would be taking me on a tour of the Bread Museum today. And, would I like anything to drink.
Long story short, I got to see an amazing array of bread paraphenalia. And, two fiberglass loaves of bread. American Pan is a manufacturer (and re-manufacturer) of bread baking equipment. It's a family owned business, but Mr. and Mrs. XX are very private people. The bread museum is his own personal collection of an amazing array of bread-related items, including an early mechanized world's fair ad piece.
The World's Largest Loaf of Bread, however, is another story. Formerly displayed upright, the larger of the two is now lying behind one of the factory buildings. It attracted a lot of attention when erect, which isnot comfortable for a private family. It would be painted with the package design of one of their customers, which you can still see on the leftover loaf.
The second loaf still acts as a sign for the factory itself, proudly displayed by theentrance door. The larger of the two is a little more interesting, form-wise as the plastic bag is more irregular, and twist-tie looks as if it's been used a couple of times. But, both are very nicly formed, and must have been an amazing site when new.
Unfortunately, my tour guide didn't know much about the origins of the loaves, or their building. But, I can describe what I saw...
And, after I saw, I left. Going through the center of town, I once again drove around the circle - 7 should be a lucky number...
World's Largest Loaf of Bread Stats
Standing at the rear exposed section of the larger loaf, my head hit the lip of the opening, with the fiberglass form extending about a two and a half higher. The structure is steel with foam and wood to form the contours, covered with wire mesh and fiberglass. Length-wise, it extended 10 double-window sections.
I'll post more as I get information.
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