Friday, December 3, 2010

SPAM? or Spam?

Years ago, when we were younger .... well, not so many years ago, and we weren't really that much younger ... but you don't really care about that part of the story. Don't you just hate it when one person starts to tell a story and the other one jumps in and corrects him/her about some little detail that doesn't make a whit of difference, and here I am doing the same thing to myself, so you're getting fed up and about to leave this blog ... but don't, because now I'll get to the meat of the story, and that meat is Spam.

Yes, Spam, sometimes called "mystery meat," hated or loved by our soldiers in the trenches, the product of the Hormel Company, and here I go again, so I'll try to stop.

We were in our first full year on the road as full-timers, I guess it was 2003, maybe only 2002, no it really was 2003. We had been to "THE RALLY," which in those days was called  "The Great North American RV Rally" (GNARV), but that name was too hard to say, so the folks that ran it, now mostly part of the Alliiance Group which has its avid supporters and just as avid detractors, of which we are two .... but there I go again.

Anyway, it's now called "The Rally" and we don't go to it, even if it's close. We left the GNARV worn out from the effect of thousands of RVs all in one place, lines two blocks long just to use the restrooms, loud entertainment that drove us away. Where were we headed? To an Escapees' Fun Days celebration, And that was the last year the Escapees held a Fun Days, although they'd had them for several years up till then, I guess they didn't .... ooops, sorry.

We were passing near Austin, Minnesota. No, not Austin, TX. That's the capitol of Texas. And I remember how to spell capitol because every capitOl building has a big rOund rOtunda, and capitAl refers to lArge size letters or Assets invested ... damn, I'm still doing it. Now stop that!

Austin, Minnesota. Not too far northeast of Forest City, Iowa, I believe, where we also were going to attend the Winnebago Grand National Rally (GNR), by virtue of owning an Itasca motorhome, also made by Winnebago (now STOP THAT THIS INSTANT!).

Actually, right between Forest City and Austin is Albert Lea, Minnesota, where the Green Giant statue is located. We visited that too, and Suzy met with the "little people of the valley."  Oh, that's right, the statue is actually in Blue Earth, Minnesota, a few miles west of Albert Lea, but it doesn't show on the map, so just think "west of Albert Lea."

The Giant was built in 1979, stands 55 feet tall.
From Jolly Green Giant - Blue Earth, Minn
His smile is 48 inches wide.

The giant wears size 78 shoes. The little guy here was born in 1938, stands 6'2" tall, has a 3" wide smile, and wears size 14 shoes.

Suzy was bending over so long shaking hands with the "folks in the valley" while I was diddling with the camera that she started getting a backache. Now she wants me to focus first!

Now, what was I talking about? Oh, yes, the Spam Museum. Spam, that's an interesting subject, one that Internet users have mixed feelings about, just like people have mixed feelings about the meat in the can.

Let's get serious now, if anyone can get serious about Spam. Hormel folks can. Actually, the Hormel folks can Spam. That is, they cook the meat and put it into the cans, so they really do "can Spam!" NO! Get serious, talk about the museum.

Well, we've been to a lot of museums, which one do you mean? The SPAM MUSEUM, dork! Talk about the Spam Museum! Oh, that one.

Well, before we went to the Spam Museum, we stopped across the street at Johnny's, a place that had been recommended to us for breakfast. Well, we really had brunch, not breakfast, because it was a little later in the morning, but then that's not important to this story either. What did we eat? Well, Spam, of course, and French Toast and eggs. Then it was across the street to pose for pictures with two pigs and a farmer.

The museum is an attractive building outside and a blast inside! We learned more about Spam than we ever felt there was to learn. But it was a kick, because the Hormel Company has a tremendous sense of humor about this product, coupled with a tremendous pride in all their products. They had rooms of displays relating to their relationship to the military during wartime and peacetime. They had old editorial cartoons displaying men in the trenches with mess kits stacked up with Spam (they didn't allow women in the trenches those days, for one reason or another; I won't venture a guess, although I have my private suspicions.)

In the museum's gift store we bought five cans of Spam in flavors not usually seen on the shelves of markets: BBQ, Hot & Spicy, Spam with Cheese, Hickory Smoke, and Garlic. The garlic flavor isn't even sold in the United States at all; it is packed for sale in Korea and Japan.

In those early days of our traveling, we weren't into blogging, and so we didn't take nearly enough pictures. But in the gift shop area, we met up with this fellow for a "CAN-did" shot.

That was all years ago, but it was all part of  ... Our Life on Wheels!


  1. I can't remember the last time I had Spam, but I have to admit that I have always liked it. The first time I ever went to Hawaii I was amazed that Spam is almost considered to be "Holy Ground", they really love it there. Good and enjoyable post!

  2. Very humorous post, Jerry and Suzy. As you might recall, I grew up in Osage, Iowa, a mere 20 miles or so south of Austin, Minnesota. I've been by the Hormel (Hor' mel, not Hor mel' to locals) plant but I never had a chance to go on the tour. I like Spam, Dave does not. Green Giant is famous in that area, too, so thanks for posting the pictures. It was a trip down memory lane for me!


  4. A delightful story. I look forward to going to some of these places in the future!

  5. Well, that post kind of Spam scrambled my brains a bit but I think I caught the Spamdrift of where you were Spamelly going. How much can a Spam can ham if a Span Man can spam ham. What....there I go again:))

  6. Funny! We also visited Spam Central in July while at the Winnebago Grand Rally-it was a hoot! Still have not tried the Spam we bought, but I guess it lasts forever :)

  7. I loved it, great spam story. I have noticed that they are coming out now adays with a lot of different flavors and meats, not just ham anymore.

  8. Don grew up in Hawaii, eating Spam as a normal staple of his daily repast. Now Guam has surpassed Hawaii with the highest Spam consumption, but Hawaii maintains its place as the U.S. State that eats the most. Spam, that is. Now, I have to go out and get some Spam to go with our French Toast tomorrow!

  9. Great spam post!! I think you should email it to everyone you know (and don't know), that way you could become the first 'Spam, Spammer' on the Internet.

    I haven't had Spam in a lot of years, but I still remember Spam sandwiches growing up as a kid. I always thought they were o.k. as long as I used lots and lots of mustard.

  10. I love Spam. I attended a party one time that was themed "Trailer Park Trash" and we had a Spam Carving Contest. The stuff makes a great medium for sculpting. Maybe a good icebreaker for your next Rally.

  11. We love Spam and actually picked up two cans for our next trip. It makes a quick and easy meal when traveling.

  12. How about green eggs and spam?

  13. How much fun was that story!!! You guys are great entertainers!


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