Oregon City

Souvenir Sunday: 22-foot tall candles and tiny Lego pilots

I spent the last few days poking around Oregon’s Mt. Hood territory, stopping in small towns with ‘wonder what’s there’ names such as Boring, Rhododendron, Happy Valley, ZigZag and Damascus.

Visiting Damascus was a special treat, because out in front of the Damascus Fire Station there’s a 22-foot-tall candle.

For years, this was just an ugly concrete cylinder that only faintly honored the real 20-ton candle the town created in 1959 for the Oregon Centennial Exposition.  But in 2009 the ‘cylinder’ was painted and fixed up for Oregon’s 150th birthday, or sesquicentennial.  It’s now a lovely antique-red color with realistic candle ‘drippings.’

I’d love to tell you some of the other roadside attractions I encountered on this trip. There’s the the tiny six-car Canby Ferry that crosses the Willamette River in about four and a half-minutes. And the country’s only outdoor municipal street elevator, in Oregon City, which travels 130-feet up and down Elevator Street in 15 seconds.

But it’s Sunday. More specifically: Souvenir Sunday, the day Stuck at the Airport takes a look at some of the fun, under $10 souvenirs discovered out on the road, especially at airports.

This week’s souvenir wasn’t found at an airport. But it is is fun. And it is aviation-related.

On a tour of the candy-making supplies for sale next door to Ladybug Chocolates in Canby, Oregon, I spotted some airline-themed characters in among the hundreds of Lego mini-figures available to top cakes, candies,  and cupcakes.

Owner John Masek told me that some rare Star Wars characters they sell can top $15 or $20 dollars.  But these airline pilots (with whatever they’re holding) are a deal at well under $10.