The Power of Community

Francis A. Johnson of Darwin, Minn., started a ball of twine in March 1950 and kept going for 29 years. The ball is 12 feet in diameter and weighs 17,500 pounds.

That’s impressive, but it’s also inspiring. Frank Stoeber of Cawker City, Kan., heard about Johnson’s achievement and started his own ball. Sadly, when he died in 1974, Stoeber’s ball measured 11 feet — just short of his goal.

But, in fine Frank Capra style, Cawker City built an open-air gazebo over the ball and began holding a “Twine-a-Thon” every August to increase it.

They’ve succeeded. The Cawker City ball now incorporates 1,325 miles of twine … and weighs 17,554 pounds.

Sunburn Alley

In Nevada, U.S. Route 50 is known as “The Loneliest Road in America.” Because of the barren terrain and low traffic, AAA warns its member to stay off the road unless they’re sure of their survival skills.

There are only five towns along the road, and all of them offer “Route 50 Survival Kits.” Stop in all five and you’ll get a survival certificate signed by the governor.

A Rodent Condo

The largest known beaver dam was discovered near Three Forks, Mont.

It was 2,140 feet long, 14 feet high, and 23 feet thick at the base.