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jun 15 2010

Landmark "Jesus" in Ohio struck down by lightning

Few things define an all-American road trip more than quirky roadside landmarks. There's the Great Ball of Twine in Cawker City, Kansas, the Redwood Drive-Thru in northern California, and the 65-foot-tall wood-and-tin statue of Lucy the Elephant in Atlantic City, N.J., to name just a few.

Last night, during a violent electricity storm, the great state of Ohio (yes, admittedly my beloved home state) lost one of its most iconic attractions. The "King of Kings" statue outside Solid Rock Church—a 65-foot-tall Jesus, rising up out of a lake with his arms raised along busy I-75—was struck by lightning and burned to the ground.

Locals, of course, don't know what to make of this apparent sign of the apocalypse. "I can't believe Jesus was struck," one onlooker mused in a Dayton Daily News article today. He also noted that, "the giant Hustler Hollywood sign for the adult store across the street was untouched."

All wisecracks aside, though, the loss of this statue surely will be felt beyond the greater Dayton area. It's been a mainstay along the busy interstate since 2004, and it's famous across the area. Its multiple nicknames include "Touchdown Jesus" (its raised arms looked like a referee signaling a TD call) and "Big Buttery Jesus" (its wood and Styrofoam exterior looked exactly like, yep, butter).

Now I suppose all there is to do is wait for the locusts.

Or hope for a new roadside wonder to take TD Jesus's place.

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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