September 15, 2010
Between Kitsch and the Sublime
A meditation on the World's Largest Ball of Twine and the other enormous things that dot the American Landscape:
If size and apparent uselessness can make otherwise ordinary things seem extraordinary, so too does location. America’s largest things are typically found along roadsides within or near small, rural towns. There they become “topographical mascots,” as the critic and poet Susan Stewart once called them, familiar and easy enough to overlook amidst the urban clutter and commotion. In a small town with few attractions and little evident activity, it is much harder to ignore or take for granted a mammoth bagel (Mattoon, IL) or a vast fishing bobber (Pequot Lakes, MN). There such things retain their strangeness; they are highly visible and meant to be reckoned with.
(pic: The much-contested Largest Ball of Twine in Cawker City, Kansas. Photo used under creative commons license)
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Sorry for commenting on a completely unrelated question, but my comment is about a post from five years ago--the wonders of google. You posted on a Pennsylvania case, Regions Mortgage Inc. v. Muthler, in which a surviving spouse did not have to pay a mortgage because the mortgage was only in her husband's name. Do you know if this reasoning has been adopted in any other full tenancy by the entirety states? If no other such case exists, how persuasive would this case b as authority in other states. Thanks!
Posted by: Bob | Sep 17, 2010 11:18:03 AM
I don't know how widely this view has been adopted, and PA tends to be very strong in its protection of tenancies by the entirety. There is also a wide divergence of treatment of tenancy by the entirety between the states. Whether the PA court would be persuasive would depend on whether the state in question followed the same approach. A Hawaii case called Sawada v. Endo has a good summary of the approaches.
Posted by: Ben Barros | Sep 17, 2010 12:31:25 PM
Thanks very much. What is your general opinion about the approach of Maryland?
Posted by: Bob | Sep 17, 2010 12:54:54 PM
Bob, I don't know what approach Maryland follows, and since I'm not admitted there, I can't venture an opinion.
Posted by: Ben Barros | Sep 20, 2010 9:54:15 AM