“…Originally everything about a Greek or Christian building meant something, and in reference to a higher order of things. This atmosphere of inexhaustible meaningfulness hung about the building like a magic veil. Beauty entered the system only secondarily, impairing the basic feeling of uncanny sublimity, of sanctification by magic or the gods’ nearness. At the most, beauty tempered the dread – but this dread was the prerequisite everywhere. What does the beauty of a building mean to us now? The same as the beautiful face of a mindless woman: something masklike.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche, Human, All Too Human: A Book for Free Spirits
“Truth is like poetry. And most people fucking hate poetry.”
—-The Big Short
I don’t know how, but I stumbled across the story of the world’s littlest skyscraper in Wichita Falls, Texas.
I’ve been to Wichita Falls many times… mostly on the way to somewhere else. Not always, when I was younger I used to ride my bike in the Hotter’N Hell 100 mile race. It is famous around these parts – and accurately named.
Once I was in the airport in Wichita Kansas, and in front of me in line at the counter was a panicked young man in an Air Force uniform. “But I’m supposed to be in Wichita Falls!” he said to the agent. As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls.
But back to the littlest skyscraper. Apparently, right after oil was discovered in the Burkburnett field, Wichita Falls became another one of Texas’ many boom towns. They needed office space.
So a con man pitched the idea of a skyscraper. It was going to be 408″ tall. Unfortunately the rubes were so excited they didn’t understand the difference – ‘=feet and “=inches. So the 408 foot skyscraper turned out to be only 408 inches tall – about four stories – and the developer fled town with the excess cash.
I don’t know if I’m going to be back in Wichita Falls anytime soon – but I hope I am. I’ll definitely stop at the skyscraper… even if it’s the worlds littlest.
“But you’re out of another world old kid … You ought to live on top of the Woolworth Building in an apartment made of cutglass and cherry blossoms.”
“The mother-women seemed to prevail that summer at Grand Isle. It was easy to know them, fluttering about with extended, protecting wings when any harm, real or imaginary, threatened their precious brood. They were women who idolized their children, worshiped their husbands, and esteemed it a holy privilege to efface themselves as individuals and grow wings as ministering angels.”
“Cities, like dreams, are made of desires and fears, even if the thread of their discourse is secret, their rules are absurd, their perspectives deceitful, and everything conceals something else.”
“Silence. How long it lasted, I couldn’t tell. It might have been five seconds, it might have been a minute. Time wasn’t fixed. It wavered, stretched, shrank. Or was it me that wavered, stretched, and shrank in the silence? I was warped in the folds of time, like a reflection in a fun house mirror.”
“Here, are the stiffening hills, here, the rich cargo
Congealed in the dark arteries,
That hold Glamorgan’s blood.
The midnight miner in the secret seams,
Limb, life, and bread.
– Rhondda Valley”
The First of the Ninth was a old cavalry division that traded in their horses for helicopters and went tear-assing around ‘Nam looking for the shit…—-Capt. Benjamin Willard, Apocalypse Now
“She glided away towards the lift, which seemed hardly needed, with its earthly and mechanical paraphernalia, to bear her up to the higher levels.”
“We all live in a house on fire, no fire department to call; no way out, just the upstairs window to look out of while the fire burns the house down with us trapped, locked in it.”