Sunday, December 03, 2006

Windmills, The Palm Trees of Route 66

By Karl Nichols

Windmills remind me of palm trees. I think it has to do with the fact that when the wind blows through the palm trees or windmills, it has a relaxing effect on me. Driving down Route 66 recently, I saw a windmill across the fields sitting motionless even though the wind was blowing about 20 miles an hour. It was as if the wind was blowing everywhere except at the windmill. It was probably rusted tight though inactivity. The windmills stand unused for the most part; looking for all the world like the jutting rib bones or dead dinosaurs haphazardly strewn here and there in a random pattern all along Old Route 66. The use of the windmill has slowed down due to many changes in our environment, electricity, changes in crop and animal usage on the farms. However the windmill is slowly gaining acceptance in the environmental field as a great tool as an alternative fuel. Not only can you pump water with a windmill, but also you can create electricity for home and business use. I am seeing huge fields of gigantic windmills cropping up in many states for electrical use only.

I was surfing the Internet recently and decided to do a search for windmills, the results were gratifying! There were many windmill websites including a couple of windmill magazines. Among the information on the websites I ran across was an ongoing effort to interest the post office in to making a commemorative stamp for windmills. One of the more interesting websites was dedicated to a windmill museum in Shattuck. Oklahoma. It has an interesting collection of rare & restored windmills from the 1850s to the 1950s symbolizing the method by which farmers were able to settle farm land that was without adequate ground water. The collection includes over 30 wonderful examples of pioneer ingenuity & spirit. Open daily for group tours available by appointment. This facility is handicapped accessible. P.O. Box 755, Shattuck, Oklahoma 73858 - 580-938-2818. Visit their website at

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