Richard Clark, News On 6
NEAR TALALA, Oklahoma -- The strange history of one of northeast Oklahoma's oddest landmarks just got a little weirder.
Someone has updated the famous lost cement mixer of Winganon. Using paint and some props, the artists turned it into a faux space capsule complete with NASA logo, American flag and fake rocket motors.
Located on Winganon Road between Highway 169 and Oologah Lake in Rogers County, the landmark came into being, literally by accident. A cement truck rolled over on the side of the road. The company that owned it came and got the truck, but left the mixer behind because it held tons of concrete.
No one is sure exactly when the wreck happened. Some accounts put it in the early 70s, some in the late 60s and others as far back as 1959.
Since the wreck, graffiti artists have splashed untold gallons of paint on it, sending messages to their friends, just showing off and even making it a memorial to 9/11.
As News On 6 reporter Rick Wells explained in 2008, there was a plan to bury it in place. A former county commissioner put a stop to that, saying he used the landmark to propose to his wife.
The timing of the mixer's new look is interesting, appearing to coincide with the uncontrolled re-entry of NASA's UARS satellite on Friday.
Cheryl Ritzman, who lives near the mixer, says she saw someone working on it over the weekend. Her family noticed it was finished Monday morning, so she took a photo and shared it with us by sending it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Turns out the new paint scheme is also a tribute to wedded bliss.
Heather Thomas said she and her husband, Barry, and some friends came up with the idea to celebrate their 5th anniversary.
They used canning lids, garden hose and other household items to make the transformation.
"The timing with UARS was completely coincidence. We'd been planning it before we knew the satellite was headed back. It was just something different to do and we hoped a new paint job would help curb the spray paint. When it's got fresh paint the kids tend to leave it alone," she said.
She even set up a Facebook page for it: Winganon Space Capsule Facebook page.
Heather told News On 6 they just thought it would be funny to see a space capsule in the middle of a cow pasture in Rogers County.