As most readers know, I grew up in a small rural community in Indiana.
The place is so unexciting you’ll notice that, other than physical description like population and area, the Wikipedia articles for the two are pretty much the same.
There’s only so much you can say about wide expanses of corn and bean fields (although the entry for the town does include mention of the annual, world famous (I’ve got a story about that I’ll tell you someday), Pork Festival).
Don’t get me wrong. I still consider Tipton County to be my home (even though I’ve lived away from there significantly longer than I lived there) and it was a great place to grow up.
Anyway…I wasn’t an actual witness to the event, but my father related the story to me once while we were at his mother’s home for some family gathering or another.
Basically, the County newspaper, the Tipton Tribune, which generally consisted of about 4 pages, half of which were the comics and classified ads, published a Front Page Story on April 1st of some undetermined year in the past (for all I know it may have been before I was born) about how the Tipton County Courthouse had had its clock tower severely damaged when it was attacked by a Pterodactyl.
The story was complete with a picture of the beast attacking the clock tower and the tower itself virtually destroyed.
Keep in mind that this was before the age of digital photography or the “special effects” that would make creating such a picture easy in this day and age. They went to a lot of trouble to make the picture and make it look realistic.
Apparently, when my grandmother saw the paper, she swallowed the story hook line and sinker. She wasn’t completely convinced that the story was an April Fools joke (they had a PICTURE of it for Pete’s sake) until the next time they went to town and saw the intact clock tower.
What’s intriguing to me is that my Dad found the story so funny, he actually kept a clipping of the news story from the paper. My mom may still have it somewhere…I’ll have to ask her some time.
Anyway, I always enjoyed that story (and the uncontrollable mirth it always brought to my dad) and personally nominate it for induction into the April Fools Joke hall of fame.