Meeting the local eccentric scuptor in mullinville kansas

For years, the speck of a town on the map in western Kansas, mullinville, has been a highlight of our nine hour drive from des Moines to wright,Kansas (another speck) thanks to the ever-growing collection of nine foot high whirligigs and metal sculptures lining two-lane highway 400. Many are labeled with familiar names – apparently a commentary on the likes of al gore, Janet Reno, Ted Kennedy, hillary(of course) and even Laura bush (we noticed laura this morning when we parked alongside the near deserted highway to take a closer look and some photos. As we were getting back in the car, a dusty pickup truck came driving towards us and I half expected to need to run for cover. The truck pulled up next to us and an old Guy with a toupee, craggy face, overalls adorned with strange large round plastic buttons and two splotches of blue paint on his knuckles looked at us with piercing eyes and said “you like my stuff?”
He and my husband chatted for a bit – he knew of my husband’s family “good Catholics from Spearville.” He mentioned he was indeed “in a fight with the city council” aka “nazi goose steppers”. Which we we gleaned from one installation along the highway in town which included a toilet bowl (a popular element in his art, several swastikas, and some angry references to things like the Gestapo. (look here for photos tomorrow!)
We did drive down the narrow dirt road lined with more curious sculptures past his studio to see what pissed off the city council and found several homemade private property-keep out signs in the middle of the road, which he appeared to claim as his property. We are guessing that’s the issue – or one of the issues – with the powers that be in mullinville. I wanted to ask him a bit about his politics but conversation didn’t move in that direction. We’re guessing he’s somewhere between a libertarian and an anarchist.


Filed under Kansas misc

2 responses to “Meeting the local eccentric scuptor in mullinville kansas

  1. Heather

    Please tell me you got pictures of the artist himself!

    • betsyrubiner

      I wish. We didn’t dare but there was a nytimes story about him awhile back. I will try to find for you. Kisses to Lucy!

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