It’s only fitting that a day which ended with a flame-spewing Trailer Trash Man in someone’s front yard actually began with a search for another atomic cannon. “Another” because we’ve seen the grandaddy of this really bad idea outside Fort Riley in Kansas, and wanted to compare Yuma, Arizona’s specimen. But it turned out to be more difficult than we’d planned, due to lack of good signage, which led to lots of aimless driving around outside the Proving Grounds. Advantage Kansas definitely--both for size and marketing!
Actually, it turned out to be a War & Peace mini-tour, since US 95 out by the Proving Grounds also runs by a tiny white church. We did some comparing with others we’ve seen in the Midwest, and agreed this classic six pewed beauty was a true title contender, with better than average paneling inside...
Roadside attractions were really the order of the day, continuing in Gila Bend, AZ with the Space Age Motel. This one went up in the 60s, and has stuck with its spacey ways. Duke Fox, the owner says it’s a lot of fun running a Best Western like no other, what with its saucer topped lobby and NASA graphics throughout. Plus he and his wife were muy generoso with Space Age mementos and shirts. Can you say TV Weasels?
And then we hit Phoenix. Or at least the traffic that surrounds it. After a bit of wandering we drove by Mr. Lee’s Oriental Rock Garden. Unfortunately, he passed away a few months back, so no use stopping in... But the place still looked great, and we rolled a little tape in his honor as we rolled by.
The real destination was Scottsdale by dark. That’s where Richard Wizardry demoed some of his pyrophonic creations, like Toaster Boy and Trailer Trash Man. He recycles appliances and kitchenware, metal and wire into sculptured forms and cues them with a keyboard to SHOOT FIRE! Right there in his front yard while we whooped in approval. And roasted weenies and toasted s’mores. Very impressive, and definitely nothing quite like we’ve ever seen before.
Music In the Van--Dixie Chicks “Long Time Gone”, David Byrne “Grown Backwards”,Shout Sister Shout” (Tribute to Sister Rosetta Thorpe)