And lots of products that he brings forth from the things others throw away. He's trying to get us to realize that the earth has just about had enough! So if his art can help get the message through to kids that we're choking the planet, then his "Grizzled Wizard" persona is time well spent. We visited him first at his studio across from the Firestone HQ near downtown, and then at his equally art=packed house, where the yard yielded more of the colorful giant scrapflowers for which he is known. Also saw a cool frog he'd made at a library nearby...
You'll notice a certain wet, gray shade to the photo, which I snapped between downpours on this chilly AM. Mike had sung a stanza or two of "Rainy Days and Mondays" to get us going (and scare us a bit) before we gave ourselves over to the PR Experience. It came complete with a lunch trip to Luigi's, an Akron institution which features a giant pizza the Junkman made in 2003 on the outside. Luigi's is also known for a 1949 Mechanical Bandbox above the front door that comes to life when the jukebox is played. Or did anyway, until it jammed up, and awaits the repairman. We ate heartily nonetheless, gazed up at the nearby building where Chrissie Hynde calls home, and even stood in the crotch of Akron's Y Bridge while discussing what exactly a "hectare" is. (10,000 square meters, it turns out.)
Then it rained like heck and we called it a day.
Music In the Van--"Sugar Mountain Live (1969)" Neil Young