Monday, May 11, 2009

dewey defeats open space!

Traverse City sits on a pretty bay on Lake Michigan, and claims among other things to be the Cherry Capital.   It baked the World's Largest Cherry Pie, some 28,00 pounds in a big steel pie pan back in 1988.  Naturally, we had to see that, and toss some pie puns against the wall to see what would stick.  We even bought a $1 Sara Lee at the bakery outlet store to pay our respects, and I gamely hauled the Big Ball out to see a genuine Guinness claimant.
Then it was off to Honor, a small town with its own still-functioning drive-in theatre--the Cherry Bowl.  It's the real thing, with a great old screen and speaker poles that glow red in the dark (though we were there at noon), not to mention giant fiberglass hot dogs and chickens, even an old Corvair out front.  The owners just opened a cafe and gift shop next door (souvenirs were purchased) and comped us a lunch, complete with peanut butter cheesecake that may have had a few serious calories in it...
Just a few miles further down Highway 31 we saw what was left of Don Crossman's roadside sculpture park.  Don was written up in Weird Michigan a few years back, but died before the book came out.  He was a farmer who just wanted to weld some metal animals, patriotic symbols and Biblical forms for his own amusement, and refused to sell them, because, well, then he wouldn't have them to enjoy!
Our real destination was only a little ways away, on Crystal Lake, where Dewey Blocksma has gradually filled his house and studio with a whole lotta art.  Not just the pieces he makes, but works by other artists (like Joe McCuaig) he admires and collects.  Dewey has an unusual trifecta in his past--as a child he lived in Amarillo, Grand Rapids and Pakistan!  Because of his time overseas, he missed out on typical childhood toys, which may have prompted him to start building some of his own later in life.  He left his career as an ER doc in 1980, and gave himself over to earning 95% less, but with far less stress.  More than any one we've seen he incorporates sporting goods into his sculptures--softballs, catcher's mitts, tennis rackets... And he even joined us for a little catch in the yard.  Dewey's Puzzle Heads are especially great, and lots of fun, but he's still a bit uneasy about being called "whimsical."  We mean it in the best possible way.

Music In the Van--the new Dar Williams, "Love" The Beatles (at least until it started skipping)
Don's Found $$ count--17 cents (but he did discover two $20 bills at the Sara Lee store and turn them in .  Right is right.)

1 comment:

Frank Thompson, KE #3128 said...

I really shouldn't be reading these weasel posts. I begin trying to figure out how to revisit places I've already been to on a once-in-a-lifetime trip in order to see the things I missed!