V^good shape* Thanks - SPACES Archives

V^good shape* Thanks - SPACES Archives

Dear Seymour, I hope the enclosed prints are more to your liking J If not, well Before, I was really laboring under the illusion that the pictures ha...

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Dear Seymour,

I hope the enclosed prints are more to your liking J If not, well Before, I was really laboring under the illusion that the pictures had to be square, Of course, feel free to square-up aiy of these images if you want* I went ahead and printed thesn on graded paper, which I more or

less understand, rather "than on-PoOycontrast RC, which I don't. The

pictures of John liHey and Johnnjr Queen still had to be printed on Panalure and RC was all I could find. Sorry the pictures of Johnny Queen aren't

much better, but this was the best I could do, working fran a 52i;7 negative rather than frcni Kodacolor or something like that* X have deluded a

few places frcan South Carolina which you can use if you want, oij go back to the one-newsletter-one-state idea you started with* I do think you put me at a bit of a disadvantage e:xpecting me to cough up the same number of exotic

weirdos as California—a state known for its eccentricities anyway—the

most populous and diverse state in the country, while I'm camped out east

here in a state with less than a fourth of Califoraia's population, and

known primarily for Scots-Irish yecanan farmers and great pork barbeg^uel So count this all as a brave attempt to dredge up sane suitable oddities* I

have added a found-object & cement man so you can subtract poor old Heiman Finney, whan you seem to think is too good at what he does to share space on the same spread—but, just to show the range of the good Msr. Finney's skills, a sample of his blood 'n guts oean:*e is enclosed, a little tableux called

"Old Butchers Never Die, They Just Hack Awajt'*—a real crowd pleaser* You

questioned his public-statement intent, and I forgot to mention that all

garden cement places close down around here for the winter, and re-c^en with

the gardening season, so the fact that I went to see him several times without success shouldn't be interpreted as meaning that he is reluctant to show the

stuff—far fron it* A large sign on the building proclaims "You Are About

To Enter The Realm of Fantastic Art* Return As Often As Ye Will," which is what made me slam on the brakes and go see in the first place* Don't get me wrong—I'm no defender of Hennan Finney, and don't care whether he is in

this selection or not, but I ^ think it tells me more about your own tastes than about his flttajig into a category like this* But anyway.... The photograph of Annie Hooper was taken back when I first started getting

interested in this stuff—when I was 19* I didn' t know much about developing film and the image is a bit grainy, but perhaps after it were screened and shrunk down to 2"x3^' it woiald be usable. Perhaps ncfct* It is your newsletter* A better picture of Butts Tower is enclosed—I just couldn't figure out how to do it as a square picture before* Imagine my relief J Also a close up of one of the windows which may be better than what you already have. Now, on to the new folks* I still may be able ,to add another two places in / North Carolina before you go to press (Hattadare Village, and a. strange church

J near Charlotte reputedly decorated with ^all sorts of weird figures dangling fl'can nearby trees and enclosed in boxes) if I can arrange my job travels to

coincide with their sites.

^ One more thing* I would vastly appreciate it if you would handle these prints

V ^ care, and not allow your layout person or press person to crease, cut,

U ^ inscribe, or soil them* I'm still quite sick and running a fever, and yesterday

—' jj in the darkroom I was very dizzy and tried to get it over with as soon as I

could—SO'I only made one print of each image* I'll need all this stuff back in

^V^good shape* Thanks*

3ti:^.-£ran NC:

Charlie Swaim, an expert on moonshining (he owns over £Lffceen stills), makes a living keeping bees and breeding feist dogs, A self-taught expert on ancient history, Mr, Swaim has decorated his APPAUCHEAN BEE FARM with more than

twenty mi^als depictdjig historical events, famous Indians such as Winnemucca and Sacajawea, ^d figures frcm ancient religious myths. The murals cover his bams, outbuildings, dog kennels, honey house, and pest exterminating business.

The OCCONEECHEE TRAPPER*S LODGE was/jgi^t by Q.J, Stephenson initialy as a

place to house the many things he wHffi^Sfend in the course of tracking down

wild animals and walking his trap line. The same skills that made him an expert professional trappr also helped him find fossils, meteorites, petrified wood, and Civil War fielics, and soon the LODOl was no longer able to contain the

accumulation—so Kr. Stephenson began using tl^e Smml materials in the actual

construction of the building. i^^gorously at work adding to the site, and has expanded his conent-working abilities to include the fabrication

of otters, beavers, and fantastic birds which perch atop the LODGffi:. tCD o

O 4-

Possibles from SC: ,

1

^ construction Upon his retirement a cotton mill workSer in-197^4, Peny The Jennings began of TINTas TOWN on a vacant lot near his heme. miniature city

includes a fort, a hospital, a school, blacksmith shop, hotel, several houses,

a shojiping ma3J., and a textile mill. A "suburb" of the city contains several , outdoor diaramas depicting religious or quasi-religious scenes, ranging fran a manger scene to Santa's wrkshop. It's at Christmas time that TINY TOWN

. really comes into its peak^ when Mr. Jennings illuminates the buildings with r

&

ll'S

-

over 6000 lights.

' All during his professional career as a building contractor, L.C. Carson had • wanted to build a large church or government building hy which he might be remembered, instead of ordinary houses. As retirement = age approached, he began building a city in his backyard that contained many of the buildings he admired in the history of world architecture. Using concrete, bits of bathroom tile, plumbing fixtures, and other items left over fl'coi v^ous

construction projects, he has recreated the Rcanan Cold^seum, the Parthenon, St. Peter's Ranieses' Temple, The Sphinx, and 28 other famous structures,

idbe, like Solomon's Temple, and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, were built according to archaeological conjecture and Mr. Carson's imagination, while

others, like St. Peter's Basilica, have been reinterpreted in color and foiiii according to the availability of materials in his scrap pile. The canbined effect is monumental.

In srCAMORE CITY, 77 year old fomer boxer, bronco buster, and rodeo star D. Land can reteiai to the world of Wild West legend. Unlike most multiple-

structure enviroments, Mr. Land's SYCAMORE CITY is full-scale and completely functional, and a remarkable achievement for a person working essentially alone.

Over the past seventeen years, Mr. Land has constructed a town of fifteen

buildings and areas, includingIfe^very Stable, Blacksmith Shop, Hotel, Timber Tavern, Little Country Church, Linda's General Store, Bess's Curio Shop, Old Wood, City Jail, Bunk House, Hidden Hogan, Breweiy, Boot and Saddle Shop, Pe^on Place, Horse Cemetary, Cactus Garden, and Rodeo Arena. Each of the buildings has been out:&tted with hand-made furniture, and many of the structures are made of logs Mr. Land hewed, and roofed with shingles he rived. Not a

comercial ente^rise. SYCAMORE CITY exists primarily to allow D. Land to

live in the world of his nostalgic dreams. ^ ^

Also in SC

Before it was "cleaned out" ty collectors from Washington, DC, Sam Doyles*s yard and gardens Itinctioned as a personal gallery of sculpture made fron roots, tar, paint and found objects and of paintings done on sheet metal, which depicted aspects of local history, Afro-American folktales, human oddities and freaks, and heroes. Snail gardens shaped like stars, hearts, and moons, outlined in bottles provided a variety of angles from which to approach the free-standing work, Scjme of the sheet-metal paintings were conceived as sculptures as well, designed to turn in the wind on central axes* jSHiftHwihtmrffmliy The visibility of Mr* Doyles^s garden of art has resulted in a mixed blessing—after his work wis included in a landmark

Black folk art exhibit at the Corcoran it became a collectible canmodity. Unfortunately, Sam Doyles only received a snail fraction of the value of the work, and his neighbors can no longer ride by and see "what has been on Sammy's mind of late."

To protect his KINGDOM, Harley Hodges built iHHMHBMnnHteniriiiHflRx a large

wall around it. The wall, known to some locals as The Great Wall of Junk is constructed of wagon wheels, toys, and found objects. The placement of the toys along the top of the wall, and the apparent trajectory of several surplus banbs and missiles (thgrare aimed at a school across the street) suggest that Mr. Hodges means to aggravate local children. Indeed, wherever dolls are included among the toys, they appear to be straining to reach unreachable objects, or else are sdiSRB placed under plows, cars, or impaled on posts.

—^unable to gain access to HODGES KINGDOM; he»s kinda crabb^

W e l l , S e y m o u r, l i k e I s a y, f e e l f r e e t o u s e a n y o f t h e S o u t h C a r o l i n a s t u f f

if you think it will help beef up the spread, but if you'd rather stick to NC, that's fine with me. I mentioned on page one of this screed that I've been interested in this stuff since I was 19, but I just had a recollection— my grandmother was one of Milt Hopkinds neighbors, and all through my childhood whenever we visited Gramma, the two things that I always looked forward to, besides her and her trick dog Caesar, were Disneyland and stopping by to explore Hopkins's yard. She died when I was about fifteen. Why she decided to live out her old age in L.A*, after running a fam and barbecue place in Prattville, Alabama, is beyond me.... Do you want me to send anything like a bio or sonething about the general

Situation For Folk Enviromients in N. C,? If not the latter, maybe you could extract the foimer frcm the enclosed brochure—if you want to include s anething like

that.

Well, let me know if this still isn't enough (all for some little-^Id pictures.'),