Monday, June 23, 2014

A Visit to Tinkertown

The outside was fascinating in and of itself
I've talked before about Artist's Dates, and this past week I had the chance to go to a new and quirky place with my son on what amounted to a combined Artist Date and nice afternoon with him.

We visited Tinkertown in Sandia Crest, which is located on the eastern side of the Sandia Mountains, about 20 minutes outside Albuquerque. It's a museum filled with carvings by Ross Ward, collectibles from all over the world, and even a boat that's travelled around the world. The museum is surrounded by pine trees, and when we got out of the car, I could smell horses along with the forest's scent. Sure enough, there was a small paddock nearby where a couple of horses watched over us.
A wee little burial

There is a lot to see in every single bit of space in the museum. It's made of a couple dozen rooms linked by some crazy wooden walkways that were pretty steep in some areas, with old license plates and horseshoes embedded here and there and glass bottles in the walls.

There was an Old West village in miniature, and an entire circus in miniature. In the glass case called Boot Hill, you could watch God and the devil battle it out over one man's soul while skeletons danced at the top of a hill overlooking a tiny cemetery.
The art car

One of the things that touched me most, though, was when we stumbled across an art car. Ross Ward was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, and eventually he got to the point where he figured he shouldn't drive his car anymore, but he didn't know what to do with it. A friend suggested he turn it into a piece of art. And so he did. He wasn't tempted to drive it anymore since it was a piece of art and no longer just his car. I found it an interesting and insightful solution into the problem of giving up one's car when the time as appropriate.

I find it remarkable that one person's passion grew so much and became popular enough to draw in thousands of visitors every year.

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