Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Dinosaur Not So National Park...

I love roadside art. The quirkier the better. I watch Rare Visions and Roadside Revelations whenever possible. And - if you are ever behind me on a state highway or a country road, it would be wise to maintain your distance.

I brake for roadside art.
Should I post a hazard warning on my rear bumper?

Neighbors and passersby tend to regard these creators of grassroots art as "slightly daft," and that may ring true with the occasional old crackpot (to remain unnamed here), but often these folks have an unrequited artistic itch and a compulsion to entertain, to create something for pure enjoyment. Formal art training is not required - perhaps a hindrance to the spontaneous creativity needed for undertakings of this type. Such was definitely the case with the late Robert Dorris of rural Erie, Kansas, who assembled the menagerie of creatures known as the Dinosaur Not So National Park in the yard of his farm home. Dorris fabricated this herd of dinosaurs and reptiles after retiring from his career as an engineer in the Air Force.

I did not run across this attraction by accident. It was featured on Rare Visions several years ago, and I ran across it again on that PBS show's web site: Leery about going on private property to look around and take photographs, I was relieved to find family members relaxing on the front porch of the farmhouse, and they encouraged me to enjoy my visit.

The following short slide show is a whimsical view of the Dinosaur Not So National Park. As Bob Dorris hoped that his creation would bring a smile to the face of children of all ages, I hope this video will do the same for you!

Music: "Marche du Soldat" from Igor Stravinsky's "L'Histoire du Soldat"

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