“You have to come visit! I want to show you what all little ol’ Lucas, Kansas has to offer.”
My buddy, Michaela, has been cranking my arm through the cell phone waves for over a year to come visit.
And I have honestly meant to, but you know how time just meanders away and no one knows where it went. She’s only three hours away, however I had failed to head north. Eventhough I would be totally entertained by her, a porch swing and a Coca-Cola, she kept throwing out lines of enticement she knew I wouldn’t be able to refuse. She knows me too well. Give me something with a funk-a-delic factor and I’m in.
“So 100 years ago, there was this kind of crazy guy named S.P. Dinsmore, who made cement sculptures covering his yard. Most dealt with the Bible, and he named it the ‘Garden of Eden.’ When I give tours there, my favorite thing to do is shine the flashlight on his face, because after he died he wanted to be on display in his mausoleum in the backyard for all eternity.”
Now, who would turn that down, but she kept on with stories of the town putting in a giant toilet bowl and an art center with pop tab creations, limestone carvings and other grass-root art. My imagining took me to an artsyland, but figured I had a good idea what I was in for. Afterall, I have been out of Barber County a time or two.
I was wrong. My mind was blown on so many levels. Woe to me who is attempting to do Lucas justice!
First on the Michaela Tour was Bowl Plaza. When the 450 resident decided they needed public restrooms, the run-of-the-mill loo simply would not hold a flush. Oh no! They created the builing to look like a giant toilet. A hubcab handle and the mosaic seat left in the upriight postition had to be the mark of a male artist. The picture cuts off the giant roll of tp next to it.
Coming inside, a whole world of gender appropriate mosaics summoned us in. Michaela kept pointing out embedded super-hero action figures, sports memorabilia and Avon bottle guns. She swept her arm across the pristine throne and said, “To get the full effect, you need to sit here.” I assured her that I was fine. My mind just needed to adjust, trying to drink in the barage of really uniqueness flying at me. Someone had thought outside the tank to create this. Here’s one of the unusual displays.
Across the neighboring lot was a giant collection of forks stuck in the ground. To me, they were just funky forks, but my eyes were opened to them being a croquet wickets. Hit me in the head with a mallet, because I sure didn’t see that coming.
At the Grass Roots Art Center, I learned that to be considered a ‘grass roots artist’ you can have no professional training, but a passion that compels you to go with the colors streaming through your head and create no-holds-barred. You might make an Abe Lincoln out of used chewing gum, carve or weld anything and everything in arms reach or recycle those pop tabs to make this~
A new project of the town is combing the state to find rocks to replace ones lost and restore a whole village of these buildings. And not just any rocks, but specific ones. (On Facebook, go to Miller’s Park to see if you can help their quest.) This one came to about my hip in height.
The beauty of the town is this: eventhough the little 1920’s meat market has the scrumptious homemade smoked sausages and the familiar meaty smell from my youth to draw me back, and although, I stared boldly in at Mr. S.P. Dinsmore’s stiff ol’ corpse, there is still a treasure trove of attractions we didn’t get to. Like the World’s Largest Collection of the World’s Smallest Things, an impressive snowglobe collection, and maybe even a ride in the jeep with dinosaurs glued to it and spring horses bouncing in the back–dare I dream that big?
Michaela asked me what I was going to do when I got home; she knew my brain was buzzing. I said, “Make a big ol’ mess with whatever crosses my path.” Lucas has succeeded in making my mind go places I could never have imagined. These pictures and my explanations are nothing, absolutely nothing compared to what lays waiting for those willing to wander down the very alive town.
I couldn’t help but remember how that beloved disciple John agonized over, not only giving the revelation given to him, but how could he write to give it justice deserved when never-before-seen colors flowing in front of him? Or what about the gates, each made of one giant pearl? Or the street of pure gold, that was transparent like glass? Or what about the blazing glory of God so bright that there was no night? Oh, to continually be in the Lord’s presence! How does one describe it? (Read Revelation 21-22 for a out-of-this-world refresher course)
While Lucas, KS isn’t heaven, by all means, it certainly opens a door of possibility to imagine what mind-blowing things the Lord is preparing for us. “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.” 2 Cor 2:9