The week after I retired, my husband had a business trip to Phoenix. Since I no longer have the proverbial clock to punch, I was able to tag along. In Phoenix, I found several fun roadside attractions; the best by far was visiting Mr. Don Parks and his collection of oddities, large items, and general memorabilia.
Mr. Parks is a Vietnam veteran, and after leaving the Air Force he worked from McDonnell Douglas and Lockheed as a jet and helicopter mechanic. Mr. Parks told me to call him "Don," so I will in this little writeup. Don was nice enough to spend a little over an hour with me and gave me the tour of one front yard and another front & back yard as well as inside the house. He had so many items in the one house and yard that when the house across the street came on the market he bought it so he could continue with his collecting.
When I pulled up to Don's home - my first thought was "Oh My Goodness" - it was like I hit roadside pay dirt! There is so much stuff that you just can't take it all in at first, second, third, twentieth look. I took a panorama picture to try to show the quantity but believe me the photo does not do justice to this place.
Don told me that his grandparents owned an antique store and he figures that is where he got the 'bug' to collect stuff. One of the items he is most fond of is his giant Paul Bunyan. He bought Paul B. in San Francisco in 1969. His feet were broken off so Don added concrete feet and a base. He sold Paul B. to a shoe store and when the shoe store went out of business they sold him to a lumber store. When the lumber store closed Paul was up for sale again and Don bought him. While Paul B. was visiting elsewhere, someone restored his fiberglass feet so Don was quite pleased to get Paul back in even better shape than before!
Interestingly, Don has never had a single complaint from his neighbors. And, even more interesting, he has only ever had one item stolen - Homer Simpson. Homer used to sit next to Marge holding headless baby Maggie (whaaa ... what happened to her head) but one night someone took Homer. Not cool! However, to have only one item fooled with in 45 years ain't too bad!
If you like Roadside Attractions and you're in Phoenix, it's worth the time to see Don's yards of fun stuff!
Happy & Safe Travels!
Quirky Side Trips
I love road trips! And as far I am concerned no road trip is complete without chasing down a roadside attraction or five. A large Muffler Man, a gigantic Great Dane, a small replica of Graceland, a five pound donut, a guitar tree, a diner with hundreds of hotdog buns signed by various 'famous' folks- these are just a few of the many, many roadside attractions that I've veered off the main road to see. On most of my travels (not just road trips), I try to scout out quirky attractions and will share these with you in this section of the site.