The man at the front door wasn’t wearing shoes, instead he had two plastic bags over his feet. Laying down, his sticky dreads filled the space between his beard and his wool hat. His eyes where in there somewhere too.
We had been dodging the rain-sun-rain routine of the East coast for most of the day, which made it an optimal time to peep this crazy roadside gallery. “Its an interactive gallery, so touch anything and everything” Said the shoeless guy, before he returned back to his own brand of freestyle whistle tunes. Eventually he stepped into a side room, leaving us alone with a bus full of magic.
Nothing in the bus used power that wasn’t generated by the Gypsy’s own network of human, solar or wind energy. Every corner held a little secret toy, crank or gem. Hold this down, and this thing over here starts to fly. Hold that down and this thing lights up. It was like stoner OMSI. Odd art plastered the gaps between homemade contraptions.
You know those crazy guys, and I do mean legit “wide eye” crazy, that have weird aspirations to justify their collections of odd useless things? Well this guy actually pulled it off. I can imagine the whole thing started with a single funny shaped piece of drift wood, which became 5 pieces of drift wood, which became a statue. Years later its avalanched into a literal mountain of electronics, games and sculptures. Mothers warn their daughters against the company of these sorts of men.
Eventually, dready bag foot man, joined us in front of the gallery to make surf small talk as he finished rolling his fat looking cigarette. “I didnt build this stuff he said, I just, like, you know, watch it for a friend.” Its hard to imagine if hes talking about the cigarette or the gallery. Convoluting matters worse, in my minds playback of the conversation, I chose to cast Ceech as his voice over. Then we went to the road to enjoy his smoke and we went up the hill to enjoy the Theater (of sorts).
Really, his whole collection can be viewed as a single piece. A public bank of one mans curiosity, drive to collect and create. And that, is something that is truly inspiring.
Some friends shot a video of the bus, which is still only one step closer to explaining the craziness.