The inscription above the gateway reads:
Jesus, son of Mary said: ‘The world is a Bridge, pass over it, but build no houses upon it. He who hopes for a day, may hope for eternity; but the World endures but an hour. Spend it in prayer for the rest is unseen.’
Buland Darwaza. Fatehpur Sikri, India. 1601.
Though I barely remember it, Grandpa had a many-splendored front yard at his house in Lindsborg. There were many painted concrete animal statues, whirligigs and he also had the wrench fence. I recall they clanged splendidly in the great plains wind (at least to my five year old ear).
When I was scanning this photo this evening I noticed for the first time there are also two of the aforementioned Reuben Strange whirligigs mounted atop the fence.
Eben Johnson’s Fence. Lindsborg, Kansas. c. 1970.
Eben Johnson’s fence as featured on the front page of The McPherson Sentinel, July 27, 1970.
I still don’t entirely understand the history and origin of this image being as my German is non-existent and Google translator is only so good. Do love the perspective of the room though it’s a pity that Clauss doesn’t appear to have room to stand up without hitting his head on those beautifully rendered ceiling beams.
Clauss Chess, toymaker. 1558.
Thanks to Mike Rodriquez at All the Pages Are My Days blog, the unknown toymaker (to me) has been named.
And thanks to Mike for a perfect picture of a road on which I spent many a happy hour riding upon growing up. My Mom and Dad still live less than two miles from where this photo was taken and when ever I visit home my wife and I never miss an opportunity to take the short walk up that way.
See also some of his splendid images from Kanopolis Lake and Horsethief Canyon, another destination dear to me.
I’ve written a bit about Lester Raymer before. Though his bread and butter was painting, he also had a tradition of making a toy — usually animated — for his wife Ramona every Christmas.
Lester Raymer, Roster on Cart with Wheels. 1980.
from Lester Raymer: A Collection of Essays. Published by Red Barn Studio and The Raymer Society, 1998.
I’ve had these toys for nearly as long as I can remember. I can recall one occasion when my family and I visited the maker’s shop. I was likely not more than four. All I can really remember is that it was dark, dusty, and wonderful. We had other outdoor objects — whirligigs and the like — now surely lost to weather and time. The materials are quite rough and frugal: mostly pallet wood and related cast offs.
These toys now reside my son and daughter’s rooms, high on shelves, as they once did in my bedroom.
It really bugs me that I don’t even know the name of the man who made them.
[UPDATE: Thanks to Mike Rodriquez of Lindsborg for identifying the maker as Rueben Strange.]
Toy made in Lindsborg, Kansas. Maker unknown. Dog pull toy. c. 1979.
Toy made in Lindsborg, Kansas. Maker unknown. Dala horse pulling cart and driver. c. 1979.
Toy made in Lindsborg, Kansas. Maker unknown. Tractor (detail). Underside of bumper reads “PRODUCE OF U.S.A.” c. 1979.
Toy made in Lindsborg, Kansas. Maker unknown. Tractor and trailer. c. 1979.
Toy made in Lindsborg, Kansas. Maker unknown. Train and three cars. c. 1979.
Toy made in Lindsborg, Kansas. Maker unknown. Train (detail). Stair rail boiler and furniture glide headlight. c. 1979.
“The only calibration that counts is how much heart people invest, how much they ignore their fears of being hurt or caught out or humiliated. And the only thing people regret is that they didn’t live boldly enough, that they didn’t invest enough heart, didn’t love enough. Nothing else really counts at all.”
(via my friend Kate)