Melvin "Pop" Thayer
Pop Thayer, a mechanic by trade, was born in upstate New York and eventually moved to a long stretch of land in Central Florida fenced off with barbed wire, not to retire but rather to populate it with an amazing array of homemade cars, planes, boats, and trains--windmills and whirlygigs after a fashion--stuck on posts and poles, waving and turning in the wind at passing vehicles.
A two-propeller airplane has a wing with a faint "Chevrolet" shadow where the nameplate on a pickup once was; metal that says "Atari 5200"; wheels from a shopping cart; reflectors from bicycles; a base made from a coke can, a tube, and a Kodak slide tray; and a three-foot car antenna. Next to it a horseman goes round on a bicycle. A Ferris wheel, a blimp, a 1930 Packard, the Pierson Saddle Club, a police car, plastic elves, gnomes, all monuments of a singular imagination and resourceful artistry.
Copyright © 1999 Jeffrey Knapp and Tamara Hendershot.