There’s truly nothing like my friend Stan or the amazing place he calls home. Stan himself, as you might have gathered by looking at this photo, is a one of a kind individual who beats to a different drum and seems to care less about what others would think of him or his colorful life. Stan was a collegiate track and field athlete who graduated college with a degree in chemistry and later taught high school chemistry, but after a short stint determined the vocation was not for him and came to the realization that he only obtained a degree in chemistry because “he was told to go get a college degree”.
He loved working with his hands and specifically woodworking so he got a job framing houses and began the transformation to cabinet maker, craftsman, and artisan of one of the more eclectic collections you will ever see. He has now been in the woodworking field for close to 50 years and has been working on this home and property for close to 30.
Stan’s place and his collection of “art” is hard to imagine and comprehend. In fact, although you will see some interesting photos below until you actually visit this in person you just can’t do it justice. I’ve tried to explain it to people and I’m sure they just have no idea what I’m talking about or perhaps think I’m exaggerating.
Every year in September Stan holds what he calls “The Dove Fest” which is a big party and BBQ extravaganza that coincides with the opening of Dove hunting season in Texas. His place is about 10 acres with a large creek and pond that bisects the property and is perfect for bird hunting. To kick off and prepare for the celebration hunters arrive on Thursday to shoot and prepare doves and quail for the Saturday BBQ. Stan spends several days in preparation while others bring side dishes, breads, and desserts. There is usually more food than can be eaten.
Once the party starts on Saturday friends and family from all around show up for a smorgasbord of food and BBQ along with hours of jokes and tall tales. The party starts around noon and probably goes until midnight. The food is great and the atmosphere incredibly unique. There are all types of characters as cowboys, farmers, business types, construction workers, and many others show up for the annual celebration.
What I enjoy doing the most, though, is touring Stan’s place and seeing his incredible collection of art that he has made out of scrap over many, many years of collecting, designing, and fabricating. It seems that nothing goes unused as Stan thinks of things that no one else would and turns them into art or things of function.
Nothing is ever thrown away and eventually gets re-purposed into something most people could never imagine. Stan has a few junk collectors visit him on a regular basis and he either buys, trades, or barters for things that catch his eye and with 10 acres of land and various buildings and structures throughout he seems to “catalog” things into areas where he can find them. I met one of the “junk men” that stop by, an amazing individual that goes by the name of “Dennis the Junk Man”. He just happened to have a hard back book about his life that he autographed and talked me into buying for $20.
Smokers or BBQ grills? Stan probably has 40 of them, many that he has handmade from various components like the car parts you see above.
Stan is not really a “car guy” but there is a section on the property that contains about 20 cars which will likely be parked forever.
Golf clubs? Stan has hundreds of them. Maybe thousands.
I wish I had pictures of the wood shop which is flat out ingenious. I’ve had the chance to work in there while Stan and I were making some cabinets and it is amazing. But once you walk back into the property your eye catches one thing after another.
As you walk through the property it takes a while to let everything sink in. The photo below is typical. First there is one of Stan’s sculptures made out of brick with bottles for decorations, one of about 50 such sculptures on the property. The next thing to note are the steps and the small aluminum “bridge” which spans about 20 feet to traverse the creek – be careful as you walk across or you will end up in the creek. Stan purchased excavation equipment when he first bought the property and one of his first tasks was digging out the creek and making a dam to hold the water back.
Look further back and you can also see the house in the background.. a house that Stan built himself board by board with much of the components being reclaimed. The interior of the house could be an entire post on itself to highlight its wood and stone work and other features such as a underground “bunker”.
You will see car and truck parts re-purposed in many ways and wire fashioned into various forms such as the “tree” below. Look carefully in the background and you will see several other sculptures and unique works of art…. they are seemingly everywhere on the property.
The sculpture below is more interesting as you get up close and notice it was actually made of barbed wire and other various forms of wire that have been fashioned into “branches”.
Various types of balls are painted and used to add color and interest. Stan loves to play golf so there is par three golf hole along with golf balls used throughout the place.
There are many places to sit to relax and let your senses slow down and take this all in.
It took me awhile to notice the sculpture above is actually some type of prehistoric bird. And, of course, what would a place be if it didn’t have a suit of armor placed on guard up in a tree?
Apparently Stan likes the Incredible Hulk as there are at least 50 Hulk Heads, all with colored marbles for eyes placed strategically throughout the place to scare off any unwanted intruders.
These photos are of what I would best describe as a shrine – one that is being guarded by a few Hulk Heads. What a place – There’s just nothing else like it.