When I went to Urban Artifacts the first time, I saw a robotic-like tin man standing behind a fence at someone’s house down the road from the store. It immediately went to the top ten on my obsession list. Who builds a tin man and then puts them in their yard? I really want to meet this person, because I bet there’s more cool shit in their house. But you can’t just walk up to someone’s house, ring the bell and ask if they have any cool shit in their house. Or can you? Hmmm....
Okay, here's the house I was talking about...
And here's the Tin Man standing in the yard behind the fence. I've driven by this house many times and wondered about who lived in here and what else was inside of this place.
Well, we're about to find out. The porch is nice and welcoming, let's see what happens when we ring the doorbell to a complete stranger's house in Peoria.
Okay, here goes nothing. This will either go really good or really bad. But either way it should make for a good post, and that's the main thing! I hear someone coming...
Well, now, so far, so good! Meet Kevin, he had read about the blog in the Peoria Journal Star and happily posed for the MBIP camera. He told me they did have some interesting items inside and invited me in. How easy is this?
Wow, check out this this Ricky Nelson collection they have in the front room of the house! Kevin explained it was put together and curated by his wife and called her into the room.
And here she is and her name's Mary Lou! What else would the biggest Ricky Nelson fan in the world be named? Well, hello, Mary Lou. And yes, it's a laugh a minute when I come over uninvited to your house!
There's more pictures and vintage fan magazines in this green curio cabinet.
Records and CD's loom overhead on this shelf near the ceiling.
This custom made bag holds more Ricky memorabilia.
Here's an autographed picture of Ricky's twin sons, Matthew and Gunnar Nelson. Kevin and Mary Lou met them after a show and they showed them pictures of this collection and the twins said it was the biggest one they had ever seen.
Well it turns out that Mary Lou is not the only collector in this household. Check out Kevin's Green Bay Packer collection on this wall! I'm not even a football fan and I'm impressed!
Who cut the cheese? Okay, you knew that was coming ten blocks away. Kevin said this was one of the first Cheesehead hats ever made and that its yellowed with age.
Kevin said that this signed jersey by legendary Hall of Famer, middle linebacker Ray Nitschke is one of the prized jewels in the collection.
Green Bay Packer dolls and knick-knacks are packed up here on this shelf.
Quite a collection of Green Bay hats to be had here!
Autographed footballs hang beneath a Vince Lombardi Avenue sign.
This sure has been an interesting House Call, but now it's time to throw in the towel and go check out...
The Tin Man. I love this guy! Kevin said he and his grandchildren built it on a whim, just for the fun of it. He said it causes people to wave and say hi as they pass by.
Of course he's decked out in Green Bay Packer gear. Kevin said he also dresses him in a White Sox jersey and at Christmas he puts a Santa hat on his metallic noggin.
I like the way the sunglasses are positioned over the eyes, how else would a Tin Man wear sunglasses?
Kevin told me that he just calls him, the Tin Man, but I'd really like to think of a name for him and then have a shirt made and present it to Kevin. Anybody got any ideas for a name for this guy? Kevin said that he's working on a second Tin Man, so we'll keep a watchful eye for that.
Many thanks to Kevin, Mary Lou and the Tin Man for letting me barge in their house and for sharing their collections with all of us! It was great to hang out with them and I appreciate their hospitality! See you all tomorrow. And hey...let's be careful out there!
Bonus Photo By Goggla!
Goggla sent in this Cardboard Box Man sighting from First Avenue in the East Village. This is the perfect post to put it up on, seeing as the Tin Man reminds me of the kinder, gentler cousin of the somewhat evil Cardboard Box Man. Thanks, Goggla, good to hear from you!