Sometimes life throws you a curve ball, as it did one warm spring day when–top down–I screeched my rented convertible to a halt on the way from Wichita to Dodge City. Ahead of me was the strangest field of dreams I’d ever seen: giant whirligigs blowing in the wind above the Kansas prairie. I had to stop. I had to investigate. And when I did I came face to face with not only the distorted renderings of frogs and pigs but the visionary folk artist who created the weird roadside menagerie. Dressed in paint-spattered overalls, he too was suspended momentarily in the Kansas sky as he sat on a large tractor, mowing the back of a field occupied by his scrap metal sculptures. At first, he didn’t move; then, warily, he turned off his mower and dismounted. The next thing I knew he was giving me a cook’s tour of his rogues gallery, occupied by warped kinesthetic versions of Bill and Hillary Clinton, Elvis, Marilyn, and Hitler to name a few.
After that, the ghosts that occupy Dodge City–Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, Bat Masterson–were pretty much a letdown . . . .