One Man, One Mission, One heck of a good time! (7/21/03)
Last updated 7/27/03
Russian translation here
Both "Eccentric America" and
"Roadtrip America" convinced us that we had to visit TinkerTown during
our drive through New Mexico. This place does not disappoint, and if
you ever have the chance I would highly recommend this place -- whether
you're a kid, or just a kid at heart, you'll have an amazingly good
time looking at all the fun stuff there is in this place. It was built
by a single person, Jim Ross (I believe), who started out by building
his own miniature wild-west town set as a kid, and then rediscovered
this hobby as an adult to build what is now TinkerTown. The whole place
consists of various wild-west miniature sets, working circus
sets, and wonderful quirky signs (all done in beautiful circus script
-- Jim painted signs for circuses at some point in his career, see the
sign below for an example), all with an exquisiste amount
of detail in them. They are many sets which are animated in some
fasion, with little western miniatures who move around, or sing, or
play instruments, or just go about the jobs that they would be doing if
they were real live people. There are miniature circuses, and too many
other things to mention. It's the most fun I've had in a long time, and
the current owner, Carla Ross, Jim's wife, has done a great job of
promoting his legacy. Carla is one of the friendliest people you could
hope to meet, and we chatted for quite some time and learned a lot
about each other and about TinkerTown.
Note for Carla: I learned from my father that the folk artist you spoke
of is Nick Chand (spelling questionable), and he made the "Rock Garden"
in Chandigarh. I'll be sure to visit the Rock Garden during our trip to
India and will post information and pictures on the website.
Note: The pictures shown here
hardly do this place justice, so believe me, if you're ever in the
region, you definitely should stop here (you'll even get a little
pushpin to put on a large map of the world to mark your home town).
At the entrance to the Tinkertown museum.
Got bottles? Use them as wall building material!