We all love good people, people with marketable skills which are used for furthering our hope for humanity. The good person of the day is Charles Horn of Oconto, Nebraska, a town with a population of 151 as of 2010.
In the late 90s, Charles Horn was in Colorado on a whitewater rafting trip when he saw a scrap metal bird in someone’s lawn. This inspired him to create his own pieces, and he created… and created… and created. About three years ago, a vacant lot in town went up for sale due to back taxes, and Horn bought the lot to make the CHARLES HORN OCONTO SCULPTURE GARDEN- S. Railroad St. and 7th St., Oconto, NE.
The sculpture garden can be seen from the highway and often travelers stop to take pictures. Horn also donates pieces for charity auctions (many of which have brought in around $10,000). Between putting Oconto on the map (slowly but surely) and donations, Horn makes our “good guys” list.
Meanwhile, his sculptures are fun, innovative, even whimsical; they are composed of a variety of scrap items such as propane tanks, nuts, bolts, sickles, tractor parts, and whatever else he finds lying around.
This sculpture in the following picture was a request from the people of Oconto to commemorate the Halloween tornado of 2000 which completely devastated the small town (though no injuries were reported thanks to warnings from the NOAA’s National Weather Service). The tiger on top is for the mascot of the former school which closed for consolidation… and I accidentally cut it off in the picture because I wanted to get the ant in the foreground, and it was so bright I couldn’t really see very well… oops, sorry.
He has several other pieces in his yard at his house. Perhaps someday another nearby lot will begin attracting metal animals.
Oconto is a typical small sandhills town in Nebraska where Sunday afternoon traffic in the summer brings more tractors and four-wheelers than cars, yet the tranquility is befitting of a stroll through a sculpture garden.
Until next time, dahlings…