Ranch & Quirky Amarillo
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Texas there was a driving force behind
many of the odd attractions that you will see here -- Stanley Marsh,
3. Marsh, responsible for the building of the popular
Ranch on old
didn't stop there with his "artistic endeavors."
said, "is a legalized form of insanity, and I do it very well."
Stanley Marsh, 3 made his mark on
Amarillo in more than one way. Though the Texas millionaire was eccentric, he was also said
to be very down to earth, quickly disregarding the "III” as too
From the Cadillac Ranch, Marsh moved onto other endeavors including a giant phantom
pool table that can only be seen from the air, to huge sculpted legs
south of the city, to a plethora of strange signs posted throughout
Amarillo. In any event, it's an
Marsh painted a mesa to look like it’s floating, where hundreds of
sheets of plywood were painted sky blue on the side of a tall hill. Unless it's overcast, the resulting impression is that the summit is
floating. The mesa is located about 8 miles northwest of Amarillo
via Tascosa Road.
oddity was that of the Giant Phantom Soft Pool Table, who few have seen. The pool table sculpture is a 180-by-70 foot rectangle of dyed green
grass complete with 42-inch plastic balls. Saying "maintaining
good art should not be seen but dreamed about," he has kept his pool
table hidden somewhere on his thousands of acres of family land - seen
for the most part only by cows, cowhands, snakes and low-flying
airplanes. "I move it twice a year, on May Day and Halloween, or
whenever I feel like it," Stanley once said.
was also the man behind 200 signs on display at Amarillo
homes and businesses. Looking very much like colorful municipal signs,
they don't dispense traffic or parking rules, instead they offer a
variety of offbeat slogans. One reads "Strong drink." "What is a
village without village idiots?" asks another. There are dinosaur and
ostrich "x-ings," signs that read "Road Does Not End." There was a
sketch of Mona Lisa with the words: "Men have loved her." On Monroe
Street, a Marilyn Monroe sign.
While the signs are spread
out around Amarillo
and the surrounding area, Old San Jacinto is the neighborhood where
you'll see them in the highest concentration. The ever-enigmatic Marsh
explained the signs, saying, "They are to be looked at."
"The signs are just there, like the Rock of
Gibraltar or the Statue of Liberty. They are a system of unanticipated
rewards." Marsh provided the official-looking diamond-shaped signs to
anyone who would put them up on
their property. Stanley Marsh, 3 died in June of 2014 at the age of 76.
While Marsh didn't care if people sprayed graffiti on the cars at the
Cadillac Ranch, he wouldn't tolerate anyone messing with his
True Texan in form, Marsh had more than
a few run-ins with the law over his brand of enforcement. At one
point, it was said, that he pinned an 18-year old boy with a hammer
inside his chicken coop, when the boy was caught red-handed with one
of his signs.
Other eccentricities included
a billboard-scale sign on his property that
read “Actual Size,” and he created a gargantuan necktie, 40 feet long
and 8 feet wide, which he placed around the chimney of his mother’s
of America, updated March, 2017.
- Panhandle Cowtown
The Haunted Natatorium
"Actual Size", just outside of Amarillo, Texas,
This image available for photographic prints
Marsh's signs are not confined to
This one is
located in Adrian,
Texas, Kathy Weiser-Alexander,
Image available for photo prints & editorial downloads
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