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Cadillac Ranch & Quirky Amarillo - Page 2

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In Amarillo, 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 Cadillac Ranch on old Route 66, didn't stop there with his "artistic endeavors."


"Art," Marsh 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 pretentious.

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 interesting ride!


Northwest of Amarillo, 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.

Stanley Marsh Sign in Amarillo, TexasAnother 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.


Marsh 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 eccentric signs. 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 home.




© Kathy Weiser/Legends of America, updated March, 2015.





Also See:


Amarillo, Texas - Panhandle Cowtown

The Cadillac Ranch

The Haunted Natatorium



Stanley Marsh's Actual Size in Amarillo, Texas.

"Actual Size", just outside of Amarillo, Texas, Kathy Weiser-Alexander, November, 2008.

This image available for photographic prints HERE!



Quirky Stanley Marsh sign in Adrian, Texas

Marsh's signs are not confined to Amarillo. This one is

 located in Adrian, Texas, Kathy Weiser-Alexander, November, 2008.

Image available for photo prints & editorial downloads HERE.


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