Friday, July 17, 2009
M & M Visit the Toilet Seat Museum
San Antonio boasts of the world's largest, and possibly only, toilet seat museum. Never one to turn down a unique opportunity, I decided to check it out!
Mr. Smith is a retired plumber and is 88 years old. He's also a real sweetheart of a guy and and thoroughly delighted in showing the kids around. He combined his profession with his love of art, and for the last 30 years has designed and created 885 truly unique works. Barney Smith has been featured on national television 3 times (The View, and a few others) as well as locally a number of times.
The museum itself is a slice of Americana. He has seats with Disney characters, buttons, antlers, games, puzzles, locks, keys, cell phones, computer components, a working piano key, religious verses, many states (maybe all 50 I'm not sure), visitor inspired seats (He made one just for us! It has a CTR emblem on it.), and significant historical events. The ones with historical significance include piece of the Challenger space shuttle with tribute to the astronauts who perished, a bit of the Berlin Wall, barbed wire from Auschwitz, a piece of Saddam Hussein's toilet (I didn't hear the back story as to how he got that, but I bet it's interesting), buttons from elections, politicians, military branches, and more. Truly a lot to see! Unprompted, Matthew informed Mr. Smith, "I really like your museum! I really do!" The kids were free to touch most of the seats and had fun pointing out all of their finds.
Here is Mr. Smith showing the children his favorite seat. It's based on Kipling's poem "When the Earth's last picture is painted," which he recited from memory.
And a closeup view:
It's a different museum alright. The kids had a good time though. So good in fact, that Melissa threw a fit when it was time to leave. "I don't wanna go! NO!" She dug in her little heels. That was a little embarrassing