Made between 1995-1998, This set of 14 woodcut prints was based on tall tales and legends from Tom Huck's hometown of Potosi, Missouri. It is the first body of work that garnered Huck popular acclaim.
PLAYLAND: THE GREAT SHARKBURGER SHORTAGE OF ‘95
My hometown received its first major fast food chain outlet. On the day of the grand opening, around lunchtime, the line for the drive thru stretched at least two miles. People were waiting for hours just to get a taste of the first burgers churned out by this place. They inevitably ran out, and the resulting mayhem gave new meaning to the word “famine.”
THE ANNUAL NRA SQUIRREL HUNT AND BBQ
I have always been amazed at what might actually be hunted by an organization that would require the use of AK-47’s and 357 Magnums. (Perhaps giant squirrels?)
BED OF BONES
Freddie and Helen Wiesler were a German couple who lived in a shanty in the woods. They smelled really bad. Every time they would journey into town to frequent a local eatery, they were asked to leave. This developed into a local legend and inquiry into the origin of the foul stench. Upon Freddie’s death, the authorities finally discovered the source of the smell. For many years the two had lived among the decaying carcasses of dogs. Most of the deceased canines were under the bed.
CHILI DOGS,CHICKS, AND MONSTER TRUCKS
Within hours of arriving from Paris (France), I was invited by a friend to attend my first monster truck rally. The flyer for the event advertised “A night of good clean family fun!” During the festivities, two factions emerged from the crowd: anti-Ford and anti-Chevy. The beer served throughout the evening did not serve to mellow the mood of the two warring parties. Skirmishes and brawls erupted during the numerous events. The object of one contest required the contender to pull a concrete weight a certain distance. When the winner is determined, the crowd goes berserk, and two intriguingly under-dressed models appear to congratulate the winner. At this point, many observers dressed in costume pay homage to their favorite monster truck. Within the same period of 24 hours I was visiting the Louvre and attending a monster truck rally. Both were exhilarating.
The founding father of the town, Moses Austin, was buried in a somewhat unprotected grave. His son, Stephen, helped to establish Texas as a state. Many Texans believed that the remains of Moses belonged next to those of Stephen. They came by night, with the intention of exhuming and relocating poor old Moses. Their goal was to smuggle out the remains by chopping the whole body into various sections. Halfway through the unearthing, the men were spotted by an elderly lady who abruptly called the authorities shouting, “They’ve come to steal the carcass of ol’ Moses!” The crime was foiled.
THE MARRIAGE OF JIM AND DOLLY
Brotherly and sisterly love, taken to its extreme.
MAD DASH FOR CASH
On one of the many occasions I have frequented this yearly event (a crash-up derby), a certain driver who looked just like Jerry Garcia, wearing an early 70’s helmet, crashed into a large rival car. Immediately the car caught aflame, and the emergency technicians removed a smiling, albeit toothless, individual with whom I believe I went to high school. The name of the event was “Mad Dash for Cash,” where the final car left running won $1,000.
THE CROSSING GUARD
While a nearby prison prepared a cell for a recently convicted “undesirable,” the decision was made to house this fella in the county jail for a night. He escaped, made his way to the local Catholic church, and stole a few of the priest’s Easter vestments. Our hero then made his way down to the main intersection of town and began directing the morning traffic, occasionally throwing a blessing or two to a few bewildered drivers.
HIGH WATER HOG BLUES
During the floods of 1993, I met a hog farmer who spoke of leaving his farm rather hastily when a levee broke. His hogs went to high ground, which in this case was the man’s house. When he returned days later, there were many dead and bloated hogs floating in his living room.
PARTY TIL SHES CUTE
Line dancing from Hell is a favorite pastime and sporting event at many local drinking establishments. I never understood this phenomenon. It looks like good fun, though.
KOHLER CITY REVISITED
A local store called “Kohler City” sold a wide variety of goods, including little rubber toys, used eye glasses, and used dentures. On one occasion while visiting this establishment with my mother, I saw a couple of old men “trying on” a few items and then putting them back into the piles.
FRIED EGGS AND ARSON
There is a certain family which, when in a financial pinch, burned down one of the businesses they owned. The guilty party usually showed up at the scene of the crime and treated all of the onlookers to an Oscar-winning performance of pain an suffering. This time, the torched establishment was an egg processing plant. The town smelled like fried eggs for a week.
CATWALK: HERE THEY COME!
Every summer at the Moses Austin Heritage Festival, a period costume Gala and Fashion Show is held. In its inaugural version, various “local beauties” were recruited to model the outfits. A few local fellows mistook this Gala to be a stripshow. They showed up with the full intention of heckling the models and retrieving certain items of clothing. In the spirit of the event, the models obliged.
MARTHA AND THE GREASED PIG
Two sisters enter a greased pig contest at the county fair every year dressed in full formal wear and combat boots. They win every time, to all of the spectators’ delight.