Daily Archives: October 28, 2015

Bigfoot Notes

Components of toy happenings so far…

1) Found regional objects (“junk”).

For Billfork (Spring 2012) and Lion’s Roar (Fall 2012) this came from sites of torn down houses and structures in Herman Park each. For Bigfoot, outside the protection of Frank and Herman Parks, the objects were found at the Plateau of Raw Art (site of old high school). Ruins are a key link. The smaller art event called Falmouth (Spring 2013) also contained some junk objects, most of which were old bottles. Same story there: came from nearby site of old house. Billfork and Lion’s Roar had a lot of bottles as well. Then there’s the basically unpotentialized Whitehead Crossing with its 55 or so bottles laying around in a pile.


And *then* there’s Rust Spot with its cache of metal stuff. 😮

2) Marble Race Track

The first marble race tracks of happenings set up in Billfork and Lion’s Roar were linear, with the end separate and unrelated, let’s say, from the beginning. For Bigfoot, end loops back into beginning potentially, or they are directly up and down from each other at least. This mimics the idea of Opus 19, where the bottom of the track is directly below the top. If you had some kind of pulley system, the race could potentially be made perpetual.

Opus 19 in 1990 art exhibit

The marble race in Bigfoot was somewhat bigger than in Billfork and Lion’s Roar as well. All use 0-27 gauge model railroad track, of which I have probably 70-80 pieces by now.

3) Toy avatars

Billfork had no toy avatars except for the marbles (which count, despite the opinions of the Mmmmmmm’s). Lion’s Roar contained a couple, or at least I especially remember order barking Sue. The Sharieland art event (Fall 2013) excels here, with a good number of toy avatars involved in building and maintaining a central road through the rocks and sand of Erath on Earth Creek at Heart Lake. Sharieland is also where Billy J. Thornberry made his first appearance in a toy happening in the role of Lazy Sideburns Man, famously destroyed by Hater the Cow there. Of course he later reappears in Bigfoot as iron smelter Taum Sauk and also, briefly, as LSB’s twin brother Daisy at Whitehead Crossing, deemed The Leader (Spring 2014: 1 2).

Toy avatars appear quite early in my blogging experiences, way back in 2008 at TILE Creek, which can count as the first toy avatar happening. But there it was pure toys, with no junk and marble track (except for a couple of rustmobiles, i.e. old tin cans). I suppose we can call it the Jonesborough Happening. Nothing really has gone on there since then.

I keep stockpiling toys, which can be found very cheaply at flea markets and such.


You have to have a right combination of the above 3 to make a true art happening in my opinion. And that’s what occurred at Bigfoot.


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Filed under Bigfoot, Bill Mountain, Billfork, Blue Mountain, Byng, Falmouth Creek, Frank Park, Herman Park, Hermania, Jonesborough, Mocksity, Sharieland, Tile Creek, Toy Avatars, Whitehead Crossing

Bigfoot Reference 03: Bigfoot Wallace.


Bigfoot Wallace Museum

This cabin, the exact replica of Texas legend “Bigfoot” Wallace’s home, opened in 1954 as the result of local inventor and philanthropist Bunyan Balckwell’s many months of organizing and planning. Later, rooms were added to house the numerous items of interest donated by people from near and far, all interested in preserving the colorful heritage of Bigfoot Wallace’s adopted state.

William Alexander Anderson Wallace was born April 3, 1817, in Virginia. He came to Texas to avenge the death of relatives who were killed in battles for Texas’ independence from Mexico. By the time he arrived, Texas was already a republic. He stayed in his beloved adopted state and fought Indians, joined the famed Texas Rangers, and carried the mail for the Pony Express from San Antonio to El Paso.

Wallace was imprisoned in Mexico and took part in the famous Mier Expedition, where beans were drawn from a bucket to determine which prisoners would live or die. He fortunately “drew deep” and got a white bean, saving his life. The name “Bigfoot” originally belonged to a large Indian who stole livestock and many things from the settlers. A good friend of Wallace’s, William Fox, jokingly gave Wallace the name of “Bigfoot”, saying that when the Indian wasn’t around, Wallace — being a man of large stature– could easily take his place. The same story also goes that Fox was killed in a raid by the “bigfooted” Indian several years later.

Bigfoot Wallace never married. He died in the town of Bigfoot, named for him, in 1899 and was buried at Longview Cemetery. Later his remains were moved to the State Cemetery at Austin.

Next door to the museum is a replica of the building where the Texas Declaration of Independence was signed at Washington-on-the-Brazos. Inside are antique wagons, buggies and clothes from the past.

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