Radio Interview on WRFL Trivial Thursdays with Mick Jeffries – November 7, 2019

This morning I had the privilege of being interviewed on local radio at WRFL-FM in Lexington during the Trivial Thursdays with Mick Jeffries to talk about my new book Less Beaten Paths of America: Beyond Description – More of the Strange and Unique.  As always, Mick does a good job of asking good questions.  I was able to include a few plugs for places like CarhengeUranus Fudge FactoryParadise Point, Bowlin’s The Thing, Wall Drug, Standin’ on the Corner in Winslow, Arizona, and Apple Valley Hillbilly Gardens, among others.

Mick Jeffries and me in the Studio

Following are a few shots from the studio and the complete audio of the interview (used with permission of WRFL).

LISTEN:

Scenes from the studio:

You can purchase my book at fine establishments like Paradise Point Marketplace in Scottsville, KY;  Carhenge in Alliance, MO; Bowlin’s The Thing in Dragoon, AZ and Uranus Fudge Factory in Uranus, MO.  My new book is also available online at Amazon.com at https://bit.ly/sumoflam3

Now with three books available on Amazon!

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Less Beaten Paths of America – Book 3 NOW AVAILABLE Amazon

Book Cover for Book 3 – Cover Art and design by Antsy McClain

Imagine my excitement as I woke up this morning to see the PAPERBACK edition of my brand new Book 3, titled  Beyond Description – More of the Strange and Unique, had cleared review and is now available for purchase on Amazon! Like Book 2, it is 120 pages full of color photos and interesting stories. This one looks at unique and fun destinations like Carhenge (NE), Paradise Point Marketplace (KY), Bowlin’s The Thing (AZ), Uranus ,Fudge Factory and General Store (MO), Apple Valley Hillbilly Garden and Toyland Museum (KY), Wall Drug (SD), Lost River Trading Post (WV), Henrys Ra66it Ranch (IL) (and more) and then some themed towns like Vulcan, AB; Hell, MI; Mt. Horeb, WI; Santa Claus, IN, Winslow, AZ and Roswell, NM. Finally, there is a chapter on the Trail of the Whispering Giants and artist Peter Wolf Toth.

You can order the book beginning NOW and probably have it by Wednesday. I appreciate all of the past support and hope that you will continue to Enjoy the Read and Enjoy the Ride! Here’s where you can get it. (And please don’t forget to do a review!)

The paperback book is available on Amazon at

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1729428363

The Kindle Edition is available on Amazon on the link below:

https://www.amazon.com/Less-Beaten-Paths-America-Description-ebook/dp/B07WNXP71D/

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Special About Peter Wolf Toth – Whispering Giants Artist

Peter Toth at his studio in April 2018. (Photo used with permission courtesy of Caroline Porsiel, Atlanta Expat Magazine)

On August 20 I had a wonderful opportunity to spend a couple of hours on the phone with American artist Peter Wolf Toth who took time to speak with me from his Florida Studio.

I had contacted Peter to get more details about this interesting man with the intent on adding a chapter about him and his Trail of the Whispering Giants into my new book, which will be available in August 2019. (Actually, the Kindle version is now available…see the link at the end of this post)

With Whispering Giant #61 in Ottawa, Illinois

If you are not familiar with the Trail of the Whispering Giants, it is a cross country collection of huge wooden sculptures created by Toth. Each is a tribute to the indigenous peoples of North America and each was done by Peter as a donation to the communities he created them in. His goal was to carve at least one in every state in the United States, which he finally accomplished in 1988 with his large sculpture in Hawaii.  Altogether, Peter has done 74 of these intricate statues.

Peter Toth works with chisel and hammer to make his Whispering Giants. (Photo by Daniel Guy, used with permission courtesy of the Cleveland Daily Banner, Cleveland, Tennessee)

When I spoke with Peter, he explained that he was born in Hungary, but came to the United States at a young age, landing in Akron with his family.  As he grew older, he grew interested in Native American culture and sought for ways to honor the indigenous people of this land.   He became a self-taught sculptor, using a hammer and chisel to work with stone. He told me that his first sculpture was in stone in La Jolla, California. He wanted to do another in stone near his home in Akron but, as he explained to me,

It was in a remote location and really not visible to many.  I wanted to make these to honor the Native Americans, so I felt that making them from local trees in all of the states would honor them best.”

The 40 foot tall Whispering Giant in Winslow, Arizona

Unlike many artists that work with wood, Peter chooses to utilize a hammer and chisel to create these giants, which range in height from 12 feet to well over 40 feet.  He has no issue with those that so their work with chainsaws, but he likes doing his statues his way.

The Whispering Giant of Las Cruces, NM which I visited in June 2019

Peter takes great care and makes great efforts to create these donated works of art to honor the Native Americans, who he feels “were victims of long abuse” and also wants to make sure that all victims of abuse and hardship are honored.

1983 version of Peter Wolf Toth’s book “Indian Giver”

In 1980 Peter published a book on Tribal Press titled Indian Giver: Gifts Of Statues For All 50 States To Honor The Indian and tells the story of the artist’s gifts to each of the 50 states to honor the Indian monuments now erected in the united States-the Trail of the Whispering Giants. The book is illustrated with both color and black and white photos of each sculpture.  Peter commented about this book.

It was a custom among the many Indian tribes that when a man was presented with a gift, he in return gave back as a gift, an object of comparable value. This was an act of honor and respect. The white man distorted this philosophy and degraded it into a selfish act-a person who gives but expects to take back something in return. Hence, the term “Indian Giver” came into our language. If that is the case, then I too am an Indian Giver because I want something in return for these monumental gifts I am sculpturing. In return, I ask that honor and understanding be shown toward the Native Americans because of the tragic fate that has befallen these noble people.

This book is available on Amazon for those interested in seeing the artist’s perspective on his work.

Chief Wasatch by Peter Toth, that is located in my hometown of Murray, UT

I am grateful to have become acquainted with Peter Wolf Toth.  I have admired his works, even though I have only been to 13 of them so far.  I will make it to more and hope to get down to his Florida studio sometime in the near future to see his work and enjoy the view of the Atlantic Ocean with him while we talk of the wonders of the world.

Book Cover for Book 3 – Cover Art and design by Antsy McClain

Like what you see? Well, there is lots more!  I now have three books available about offbeat and quirky places to take on your road trips. You can see all of them at http://amzn.to/2ks6fQZ. Book 3 was published and available on August 24, 2019.

 

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