Yes sirrree Bob, the mail goes in the ... uh ... business end
GARLAND — Whoa, pardners, get a load of this roadside art.
Cruising through Garland, folks can’t help but notice a large buckskin horse and his cowboy rider hoofing it alongside the country road. The dapper cowboy’s got a hat as big as all outdoors, and tucked underneath the rope tail of his trusty horse is ... a mailbox.
“That’s where all the junk mail goes,” quips the creator of the metal steed, Randee Munns.
Munns says he built the mailbox about 20 years ago from scrap metal. A welding instructor at Logan’s Bridgerland Applied Technology College, he decided to do a horse and cowboy because he’s a lifelong rodeoer himself, nowadays performing as a rodeo clown.
The mailbox, at 13370 N. 5400 West (just south of mile marker 23), is one-of-a-kind. “Nobody’s got one quite like that,” Munns says.
And the sculpture still draws attention, he adds: “People stop, take pictures, look — it’s a never-ending deal out there.”
The horse, who stands about 5 to 6 feet tall at the ears, is regularly given new coats of paint.
“One year it’ll be a buckskin, the next year it’ll be a blue roan or a sorrel,” Munns says.
This isn’t Munns’ only unusual receptacle for mail of the snail variety. He created an 8-foot-tall metal cornstalk mailbox at his parents’ house years ago, for his mother’s birthday.
The cornstalk is painted green with yellow barbed wire tassels atop it. Mother Sally Munns says, “I have real live corn growing up around it right now.”
She says the box, at 435 N. Main St., gets its share of stares, too, “not (from) the village people, because it’s old hat to them, but people driving by ... we get a lot of comments on it.”
Randee Munns says he’s manufactured a few other mailboxes, some with help from his students in welding class. “I’m always building, doing stuff — just goofing,” he says.
As for the buckskin and his rider, Munns says they’re holding up well and don’t get much wear and tear on the roadside, except, “The snowplow ran over it once.”
— Becky Cairns, Standard-Examiner staff
What do you hope to catch with that?
If you need a lure to catch trout or bass, RoundRocks Fly Fishing has got you covered. The shop also has a great lure for attracting humans.
In both cases, the manager recommends the Royal Wolff fly. For catching fish, you need a Royal Wolff fly measuring between 1/8 inch and 1 inch long. For humans, a 32-foot fly seems to get the job done — the giant Royal Wolff fly in front of RoundRocks hooks people on a regular basis.
“They stop by and take pictures of themselves standing next to it,” said Dayne Allen, the manager and one of the shop’s owners. “It’s basically just a sign to let people know where we are ... but we get a lot of people who are just curious, and want to know why there’s a giant fly there.”
The giant lure, at 530 S. Main St. in Logan, was built in the 1990s. Allen says it was the idea of Kohn Smith, of Rivers Wild Flies, a business previously on the site. That business moved to Nibley, but left the fly behind, making it a great spot for RoundRocks Fly Fishing.
The Royal Wolff is a fly that deserves to be depicted larger than life, according to Allen.
“It was originally tied by Lee Wolff — he’s still got fishing products out all over the place,” Allen said of the master fly fisherman. “He initially started with the Gray Wolff fly, then improved it with the Royal version with red and green. Honestly, it’s still known as one of the best attractor flies to use.”
The Royal Wolff sculpture in front of RoundRocks Fly Fishing measures 32 1/2 feet long, with an 8-foot diameter.
“The hook shank itself is 22 feet long. It’s got a 7 1/2-foot gap on the hook, and the whole thing weighs three tons,” said Allen.
It’s billed as “The Undisputed World’s Largest Fly,” but it’s not an official record holder.
“It’s made out of metal, so technically the Guiness Book of World Records can’t count it as the world’s largest fly,” Allen said, explaining that it would have to be made of the same materials as an actual fly.
It may not be in the record books, but its size is still impressive.
“As far as I know, that is the biggest fly ever made,” said Allen.
— Becky Wright, Standard-Examiner staff
Wave a big hello to the ghosts of Mormon pioneers
You’ve probably seen ghosts standing alongside Ogden’s historic Bingham Fort District without realizing it.
“Ghost cabin” is the name given the two sketches of structures on the south side of the 200 block of Second Street. Handsome wooden signs note that the PVC sculptures represent the cabins of two Mormon pioneers. One is that of Bishop Erastus Bingham (1851-1953); the other, the home and workplace of Postmaster Lewis Taft, which stood 1861 to 1985.
Pleasant View Boy Scout Nathan Christiansen, of Troop 296, built the cabins in October 2011 to fulfill his Eagle Scout project.
The land the two memorials are on belongs to Anna Keough, an amateur historian who also happens to be the mom of Christiansen’s brother-in-law.
“Mrs. Keough has wanted this done for something like 10 years, and that’s actually how we got the idea to do this for the project,” said Christiansen, who is a 14-year-old ninth grader at Orion Junior High School.
Part of the project included researching the sites, and sizes, of the original structures. The Taft house, which also served in its later years as the area post office, was originally set back a bit farther from the road, where a grove of large trees now stands. Christiansen elected to place it where it could be seen more easily by passersby.
The cost and skills to rebuild historic structures were prohibitive, so Christiansen went with a sort of stick-figure rendering instead, made with lightweight-but-sturdy PVC, painted red.
“We found out the actual size of the cabins, but they were way too big to make them out of the PVC pipe,” said Christiansen. “So we made them a consistent size — maybe about half the original size.”
The signs were easy to make, with the help of his shop teacher and a computer-program-guided saw.
“The signs went the quickest,” said Christiansen, “They actually took about 10 minutes, once we designed them. And, once I had the whole troop there, we built the cabin in about an hour and a half or so. What took a long time was designing the cabins — how long the pieces had to be, and getting the corner pieces that joined the PVC pipe right, and figuring out how many we needed. That took my dad and me a lot of hours to figure out.”
To read more about the history of the area, go to binghamsfort.org.
— Linda East Brady, Standard-Examiner staff