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84 Things to Love About Alabama: The Junk Creatures of Mike Goggans

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Few have heard of this delightful haven of scrap statuary.

Junkey Munkey, that funky munkey

(c) 2019 https://www.vacationsalabama.com

Yesterday, Brent told you about the wonderful things to love in the Little River Canyon.

But, hey, since you’re already in the Northeast corner of the state, why not swing by and pay Mike Goggans a visit in Fort Payne. He has something for you: a trash menagerie; a debris cornucopia; a zooscape of critters made completely from junk.

Folk artist Mike Goggans labored hard on some of the pieces in his private collection — up to a decade, in the case of the Junkosaurus, a towering T-Rex made of salvage.

“I’d go for a while, stop, do something else,” said Mike. “Then I’d get all inspired and go back to work on him.” The entire creature, said Mike, is held together using only wire and thousands of nuts and bolts. It weighs nearly two tons.

Mike is a family man with a home and a normal desk job, not a stereotypical visionary artist. But he sees things in junk that others do not. Mike pointed out that the Junkosaurus hands are mailboxes and its claws are jumper cable clamps. The creature’s spine is an old TV antenna; its ribs are make from metal bed frames. Along its exterior we spotted spark plugs, hair curlers, license plates, a cordless phone, a bicycle, a toilet seat. A muffin pan has become a wart on the dinosaur’s nose.

RAWR

(c) 2019 via https://farm66.static.flickr.com/65535/34003412098_37897a9697_b.jpg

Per Roadside America, Mike Goggans’ space went up for sale in May, and with it shall go his quirky monument to DIY art. We hope that doesn’t mean the end of appoint viewings of the place. Even more so we hope that the new owner maintains the land and these wonderful, even lovingly-crafted pieces of roadside kitsch that make the beaten paths of Alabama so much fun.

So, if you can go, better get to to it quick. The future of the Junkey Munkey, Junkosaurus, Junkaroo and Baby, and others are well up in the air.

Address:
DeSoto Pkwy, Fort Payne, AL

Directions:
From downtown Fort Payne (US Hwy 11) turn east at the stoplight onto Hwy 35/5th Ave. SE. Follow it up the mountain for 2.5 miles. At the blinker light, turn left (north) onto Hwy 89/DeSoto Pkwy. Drive 2.5 miles. You’ll come to a blinker light with a Shell station on the right. You’ll see the shiny robot on the left. Junkosaurus is behind it, hidden behind a tree.

Hours:
By appt. to be let into the gated yard. (Call to verify)

Phone:
256-845-9162

And, if you can’t go, at least be sure to check out the photos at the links above and read about Mike’s labor of love.

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