We were very kindly invited to Laredo this weekend to celebrate
the 4th July and also to mark the 40th Anniversary
of this incredible project coming into being. The Hotel alone had
taken some seven years to be built which illustrates the bi-weekend
dedication of the members.
We were camped in front of the town along with quite a few others.
The canvas settlement in front of the town gave the impression that
the town was still growing and looked amazing. It is on weekends
like this that the town really comes alive. We have been regularly
going to Laredo for about 6 years and the authentic magic of the
place has not worn out for us.
Once the canvas was up, Tooms and yours truly set off into
town with our curios, actually I was Capt. Ishmael Grymm,
collector of curios, explorer, pirate hunter and savvy person of
further undisclosed knowledge. We set up by the smithy, putting
out just enough exhibits to enthral our visitors. One gent took
rather more interest in the Club
that Killed Captain Cook than it normally gets.
I could not help noticing that there were some interesting pelts
on the table opposite us, so I took a mosey across to check them
out. There was a rather nice wolf skin and several soft, dark skins
that turned out to be brush
tail possum. How could I resist? So I now have Trichosurus
vulpecula in the collection (that is my tribute to all those
annoying pseudo-naturalists on TV who insist on using scientific
names). These skins come from New Zealand where this critter
was introduced in the mid 19thC and is now, like almost every other
mammal that has made landfall there, become a widespread pest. Lee’s
son Joel also bought one, although he wrapped it over his
head in such a way that it made him look like a Victorian Ewok!
Somehow I got roped into a race, it has been rather a long time
since I ran like Achilles,
and although I started out well, I lagged behind on the second leg,
so to speak. Mind you I was not expecting an iron bed frame at the
end of the street…
Back at the museum we continued to show our stuff off, and although
we were not on a strict schedule we ended up being ‘open’ until
around 5pm. And then it was time to pack up and chill out with a
glass of wine while the band played in the street. What a fabulous
evening it turned out to be.
The celebrations were finished off with a spectacular pyrotechnic
display by Staggers who, apparently, has been fire
eating since his teens…I guess a bloke’s got to have a hobby!
So from The Grymm Tooms Travelling Museum, here is wishing
Laredo and its wonderfully eccentric inhabitants a Very
Happy 40th Anniversary - here’s to the next forty years!