Grymm Tooms Travelling Museum
Laredo 2nd & 3rd July 2011



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!