Travel

Don Parks' Massive Collection of Yard Art, Statues, and Phoenix Relics

Page 3 of 3

His collection is practically a museum of Americana that includes That includes plenty of metal signs, roadside attractions, statues, antiques, and artifacts. Parks' apparently got a yen for iconic characters associated with restaurants, as he has several Ronald McDonald statues, as well as plaster renditions of Chuck E. Cheese and Hobo Joe (which had several locations throughout Arizona). He's also got more than a few antique peddle cars about, which he acquired because he "never had one" as a child.

Speaking of wheeled contraptions, the garage of Parks' original home also houses an original Ford Model-T automobile that Parks was given during his high school years. Its currently covered in a thick coat of dust, as well as a number of various and sundry items stacked on top, but he claims the vintage vehicle is still in working order.

One of his biggest coups was buying up numerous items leftover from Legend City, the now-defunct local landmark and theme park which was located near 56th and Washington streets on the border of Phoenix and Tempe from 1963 to 1983. After the Valley's own Western-themed version of Disneyland closed down, Parks managed to buy several bits and pieces from the park, including chandeliers and ceiling fans from one of the saloons, as well as several mannequins, statues, bumper cars, and passenger buckets from the sky ride.

The latter items, which are circular-shaped and made from aluminum, are the only remnants of Legend City that Parks still has in his possession, as he's sold off everything else. Formerly adorned with such colors as yellow and red, the paint has faded while the compartments have sat in the Arizona sun. Currently, he's selling these objects as well, asking $500 for each one on Craigslist.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.