Monday, April 5, 2010

Putting the Fun in "Funky"

Something keeps bringing us back to Cave Creek, AZ.

We've written about The Town Dump, The Horny Toad, the Buffalo Chip Saloon, and Big Earl's Greasy Eats--businesses with names that seemed to capture the personality of the town just north of Phoenix.

That quality--"originality and modishness" or "unconventional, eccentric in a humorous or tongue-in-cheek manner"--fits my definition of "funky."

Buffalo Bill's Trading Post is the latest entry into this group. (Below the shop's name is another sign reading "The Desperate Cowboy.")

Greeting visitors to the Trading were these "musicians" (two with tubas)--a fitting welcome to another funky town feature.

As we wandered through the rows and stacks of pottery and ceramic pots, we came upon these colorful sun faces and crabs.

In an apparent effort to avoid overwhelming customers with a barrage of colors, the management has alternated displays of colorful creations with rusted metal artwork.

Granted these four figures shown here could not compare to the 7,000 Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses found in Emperor Qin Shi Huang's Mausoleum, but imagine another 6,996 of these metal warriors. The scene would be pretty impressive.

In a corner of the large yard behind the Trading Post, we saw a tree with parrots like the one shown here hanging from its branches.

Somebody was having some fun with the merchandise--and we were enjoying it enough to take a photograph or two.

Some of the artwork was plain and simple, requiring few additions to identify it.

(So as not to overwhelm readers with the contrasts, we have not included the rusted dinosaur, the blue dog with the colorful coat, the tarnished four-foot brown rooster, or the blue overweight lizard. Too much funk in a short time can be hazardous to one's artistic senses.)

We then headed down Cave Creek Road to Frontier Town, an 1880's style theme town, located in the center of Cave Creek.

According to the Arizona Historical Society, many people moved to Arizona in the 1920's and 30's in hopes of reclaiming their health from tuberculosis. Only one of 16 cabins is all that remains of a Cave Creek TB camp. Local historians believe that Frontier Town was also a TB camp years later.

The wild west town of Cave Creek was settled in the 1870's by miners, ranchers and cattleman, but did not incorporate until 1986--if that fact doesn't fit the quirky personality of this town, I don't know what would.

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