You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is nothing before you. Each man's life is but a breath (NIV) (Psalm 39:5)

Yes, "I'm Wired" with barbed wire art! I like to explore different and unique things around Iowa. Today, June 27, 2018,   I did just that. Our friend, Mary Harper, told me about a must see art sculpture collection at the G & P Insurance Company in Albia, Iowa. In Des Moines, we have a lot of "big city" sculptures made of steel, bronze, clay and many other materials, but this collection fits my criteria of being unique. Today I am going to show you barbed wire sculpture art. Is that Iowa or what?

Left to right:  (1) A wire windmill (2) I love old barns and silos (3) Look at that wingspan (4) Iowa--where the tall (wire) corn grows.

There is something not quite right about this barbed wire sculpture of a John Deere Model GP. Now let me think--now I know--a little green and yellow paint and this tractor would be ready to head to the field.

Junior, like me, is an old western fan. It is only fitting that he has a barbed wire Matt Dillon gun, holster and hat hanging on the wall. He asked me if I wanted to try on the hat--I know what barbwire is so I said, "You do it." He didn't say ouch--so I figured out he clipped the barbs off the headband!



My view for the month. Thanks, Mary, for sending me to the barbed wire art exhibit and thank you Junior for showing me around. I realize this is an insurance business--not an art museum--so I am not going to invite others to  go unannounced like I did. Having said that, I did feel so welcome and I want to share my experience. Both the barbed wire art collection and the farm memorabilia (left and right) reminded me of things from the past and took me back in time to days of my youth. This reminds me of the brevity of life as I think how fast those years have gone by. I am so thankful for all of the many friends I have had throughout those years and feel so blessed that I can still meet new friends--as I did today.

Left: Build-A-Bear. This guy greets  you in the lobby when you walk in the door at G & P Insurance. I suggest you leave your gun in your truck! But actually he is very friendly--but he might stare at you if you have mud on your boots! I grew up on a farm in Western Iowa before the day of shop welders. But that's ok--my mom always said that my dad could repair anything with a strand of barbed wire--but I don't think he could Build-A-Bear.

Could this be a replica of my first truck? I'm country and the Merle Haggard song says, "Why doesn't a Ford or a Chevy still last 10 years like it should?" Well, look at the age on this guy and he's still going strong.

Right: This turkey will never see a Thanksgiving table. Look at the detail--it must have taken a lot of time and talent to get him all wired up.

Left: This Iowa State football is new. Junior made it for a donation to the Welcome Home Soldier Monument Auction. But we Iowans love all our sports  teams--last year it was Hawkeye. Maybe next year UNI?

This earth moving machine could build a very big farm terrace in a very short time.

River boat--I would feel very safe heading down the Mississippi in this..

I have been keeping you in suspense! Whoever could create all of this beautiful and unique barbed wire art? I want you to meet the artist, Junior Gardiner, with G & P Insurance in Albia, Iowa. Junior is a retired local farmer. Thank you, Junior, for making me feel so welcome. I have decided that whatever I was looking at the time was my favorite. I cannot begin to express my appreciation to you for taking the time to show me around and explain every piece (or should I say "masterpiece"? You are a great artist--but more important--a great guy!  

Left: I can relate to this. I grew up in an era before the combine. The neighbors all gathered together to thresh oats. It was hard work but a time of comradery and social interaction for farmers who worked in the field and their wives who joined together to fix huge meals. There is more but I guess that's a story for another day.This is a barbwire version of a kerosene powered Rumely tractor that provided power to drive the belt to run the combine. Above: Covered wagon.You may not believe this--but that was before my time!

Right: This football stays in the office. Junior calls this his New England Patriots Football--look--no air. Don't worry--that's just a joke! (Nevertheless--the "barbs" are there.) Ha

A tribute to America--a tin and barbed wire flag with an eagle hovering over.