Would it really surprise anyone to hear that Miss Cassette loves to walk around Omaha and make up names and stories for almost everyone and thing that I come across? Because that is what I do. I can’t help it. I am not sure when it all started, only that it has been that way almost forever. When I first met Mr. Cassette, I remember being taken with the fact that he, too, loved to name things. We would make each other laugh and try to out-do one another. And so it continues back and forth, very much the same way today. A favorite blanket, flowers in his garden, the humidifier, our neighbors—everyone of interest gets a name and a running, made up story line. And the names stick, oddly, year after year, occasionally morphing over time.
As you by now know very well, there are many enchanting creatures to be found in the neighborhoods of Omaha. Statuary friends, cloister design, garden beds and gargoyles, in my opinion, are best viewed from the sidewalk. I can appreciate a quick drive by now and again, as I often employ these means on my sleuthhound missions, but up close and personal gives you the real feel and intention of the creator. My interest in these animals, creations, projects, lawn decor and whimsy stemmed from childhood where I witnessed many the oddity in 1970’s Benson. Of particular interest to my friends and I: lawn trolls, a toilet with flowers around it, statues of the Virgin Mary, Virgin Marys in bath tubs, the Loch Ness Monster popping out of a yard, threatening, hand-painted Keep Out signs, unusual gardens, many uses for old tires, tree houses, art made out of trash, antique lamp posts, statues of anything etc. Even Father of Miss Cassette created a sculpture which resided in our family backyard for almost a full year. It was taller than I. It was difficult to explain to the neighbor kids that it was Art and Art was not to be climbed on. Imagine, tall, connected, wooden pieces, the colors of Peter Max meets large, white, plaster balls, wrapped in twine. The sculpture made a valiant effort to survive its first Nebraska winter but didn’t make it to spring. Happily, I looked for the atypical in Benson and was not disappointed in my many discoveries.
Even now, many years later, these hidden and not so hidden treasures call out to me. Who can say why some of us are so curious? I cannot. I can only point you towards the cherished plums I have stumbled across of late. And a few of my long-time favorites as well.
Midtown Spring Tour
Hidden Home at 5102 California Street. Front view on northwest corner of 51st and California. What a very pretty property this has become in recent years. We approve of secret gardening…. as long as we can have a tiny glimpse. Simply divine.
Hidden Home at 5102 California Street. East side view of the house.
Hidden Home at 5102 California Street. Detail of the east side view.
Deerie at 5073 Jackson Street. View from the back yard.
I love this deer. He might be a small horse, for all I know. He has lost his middle part in the last years and has been found grazing in different spots of his yard but he is still True Blue to me. Deerie also shares his property with the Pink Chicken Refuge, which can be found in the front yard of 5073 Jackson Street. They are truly flamingos but if you are interested in the Pink Chicken connection, check out The Goodrich, Pease and Drexel Buildings Part Three: The Look Book Two.
House of Magic at 3176 Jackson.
This side of the car port is only viewable from Turner Park Boulevard, near the tennis courts. I envision this to be a sort of energy channeling car port. The photo does not capture the time and care taken to create this wind chime tunnel. I have every reason to believe the front porch is magical. Not to be missed. Truly a free spirited, Omaha gem.
Bashful at 5102 Cass Street.
Bashful the Donkey has been a long time friend. I am kind of obsessed with his quiet beauty. I do not know his history but I would guess Bashful has been reclined in this position for a very long time. Like most great animals, I don’t suppose his owners are even aware of our friendship. He can be found laying behind the bushes on the northwest side of 51st and Cass.
Bashful at 5102 Cass Street. Eastern view.
Bashful at 5102 Cass Street, resting by his sculptural bushes.
Best Friends’ Yard aka Pee Wee’s Playhouse at 112 S 50th Ave.
This is Mr. Cassette’s favorite. It truly is a best friend’s paradise. This yard has numerous deer, Mr. Happy Frog, down in front, swan, Mr. Squirrel and probably many more that I have not spotted. There is a bridge and many lovely, little paths for dreaming. Best Friends’ Yard aka Pee Wee’s Playhouse is ever enchanting (you should see it in the snow) and always makes us smile.
Best Friends’ Yard aka Pee Wee’s Playhouse at 112 S 50th Ave. Another terrific view.
Mr. C’s Serenity Garden at 1002 South 36th Street.
This yard kills me–complete with bubbling brook sounds. I feel so contemplative when I stroll by and find myself smiling. I beg of you to walk by and notice the quality of the cool air. Quite a little oasis for being right on busy 36th. Just fantastic.
Mr. C’s Serenity Garden at 1002 South 36th Street. North side view.
We Like Art House at 601 S 51 St.
This home has a number of sculptures on their property. This piece is shown in the front yard. In the spirit of Father of Miss Cassette, I admire these owners for shaking things up in the heart of Dundee and I applaud their reverie.
We Like Art House at 601 S 51 St.
Back yard view where three more sculptures are found. There may be more. From the children’s toys in the background, I wonder if We Like Art House kids will grow up telling their friends not to climb on the Art.
Miss Sleepy Eyes at 5202 Underwood, on the northwest corner.
Miss Sleepy Eyes is about the sweetest girl that ever was. When I see her hooded eyes and happy teeth on that corner, I need to stop and admire. Facial pareidolia, be damned, I think Miss Sleepy Eyes is the best Disney character waiting to be discovered. I think you will agree.
Thank you for reading my blog. I welcome your comments. Please feel free to leave a comment by clicking on the header. If you would prefer to write an email, I can be found at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you can, get out and walk around this weekend and find some more hidden friends.
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