Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Scrap metal sculptures

The place was featured in a documentary this summer on the Discovery Channel's "Beyond Bizarre" series, used to be listed in Guinness World Records for the world's largest scrap-metal sculpture, and is a favorite destination in roadside attraction books. It's Dr. Evermore's Scrap Metal Park.

Evermore, born Tom Every, is a scrap-metal dealer turned artist (and not a real doctor) who once made his living demolishing industrial machinery. He abandoned the job in 1983, donned his alter ego and started building the Forevertron, a sprawling, 3-ton, three-story metal sculpture resembling a mix between a roller coaster and a space station that he says will one day launch him to the heavens on a "magnetic lightning force beam."

The Forevertron is surrounded by hundreds, if not thousands, of other pieces built by the doctor from junked machines, musical instruments and other metals. A band of metal birds of various shapes and sizes with doorknobs for eyes and French horns for bodies shoot puzzled looks at you as you wander past.

Evermore says thousands of visitors flock to the site each year, especially during the summer, to walk or drive the dirt loop that meanders around the lot. He has never charged admission and makes a living selling various smaller sculptures that aren't key parts of the park. He reportedly turned down a $5 million offer to sell the Forevertron and said he wouldn't for any amount.