“I’ve always wanted to go to Lucama” may not have the same ring as “I’ve always wanted to see the Loch Ness Monster and Giotto’s frescoes in the Arena Chapel”. But all three are equally true for me. Last week one of these wishes came true when I hit the road with a few colleagues to visit Vollis Simpson at his workshop outside of Lucama. Since Mr. Simpson’s wind machines are known and enjoyed across the state and country, we went to get video and audio of him speaking about his work to be used on new cell phone tours which will debut in April 2010. His Wind Machine is a sort of solitary beacon on the hill in the Museum Park, but there is much more where that came from at his workshop.
Vollis met us at the door when we arrived and helped us move buckets of propellers to make way for our seats. He talked about how he began making wind machines during World War II, how busy he likes to stay today, his many visitors, and the proper care for a wind machine. Whirligigs like grease!
On the way to his workshop we walked to an adjacent field where several of Vollis’ wind machines are set near a small pond. His shop is filled with hundreds of small sculptures and the working parts for his larger creations. Now in his early nineties, Vollis doesn’t eat as much ice cream and chocolate as he used to, but we all got a kick out of the twirling mechanism he built out of ice scream scoops.
With over thirty minutes of tape, we have a lot to work with to find the best minute to use for the cell phone tour. Be sure to visit next spring to hear the final cut on the tour. In the meantime, come visit Vollis’ Wind Machine in the Museum Park.