A Wrong Turn, A Dead End Road and A Odd Discovery

I am notorious for having no sense of direction.   That is why I have my Billy Bob Thornton Karl from Slingblade voice GPS.   When I am driving around town I don’t usually need to use Billy Bob because our town is not all that big.   One day I got all turned around going someplace and I wound up someplace bizarre. I was not sure what to make of it and didn’t stop to investigate because

1) I was alone,

2) there was a pickup truck parked watching my every move as I turned around and

3) I didn’t want to trespass someplace.

Well—imagine my surprise when about a week later I ran across an article about this bizarre place in a local news source.   (North Iowa Today)

Seems former councilman, Max Weaver, has dedicated his time to creating this unusual showplace and named it Rancho Deluxe Z Garden.   It is off the beaten track on 2nd Street Northwest here in Mason City and it is his project now to spend time adding to this unusual but very interesting place.  I took a ton of pictures and plan to do a couple different posts to share some of the interesting items in Mr. Weaver’s garden.

From all that I can gather, Mr. Weaver was always one of the more colorful characters on the city council and I don’t think he would be offended at all to read that.  He often was the one dissenting vote, the one who raised a ruckus over things that others would have let alone, and the one who seemed to thrive on the spotlight.   Now he has this new place where he spends his time meeting and talking with folks as he creates an interesting and unique place on the end of a street that people like me mistakenly go.

I took Chris with me on a sunny Saturday morning and we enjoyed a leisurely walk through this most interesting place.  I would love to hear what your favorite picture is from today.   Tell me in the comments which one tickled your fancy today.

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  1. The phrase “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” comes to mind. Also, a line from a kids’ musical we performed at a summer camp years ago, “Something old is something new to somebody somewhere.” This is art. My favorite piece? Having a landscaper’s eye, probably the unifying elements of the grasses and the license plates. I could probably duplicate something like this with “art” hiding in my garage and attic. Hmmmmmmm…….

  2. How can something made so obviously from garbage be so neat and tidy? While it’s not my cup of tea, you can tell he took some time and effort to create this artwork. If nothing else, it gets people talking! My favorite piece is the giant flower looking thing. The weirdest one for me was the colander next to the antique urinal. At least it looks like a urinal……

    • That one was my favorite one—-I am sure they were grouped together for shock value! It is a pretty amazing place and from everything I have read Mr. Weaver is one of a kind.

  3. Where are the guys from “American Pickers” they would have a field day with this guy. What was his campaign slogan when he ran for city council? “Lobbyists; I take trash not cash”

  4. I love this place. No way can I pick a favorite. I would need to see this in person to judge. Thanks for sharing this incredibly bizarre discovery.

  5. FUN. I love yard and tend to collect the odd piece her and there to hang on the fence. Cole’s old soccer shoes have been a huge hit and can handle the Chicago weather. We have 3 generations of licenses plates hanging here and there. Obviously I can’t go for a beautifully landscaped yard with all precious furs running around so I leaned towards whimsey. My favorite piece in this collection is the bathtubs. I am always keep my eyes out or a reasonable priced one with feet. And a wagon wheel. I really, really NEED a wagon wheel.
    FUN, looking forward to seeing more…

    • It is a really whimsical place! That is the word of the day here—-we painted pottery today and mine was less than perfect so I decided to call it whimsical!!! You would love this place, I bet. You need to make a trip here to see it ! I will keep my eyes out for a wagon wheel…there has got to be one hanging around loose somewhere! I bet I would love your yard—from the pics I have seen it is a fun place to hang out.

  6. There is no way to pick a “favorite”. I love them all. What about the one with 6 license plates and one was upside down??? I did not read the article, did it tell how long it took to create this art??

    • I think that one was the one set of license plates that were overhead—they were over an arch coming into the garden. I am not sure how long he has been working on it—there were some people who were helping him with it so I think he had help but I think it took a lonnnng time and he still has lots he is doing with it.

  7. I would definitely like to sit in the corner on that snazzy shiny red chair! I love places like that. Where a colander isn’t just a strainer and is considered “art”. What a nice find, Beth Ann 🙂

  8. I can’t decide between what he did with the marbles set between the stone, or that big mosaic arch thing. very cool. very creative.

  9. I love how you find all these incredible and unique place and share them with us. This one is pretty bizarre and awesome at the same time. The thing some people collect simply boggles the mind.

  10. What a fun place to discover, I would love to check this place out sometime. Loved all the pictures but I kept going back to the one picture of the long skinny pole with what looks like a Sun on the end….odd looking but interesting at the same time.

  11. The yellow watering can in the shape of an alligator (I think) is my favourite. What a collection!

  12. I like the sitting area best with the chairs and bench under the tree by the fence.

  13. I love finding hidden and fascinating places like that. How lucky it is near you. It reminds me of something Alice would see in Wonderland. What a perfect place for the Hatter to show up with his Tea Party.

  14. I think this a great place to look at & I could probably spend some time exploring, but I don’t think I would want to be his neighbor considering all the traffic he will generate.


  1. […] introduced you to Rancho Z Deluxe in a previous post   I took so many pictures that I wanted to post more to show you what an interesting place this is. […]

  2. […] If not for Mason City resident, blogger and friend, Beth Ann Chiles, though, I likely never would have visited this community, thus missing out on Max Weaver’s creative oddity located at 500 Second Street Northeast. Beth Ann knows me well enough to know I would want to visit the Rancho while visiting her. […]

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