Category Archives: Wilson

“OUR STATE” link

If you have trouble finding the link for the Vollis Simpson whirligigs, it is:

Click on “Living Moving Art”.


Whirligig Park

Another place of interest I visited on my trip to Wilson was the warehouse workshop where the giant whirligigs made by Vollis Simpson are being worked on.  A little bit of history — Vollis Simpson, born in 1919, one of 12 children, who lived on a farm in Wilson County, in Lucama, near Wilson was made famous by the gigantic whirligigs that he constructed and displayed on his farm.  People came from far away to visit and see these works of art.  He donated all of the pieces to the City of Wilson, and because many of the pieces were being destroyed by rust from the weather elements, they were taken to an old warehouse in the historic district for restoration.  Vollis worked in the workshop nearly every day along with a crew of 16 doing the restoration work until about 6 months before he died at the age of 94 in May of 2013.  One of the characteristics of these pieces is that he cut up road signs in small pieces and placed them at intervals on the metal an wood, so that when lights shown on them,  they glowed like an amusement park.    Wilson is building a Whirligig Park in that area of town which will become an attraction for visitors to the city.  Most of the original pieces that they have been able to restore will be in the museum, but they are building exact duplicates of the ones that were in too much disrepair to be restored.  The duplicate pieces are sold by the Art Council to help fund the Park project.  Many pieces have been bought by businesses to adorn their properties, and some of the pieces were used in Atlanta when the Olympic games were there.

The pieces were awesome to look at, and to imagine what they looked like at night with car lights, or moonlight shining on them.  If you want to learn more about this project, you can go to

Here are a few pictures I got from the brochure on the project:

IMG_48671 100_0304 100_0453 From the first two pictures, you can see the size of the pieces. They had to be disassembled into smaller pieces in order to get them in the workshop.   The last one is the warehouse workshop where they are being restored, and which we visited on Thursday.

Three of the pieces are in place in the park location, but I didn’t get any pictures of them.  The park is being finished in phases as donations are available for the work, and the town will have a Whirligig Festival sometime later this year.  There was an article on this in Our State Magazine sometime last year, but I don’t know which issue.  I cleaned out most of my back issues this year and gave them to the thrift store.  Wish I had kept that one.  You can also go to Our State Magazine and click on the tab “Artists” and find the article that was in the magazine.  It is copyrighted, so I can’t quote from it here.

Hope you enjoy, and one day will go to see these magnificent pieces of art.

Visit in Wilson

Carol took a trip to the Amish country in Pennsylvania this week, and my family doesn’t want me to be alone, so I spent a couple of days in Wilson with Charles and Polly in their new home. Don’t know if I told you that they had retired and moved back to North Carolina.  Wilson is Polly’s home, so they purchased a townhouse there.  It is beautiful, and I enjoyed my visit with them.  I did too much walking, and am feeling it in my knee today.   We ate too much, also.  Dinner at Western Sizzler, and at their church midweek service, delicious breakfast at Polly’s sister Debbie’s house and lunch at Bill’s barbecue (as well as takeout from Parker’s the day before), so I am eating very lightly today!

We visited the Wilson Rose Garden on Wednesday.  It is a beautiful place, but not the best time of the year for roses.  What was still blooming were beautiful, and there were lots of “rosehips”.  Here’s one picture taken there. 10469933_784942674898372_1433656118_n  There are more pictures on my Facebook page.

Thanks, Charles, Polly and Debbie for the great visit.