July 28, 2010

Oversized Suit of Armor – Thayer, KS

After a wonderful weekend with my friends, it was time to head back to Kansas and my real life. It was not a particularly pleasant journey. To get from Tulsa to Lawrence requires taking Highway 169, a one lane highway through cornfields and small towns. It is a beautiful drive in good weather, but I did not have good weather. I had storms that made it difficult and occasionally impossible to see more than a few feet in front of me through the wall of water pouring down my windshield.

The highway did offer one pleasant surprise. Around Thayer, I was getting tired and really needed to stretch my legs. Thayer is an extremely small town off of Highway 169. The town is one square mile and has a population of about 500 people (to put that in context, Lawrence is a little less than 30 square miles and has a population of about 92,000). But small towns do have their appeal. In this case, the appeal was an odd oversized suit of armor by the side of the road.

As I pulled into the parking lot of a market, I saw a sign for Wholesale Imports offering wrought iron works, pottery and antiques. In a small gated area, I could see hundreds of different unique items from wrought iron decorations to a suit of armor almost as big as the building. I tried to go inside but the shop was closed that day, leaving me out in the drizzling rain to wonder just why the hell anyone in a town of 500 people would have this huge, medieval contraption?

I left without an answer but continued to search for one after my return home. Despite a thorough online search, I couldn’t find the shop listed anywhere. I know it was on Galvenston Street (also known as Highway 169) and was next to Mama C’s Grocery, a little store kind enough to let a weary traveler use their restroom and purchase some refreshments. I was going to have to be a little cleverer, instead of just relying on the internet to tell me what I wanted to know.

Using a street view on Google maps, I was able to find the building again and figure out an approximate address. The address proved to be of little use however, it was not actually listed anywhere. I continued by searching through every yellow pages I could find for Thayer, but still to no avail.

I have come to the conclusion that the only way I may ever answer where the suit of arms came from is by driving back to Thayer and hoping the shop is open this time. It is about 120 miles away, so maybe sometime when the weather is nice I will make another trip along highway 169 and solve the mystery of the Oversized Suit of Armor.

Total Distance Traveled: 230 miles (From Tulsa to Thayer, then Thayer to Lawrence)
Total Time Traveled: 5 hours
Soundtrack: “Canon” Ani DiFranco and Country Radio


1 comment:

  1. I live in Thayer, found this from messing around on google. That suit of armor is still there, mainly because it's junk. That place was closed because it's been for sale for years but nobody wants it because it's full of useless crap.