Tuesday, June 22, 2010

the button king and pearl fryar

6/9 Bishopville, South Carolina

Sorry to work in the past again folks, but we never got around to a post for the swell stuff we visited in Bishopville on our way across South Carolina. Well worth the stop was Dalton Stevens' Button Museum. mrs. a-go-go called ahead to check if the museum was open for the day but only got the answering machine so she left a message and we figured we would try our luck. If you go, do try to stick to the directions on the website. Many of the rural roads turn into unpaved ruts and a GPS may send you down one of these.

When we arrived Dalton seemed to be expecting us so they must have gotten the massage on the answering machine. We pulled up to the white museum building and Dalton ushered us in out of the sun after a brief introduction. Inside was a dazzling display of his insomniac handiwork.

Dalton says that the button applique started one night when he just couldn't sleep with just one red button sewn on the knee of his denim pants.the very first button sewn From there he covered a whole outfit including hat and vest, and the body of his guitar. Dalton indulged us with a few songs on his guitar and then he took us into the building next door where he demonstrated some of his other favorite instruments, a mandolin, a banjo, and a washboard tie!serenaded

Dalton then offered to show us the way to something else he thought we should see in Bishopville. He was on his way to town anyhow so he said, "Follow me and I'll take you to see the topiary." Huh... We exchanged concerned looks and wondered what we were in for but Dalton was right, we did need to see this. He led us to the garden of Pearl Fryar who has turned the land around his house into a marvelous topiary art project.

You won't find the frozen green elephants and turtles that may spring to mind, and there are no elemental solids here. All of Pearl's shapes are wild abstractions and imaginative organic fantasies. He started with no training and a few plants discarded from the nursery and made training and trimming plants into his own vision. If you are traveling Interstate 20 across South Carolina, don't miss the short detour for these one-of-a-kind creations.


  1. There is a rentable documentary on "Pearl" --He's a mentor

  2. Look at all the wonderful sights we never knew existed. I wonder if my mum would let me do this to our yard? Going to try.



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