On the very last stop on the very last day of my very last research trip for Weird Arizona, I met one of the state's most prolific, and friendliest, folk artists. His name was Jerry Hall, and his "World of Imagination," a collection of unusual, scrap-metal sculptures that took up the entirety of his front yard, had become a regional sensation.
I had been unable to contact Jerry before my arrival, but by sheer luck, he arrived at home moments before I finished taking photos and hit the road back to Texas. As a result, I was fortunate enough to spend a couple of hours chatting with Jerry, learning about what made him tick, and even getting a personal tour of the wall art inside his house.
Jerry welcomed me like a friend into his home, which is why I was sad to learn that he had recently succumbed to cancer. He passed away on Oct. 19 at the age of 65.
To my regret, my story on Jerry Hall's World of Imagination was cut from the final version of Weird Arizona due to space concerns. But the story, presented with photos of Jerry's creatures, can be read in its entirety here at the Roadside Resort.
Jerry's wife Chris says she intends to maintain her late husband's creations so that others may continue to enjoy them. It's also where she plans to scatter his ashes come February, when Jerry would have celebrated his next birthday.