Video – Ozark Man Rocks the Spoons!


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Spoons are a musical instrument and this guy ROCKS ’em! To find out more about the Music of the Ozarks, click here!: http://www.gypsynester.com/oz.htm

Spoons are a musical instrument and this guy ROCKS ’em! To find out more about the Music of the Ozarks, click here!: http://www.gypsynester.com/oz.htm

Visit our GypsyNester YouTube Channel!

Dale Ertel, Reptile Wrangler

 Winding through the “crooked and steep” roads of the Ozarks near Berryville, Arkansas, it would have been easy to miss the intriguing and very colorful hand painted sign on the side of the road, but Veronica caught a glimpse of it. “Did that sign say Snake World?”

Lucky for us, Dale Ertel was standing in the front yard of the dilapidated dwelling that houses the exhibition. Dale and his family originally cohabitated… CONTINUE READING >>

Winding
through the “crooked and steep” roads of the Ozarks
near Berryville, Arkansas, it would have been easy to miss
the intriguing and very colorful hand painted sign on the
side of the road, but Veronica caught a glimpse of it. “Did
that sign say Snake World?” We hit the brakes and
HAD to turn around.
Lucky
for us, Dale Ertel was standing in the front yard of the dilapidated
dwelling that houses the exhibition. Dale
and his family originally cohabitated with the snakes and he bragged that
his fifteen year old son used to sleep with two cobras on
his headboard. But as the menagerie expanded, new human living
quarters

had to be rolled in. He now shares the lot in an adjacent
trailer home.

Mr. Ertel
was more than happy to show us his impressive display…for
a price. We slipped him a dozen dollars and the two of us advanced
tentatively into the viper’s den.

The
interior looked just as we expected, considering the upkeep
of the outside of the premises — not a place for the queasy
or the faint of heart. Tidy was not a word that leapt to mind
and the smell was front and center, even on a chilly spring
day. The glass on the displays were too filthy for Snake World
to be considered museum quality and crap was just strewn everywhere.
Little homespun touches like snake skin buntings and a stuffed
turkey adorned the walls.

In
its favor, the exhibits are intriguing and Dale is so enthusiastic
in his presentation that it was hard not to be taken in. He
sped from one exhibit to the next with a very informative,
yet downhome spiel about each reptile. We had to wonder how
much of it was fact and how much mere folklore.
“Here’s
a 15 foot python that weighs 130 pounds, they get big enough
to eat a donkey, here, look at this picture, this is a local
pygmy rattler, just 15 inches, now he’ll put you in the
hospital for a few days, but you won’t die.” Helpful
hill country rhymes like “Red touch yellow – Kill a fellow
– Red touch black – Venom lack” to distinguish the venomous
coral snake from the bite-friendly milk snake are included
at no extra charge.

Dale’s
female African Rock Python was about to lay her turkey egg-sized
eggs, so he explained to us how he used a chicken

incubator to
process them. He then “sells them for dirt cheap,” telling
the buyers “don’t feed them too much or you’ll
have a too big snake on your hands.”

In addition
to snakes from all over the world, the presentation includes
monitor lizards, snake neck turtles, iguanas and hissing
roaches that he breeds as children’s pets.

Many
of his specimens are local indigenous wildlife he has rescued.
When neighboring
folks are confronted with a cantankerous asp, they call Dale for
snake removal from motels, homes and restaurants (Who

you gonna
call? Snake Busters!). When asked where he gets his non Arkansas
snakes he informed us that he “horse trades with reptile
people all over the states.”

Dale
Ertel is just a good ole boy just doin’ what he loves
to do best. Everyone should be so lucky.

David &
Veronica, GypsyNester.com

Tiny Town in Hot Springs Arkansas!


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Crafted entirely out of “things cast off”, Frank Moshinskie’s ode to small town America is truly remarkable. Tiny Town is living proof that one man’s trash is most certainly… CONTINUE READING >>

Crafted entirely out of “things cast off”, Frank Moshinskie’s ode to small town America is truly remarkable. Tiny Town is living proof that one man’s trash is most certainly another man’s treasure. Mr. Moshinskie’s life’s work transports visitors to another place and time, a time when the county fair made an impression on a young boy, a family picnic was a special event and just sitting on a porch – watching the world go by – was a pleasant way to spend a Sunday afternoon. See more at: http://www.gypsynester.com/hs.htm

Visit our GypsyNester YouTube Channel!

We Have Our First #GoingGypsy Winner!

Congrats to Phoebe G. of Goshen, Indiana!Phoebe says, “I can’t wait to live vicariously through you as I read of your adventures! I always need reminders (and inspiration) to not take life so seriously!”

But wait! Don’t despair if you didn’t win – we’re giving away another signed copy!

See how easy it is to share your #GoingGypsy moments and be entered to win a personalized, autographed copy of Going Gypsy!

Congrats to Phoebe G. of Goshen, Indiana!Phoebe says, “I can’t wait to live vicariously through you as I read of your adventures! I always need reminders (and inspiration) to not take life so seriously!”

But wait! Don’t despair if you didn’t win – we’re giving away another signed copy!

See how easy it is to share your #GoingGypsy moments and be entered to win a personalized, autographed copy of Going Gypsy!

The Effingham Cross

 Driving down I-57 on a steel-grey Illinois afternoon, what to our wondering eyes should appear but the surreal sight of the biggest cross on the entire planet.

The 198 foot steel colossus stands ready to overwhelm truckers and tourists alike. With its 113 foot crossbar and 180 tons of steel, this modern day Tower of Babel offers a “Beacon of Hope… CONTINUE READING >>

The Effingham Cross

Driving down I-57 on a steel-grey Illinois afternoon, what to our wondering eyes should appear but the surreal sight of the biggest cross on the entire planet.

The 198 foot steel colossus stands ready to overwhelm truckers and tourists alike. With its 113 foot crossbar and 180 tons of steel, this modern day Tower of Babel offers a

“Beacon of Hope to the 50,000 travelers estimated to pass the site each day.”

At least that’s what The Cross Foundation expects after the five years and 1.1 million dollars it took to build.

The Foundation was not to be toyed with as they specifically set out to break the world record by insuring that it was eight feet taller than the world’s now 2nd largest cross in Groom, TX.

This grandiose shrine was built to withstand almost any act of God — including winds up to 145 mile per hour. For those times when God is not letting there be light, it is spectacularly illuminated with 4000 watts of divine power. As the “Beacon of Hope” faded in the rearview mirror, I couldn’t help but think, “It kind of makes you want to build one 200 feet high, now doesn’t it?”

David, GypsyNester.com