Haywire Hobby Along the Highway

6 years 4 weeks 1 day ago July 28, 2010 Jul 28, 2010 Wednesday, July 28 2010 Wednesday, July 28, 2010 5:14:00 AM CDT in News

WELLSVILLE - Call them the "Three Musketeers of Montgomery County". Three men with the ability to stop traffic on a busy highway with their haywire hobby.

In the middle of a hayfield is the last place you'd expect to find a work of art, but these picassos of the pasture have a point...each bale...is a blank canvas.

 

"You wouldn't think you could paint a hay bale and make it look like you did it on a canvas," said bale painter, Doyle Ragsdell.

It's grass graffitti that turned hay bales into a hellcat.

"Just stay away from the fumes." "You're not going to taping surely."

Bill McClain's a little camera shy but not afraid of this challenge.

"All of this is made out of plywood.. tap tap "

Like sending his buddy John Scott ...

"Don't you all have anything better to do? "

To the hardware store for wire, plexiglas and a styrofoam head.

"Well, we had to have a cockpit."

"Did the guys at the hardware store think you were nuts?" "The guys at the hardware store were confused. yeah they thought I was nuts," said Scott, another bale painter.

Nuts who used hay to build a hellcat. A World War II era plane that's 33-feet-long. The field team had to design a mini suspension bridge just to hold the weight of the more than four thousand pounds of hay bales that make up the body.

McClain, the third bale painter said, "The tires I got from a fella here in town. They're donut tires out of cars."

People routinely stop to give props to the hellcat....but what passersby don't know.... is the motivation behind McClain's masterpieces.

A steam engine.....a St. Bernard....a teddy bear at christmas. When McClain's wife passed away, these projects kept him smiling.

Linda Brace, McClain's Daughter said, "It's great. To see him happy it's great. "

"I think it kind of relieves all of the serious stuff going on in the world," said Ragsdell.

"Some of this is going to be cut I can tell," laughed McClain

So the next time you see a farmer hauling hay....it just might be a pasture picasso...who found heaven...in a hellcat.

"I asked the electric department if they could put the little balls up on the wires."

You can see the hellcat on Highway 19 in Wellsville. McClain says he'll feed the body of the plane to his cattle...as long as the hay stays dry.

As for his next project? A huey helicopter.

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