Dinosaurs in mid-Missouri bring people from across the country

1 year 9 months 3 days ago Friday, November 09 2018 Nov 9, 2018 Friday, November 09, 2018 6:33:00 AM CST November 09, 2018 in News
By: Sydney Olsen, KOMU 8 Reporter

CENTRALIA - Larry Vennard's yard is very different from his neighbors, or most people's for that matter. His yard is full of dinosaurs.

Vennard is an artist who lives outside of Centralia, on Highway T. He has built dinosaurs, warriors and other fantasy creatures out of scrap metal. He even has warriors protecting his yard from a T-Rex.

Vennard started building scrap metal sculptures after he quit work building ornamental iron railings. 

"Three states, really stressed out, running three trucks, and I just got too stressed out, so I just started cutting steel instead," he said. 

Vennard also continued to weld after a doctor told him he could not do it anymore because of a car accident. Some 25 dinosaurs later, he said he does not regret his decision.

His idea of building dinosaurs come in a moment of epiphany.

"Just one day, I was looking around and I seen the head of my T-Rex, the silage blower snout, and I said 'Man that looks like a dinosaur head.'"

Before long, people wanted to help with his sculptures.

"I would come home and there would just be piles in my driveway where people had just piled up whole truck loads of steel and dump them right in my driveway," Vennard said. 

He said the toughest sculpture he built was a triceratops because it was difficult to give life to a 500 gallon oil barrel. 

Scott Stone, who lives down the road from Vennard, said his children get excited about the sculptures. 

"Some years they put Christmas lights on them, which makes them really unique, and sometimes they're, like, chasing lights, so it looks like the dinosaurs are actually eating things. And that's really cool," he said.

Vennard said he's had people travel from several states to see his creations.

Stone said he sees people stop in the road to look at Vennard's artwork, and he can tell when there are new people in town.

"They'll come flying down the road then they'll just stop in front of our house and then back up so that they can look at the dinosaurs," he said. 

Stone said sometimes they do more than look.

"Now that people have cameras on their phones, they'll like get out and take pictures and then crawl in their car and then take off like they don't want anybody to know they just did it."

Vennard said he does not make new sculptures now, but insists the ones he has will stick around.

"I want to leave this out here, I don't want to sell it, you know? I'm kind of in a situation where I'm not producing a lot of artwork anymore, I'm just kind of running on what I got," he said. 

Vennard said keeping the sculptures is about more than him.

"If I was to get rid of it, you know, or move it, or whatever, it would really disappoint a lot of kids," he said.

 

More News

Grid
List
WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Joe Biden has chosen California Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate. It’s a move... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, August 11 2020 Aug 11, 2020 Tuesday, August 11, 2020 3:23:39 PM CDT August 11, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – A news conference staged Tuesday put mourners and activists in front of cameras to call on Governor... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, August 11 2020 Aug 11, 2020 Tuesday, August 11, 2020 3:02:00 PM CDT August 11, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — The Jefferson City School Board has agreed to sell the former Simonsen Ninth Grade Center building to... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, August 11 2020 Aug 11, 2020 Tuesday, August 11, 2020 2:17:00 PM CDT August 11, 2020 in News
As COVID-19 continues to spread, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about impacts in the community. You can... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, August 11 2020 Aug 11, 2020 Tuesday, August 11, 2020 2:09:00 PM CDT August 11, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Supreme Court upheld a lower court's ruling awarding damages to a woman injured when her... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, August 11 2020 Aug 11, 2020 Tuesday, August 11, 2020 1:37:53 PM CDT August 11, 2020 in News
The COVID-19 pandemic has made access to mental health resources difficult, and for children with impulse control disorders, the changes... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, August 11 2020 Aug 11, 2020 Tuesday, August 11, 2020 9:50:00 AM CDT August 11, 2020 in A Brighter Tomorrow
COLUMBIA — A home invasion in north Columbia sent one woman to the hospital early Tuesday morning. CPD Detective... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, August 11 2020 Aug 11, 2020 Tuesday, August 11, 2020 6:21:00 AM CDT August 11, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — Columbia's Board of Education voted Monday night to delay the start of the 2020-2021 school year. ... More >>
2 days ago Monday, August 10 2020 Aug 10, 2020 Monday, August 10, 2020 9:36:00 PM CDT August 10, 2020 in News
President Donald Trump was abruptly escorted out of a White House press conference on Monday after shots were fired outside... More >>
2 days ago Monday, August 10 2020 Aug 10, 2020 Monday, August 10, 2020 6:06:00 PM CDT August 10, 2020 in News
Columbia - Watch live as the Board of Education considers three different proposals from the school district for the start... More >>
2 days ago Monday, August 10 2020 Aug 10, 2020 Monday, August 10, 2020 5:24:00 PM CDT August 10, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The National Weather Service issued a flash flooding warning for Boone County as heavy rains continue until 9:45... More >>
2 days ago Monday, August 10 2020 Aug 10, 2020 Monday, August 10, 2020 5:11:00 PM CDT August 10, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - One person is suffering life-threatening injuries after a crash on I-70 on Monday. The crash occurred around... More >>
2 days ago Monday, August 10 2020 Aug 10, 2020 Monday, August 10, 2020 4:45:00 PM CDT August 10, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — Gov. Mike Parson expanded his special session to include a new provision regarding the backlog of murder... More >>
2 days ago Monday, August 10 2020 Aug 10, 2020 Monday, August 10, 2020 4:32:00 PM CDT August 10, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA —It's not a surprise that back to school preparations might look different this year. For some teachers, this... More >>
2 days ago Monday, August 10 2020 Aug 10, 2020 Monday, August 10, 2020 4:28:00 PM CDT August 10, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA – Commissioners of the power 5 conferences, (The ACC, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC) met Sunday to discuss potential... More >>
2 days ago Monday, August 10 2020 Aug 10, 2020 Monday, August 10, 2020 3:17:00 PM CDT August 10, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Police arrested two people in suspected connection with a Sunday night burglary. Columbia police responded to a... More >>
2 days ago Monday, August 10 2020 Aug 10, 2020 Monday, August 10, 2020 3:07:17 PM CDT August 10, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Boone County's public health staff have a plan for contact tracing in the upcoming school year According... More >>
2 days ago Monday, August 10 2020 Aug 10, 2020 Monday, August 10, 2020 2:43:00 PM CDT August 10, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri's Department of Health and Senior Services issued licenses to four new medical marijuana facilities. The... More >>
2 days ago Monday, August 10 2020 Aug 10, 2020 Monday, August 10, 2020 2:41:31 PM CDT August 10, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 71°
7am 71°
8am 74°
9am 77°
10am 80°