Thursday, April 11, 2013

Texas Toilet Seat Museum

At the Austin Home and Garden show getting smarter on remodeling my master bathroom (another story), I impulsively purchased a three day and two night stay at one of five hotels in downtown San Antonio.    I expected smoking my pipe in the room would be a problem and the restaurant and bar would be expensive, but I was blindsided by having to pay for parking in the hotel lot.  The first hotel I called wanted $28 a night to park.  (I'll pause here while you reread that.)  I finally found a bargain where hotel parking was only $10 a night and jumped on it.

Let's cut to the chase.  My first stop was going to be the Texas Toilet Seat Museum...a few minutes, a few laughs, and I'd move on.  The GPS lead me to an older neighborhood to the end of a dead end road and a small bungalow with a two car garage.  I almost missed the sign that said open by appointment only because it was dwarfed by a much larger sign made of toilet seats announcing the annual neighborhood dog parade.  Can this little adventure get more weird?

The man who answered the phone agreed to open the museum.  Shortly, an elderly, bent gentleman with a bamboo cane left the house and entered the garage side door.  Another two minutes and the front door of the garage was swung open.  I met Barney Smith.

You couldn't help but love this guy;  small and frail, but with a twinkle in his eye, friendly almost mischievous smile, who radiated energetic enthusiasm.  Barney mentioned he wasn't sure how long he could be open.  He and his wife, of 73 years, Louise were 91 years old and he had to care for her almost constantly.

 For almost an hour and a half, Barney told me of his life as a master plumber, facility engineer for a christian school, and artist.  He's been featured on TV "The Early Show, "The View", and "The Montel Williams Show." and plays recordings for you.

His collection has almost every imaginable theme using mediums from hot glue, decoupage, and intricate carving with a Dremel tool.  I couldn't begin to describe all that I saw or heard, so I'm just going to post links that follow.

Roadside America


You Tube -21. Barney Smith's Toilet Seat Art Museum, San Antonio, Texas 

You Tube - A Trip To The Toilet Seat Art Museum

Barney's museum is a hidden treasure that is must see if you find yourself close to San Antonio.



  1. Just terrific! I saw the FB photos and was fascinated. Isn't it amazing how this couple was able to create something like this out of what is normally mundane? Talk about thinking outside the box...or in this case, the bowl.