Saturday, October 10, 2009

Gerald Matthews' Museum of Un-Natural History


Recently, we took a trip to Walla Walla, Washington. Along the way I tried to pick up postcards, but to no avail! Small towns don't seem to have postcards anymore. We were determined to get a postcard for Uncle Milton in the town of Milton-Freewater, Oregon, but we looked everywhere and finally gave up. Poor Uncle Milt.

Luckily for us, there was a veritable postcard bonanza in Walla Walla. We had seen a postcard for the Museum of Un-Natural History and I was pretty excited about going there. At first I was discouraged when I read that it was only open on Saturdays and the first Friday of each month, but then I also saw that it was open by appointment. Not being shy, we called to make an appointment and Gerald Matthews answered the phone and said he would meet us there in 20 minutes.

When we arrived, Leon Redbone was playing in the background and various mechanical exhibits were turning and whirring. Mr. Matthews was eager to tell us about all of the pieces and about his interesting life (he has been a clown, an actor, and the voice of Sugar Bear...remember Sugar Bear?) Visiting this museum is a little bit like going to a carnival. Mr. Matthews readily admits that some people hate it and leave in disgust. The museum is full of humor, sarcasm, absurdism, and political commentary. It's also full of beautiful and haunting images. If you're ever in Walla Walla, you should definitely make a point of stopping by.  If you aren't, you may want to take a look at the website; it doesn't give you the full flavor, but it does give you a hint of the nature of the place.

Walla Walla feels like it's in the middle of nowhere (because it is), but it has great wine and fabulous restaurants out there surrounded by wheat fields. Equally strange was the fact that we kept running into Eric Idle everywhere we went (remember him from Monty Python?)
Check out the Museum of Un-Natural History at:


  1. I would so dig this museum! What a hoot that you called and that he actually answered! Hooray for your gumption:)

  2. How wonderful! We have performed in WallaWalla, and one of my favorite friends grew up there. I did not know they have a museum! Next time I'm in the neighborhood I'll have to check it all out!

    Happy PFF a little late. (grin)



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