Kansas Roadtrips: McElangelo of Coffeyville, KS

On a crisp November morning the only sound in the historic downtown Coffeyville, KS  was the uncontrollable laughter of two people sitting in a small car in front of a mural hanging on a brick wall. Two people have been doing this for some time, and when one of them would stop laughing, the other pointed to the mural again and both would start giggling again, feverishly wiping away streaming tears. Two people were not strangers to the small town folk art but just like visitors to the Sistine Chapel they knew this could never be surpassed.

Click on these images of perfection, magnify, study them from the gap-toothed person in the middle to the lion on the right. I laugh at the Louvre and the Nelson-Atkins Museum for having mural-sized holes in their collections; I look down upon fancy gallery openings and wine-sipping pretentious art lovers who attend them; I give a stink-eye to the beret-wearing bearded so-called artists. You will never achieve the level of someone named Don Sprague – an unsung (until today) mural painter who lived an created in Coffeyville Kansas.

The murals are mapped on a wall of the Isham Hardware located next to the Dalton Museum. Notice that in the inception-like stroke the building marked “You are here” has a replica of the mural you are looking at.

Full-size painting of the corpses of the Dalton Gang is the crown jewel of the collection. Notice someone peeking through the hole in the fence.

Other than its magnificent murals, Coffeyville looks like a typical Kansas town, with historic area well preserved but not exactly bustling with activity.

Do Christian karateists turn the other cheek? In any case, someone named Einberg got the last laugh.

If the magnificent murals didn’t convince you to visit Coffeyville, maybe the rock-bottom prices on prescriptions will.

You will definitely breathe easy again.