It was an honor to write this article about Art Smith’s miniature canal scene, over 15 years ago. I remember how proud Art was of it.
A Magical Mayberry Moment:
Art Smith’s Miniature Canal Scene
By Richard Mabey Jr.
It was truly a magical Mayberry moment. Art Smith phoned Dad to tell him that he had just finished making his miniature canal scene. I believe, to the best of my knowledge it was a Wednesday afternoon when Art called. Art was so very proud and excited, when he called. The miniature canal scene was really something to see.
Art Smith’s three-dimensional canal scene was really something to see.
Art’s canal scene was a three-dimensional depiction of Lincoln Park’s famous Incline Plane Ten East. When you looked at it, you could tell that Art put a lot of time and effort into this miniature display.
Well, the Saturday before the Wednesday that Art called Dad, my father and I put up an educational historical display in the showcase of the Lincoln Park Public Library. We knew that Art was working on his three-dimensional panoramic miniature display of Incline Plane Ten East, so we left a space for it.
Dad agreed to meet Art at the library after supper, that Wednesday afternoon that they talked on the phone. Dad and I had arrived first. It was a magical, Mayberry moment when Art walked through the back doors of the Lincoln Park Library carrying his panoramic display. It created quite a little stir. Some of the people at the library, left their places at the table that they were sitting at, and came over and looked at Art’s newest work of art. Art got a lot of compliments. Art simply loved it.
It was a magical Mayberry moment, just before we placed Art’s canal display in the library showcase. Left to right: Art Smith, Dad and Library Director, Dr. Frank Kaiser.
I miss these Mayberry moments of the quiet, gentle life of Old Lincoln Park. After I took this photo to go with my article for The Independent News, we put Art’s panoramic box display in the library showcase. Some of the folks in the library came over and made such a fuss about the complete display, showing some of the interesting history of Old Lincoln Park. We all shook hands when we were done. It was just a wonderful little moment in time.
Looking back, I don’t think that any of the big dailies that covered Lincoln Park would have given the story a second glance. It’s one of the reasons that I so strongly dislike the big, corporate owned, daily papers. It’s the small town weekly and the regional weekly newspapers that really have their pulse on the truth of the heart and breath of small town life. I consider it an honor to have played a role in the editorial staff of quite a few small town weeklies, over a considerable number of years. I truly miss those quaint and charming moments of small town life.