Ernie Poe | dates unknown | Sharon Springs, KS
Barbed wire sculptures
Ernie Poe has strung and repaired a lot of barbed wire fence in his days as a rancher, and he can’t seem to leave the stuff alone. When we visited Ernie, he was supposed to be taking is easy, recovering from a recent heart condition, but he was still rarin’ to go, telling stories of the displays.
His latest creation is a life-sized (and life-like) buffalo in front of the Fort Wallace Museum, created from over two miles of coiled barbed wire. Once you enter the display building of the Museum, you find his creations are everywhere, cacti, roadrunners, an oxen team, three horses, and several lizards. The crazy thing is – these are not meant to be displays of his work, but instead are meant to serve as displays for all of the ranching and homesteading memorabilia housed in the Museum.
But it is awfully hard to see the harnesses and yokes, that is supported by his creations, and not marvel at his art.
It is well worth the drive…yes, even with the drive back to Hays through the storms…at night…while in need of a meal…(always remember to pack snacks when on the back roads, you never know, oh, and a hand-crank weather radio is pretty darn handy, too.)