Sunday, August 21, 2005

The Teapot Museum in Sparta

Heard people talking -- and laughing -- about the "pork" ($400,000, which is a lot of bat skins!) that got slipped into the N.C. state budget for a "teapot museum" in Sparta. Rep. Jim Harrell of Surry County did the slipping. And turns out Sen. Richard Burr and Virginia Foxx are pulling strings to get $1 million more in federal money for the same thing.

The full story's not quite so laughable, though possibly the rich Californians who amassed a collection of 8,000 antique and not-so-antique ceramic (and not so ceramic) teapots are worthy of hearty laughter. Most of us collectors are totally nuts, God knows. (My collection of women-in-prison movies, for example, will someday sell for big bucks!)

We actually saw a generous helping of those 8,000 teapots at the Winterthur Museum in Delaware a couple of years ago, and I have to say, they're worth their own institution.

And unlikely as Sparta might be for the location, it's an economic development issue for Alleghany County, which has lost 2,000 jobs under the "strong, magnificent, rebounding" Bush economy since 2000.

If they build it, I will come.

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