"The 1930's seemed to be a much simpler time. Neighbors helping neighbors, everyone had a garden and canned their own food. They had a milk cow and they even made their own clothes. By today's standards, they were poor ... they just didn't know it!"
These words from Lowell Davis recall a vanishing way of life for the people of thousands of little towns across America --- and it was just this sort of life that Lowell experienced during his early years in the town of Red Oak, Missouri.
But all this began to change shortly after World War II when folks began moving to the cities in search of the good life. Now some sixty years later, most of these rural communities are ghost towns. When Lowell returned to his boyhood home from one of those "good life" careers in the Dallas/Fort Worth area - that's just what he found.
It was then that he began buying the homes and businesses his beloved Red Oak - moving them twenty-three miles to his Fox Fire Farm near Carthage, Missouri and restoring them to their original grandeur - a place now known as Red Oak II.
Back in 1987, Red Oak II was just a cornfield, but to Lowell, it was a blank canvas.
"I don't believe that an artist should be restricted to use only paint or clay. It can be anything including junk, wood, even an old building. To me, Red Oak II is a combination of a painting and a sculpture, and it is just made from things that someone else threw away."
A visit to Red Oak II is a visit to the past. You'll see Grandpa Weber's Blacksmith Shop, where Lowell's great-grandfather practiced his trade, the Feed and Seed Store, the Old Phillip's 66 Station which was originally located on old Route 66 near Red Oak and the General Store which was originally located in Red Oak, was run by Lowell's father and was where Lowell learned to sculpt and paint.