While traveling through Arizona, many road trippers have been seduced off of Highway 10 by the inscrutable allure of “The Thing?” which has been advertised along this stretch of road for decades. This curious roadside attraction is a gaff created by the infamous Homer Tate, a man who became an indispensable part of the survival of the sideshow.
Before Homer ventured into the world of the weird, he was an upstanding citizen who maintained several conventional jobs. Born in 1884, Homer was a miner, a farmer, a sheriff and eventually the owner of a motel and gas station in Arizona. In 1945, he moved to Phoenix and decided to radically change the direction of his life: he began pursuing art. Homer’s artistic expressions did not manifest themselves on a canvas, but instead in the form of weird creatures. During the 1940s and 50s, Homer was the creator and purveyor of shrunken heads, Feegee Mermaids and other oddity attractions (Grindshow.com). At one point, Homer even boasted a full catalog filled with peculiar curio available for purchase, as well as a dime museum in Apache Junction, Arizona (Sideshowworld.com).
Homer passed in 1975, but his legacy lives on. His surviving memorabilia has become prized collectibles in the sideshow circuit, and others follow in his footsteps today.