The Smoking Catapillar

"You may recall reading about Kevin Cady’s technicolor home near Manitou Park and Manitou Elementary School. I wrote about it in August.

The self-proclaimed philosopher and Buckwheat Catapillar band member tired of his home’s drab paint last spring.

He and his friends painted it green, yellow and purple. The yard was a summer tumble of flowers and a jumble of ironic artifacts, including ceramic caterpillars.

The fence is studded with windows, slogans, a parking space set aside for Sarah Palin, and, of course, the Smoking Catapillar.

The Smoking Catapillar was once a mere 1978 Mercury Zephyr station wagon. Cady and his bandmates in Buckwheat Catapillar and Baby Knockors drove it on tour.

To make a splash wherever they rode, they had Tacoma artist Teddy Haggarty transform it into an art car festooned with airplanes, cactuses and baying coyotes.

When Smoking Catapillar turned 30, Cady bought it collector plates to honor its advanced years and its aesthetic. They last as long as the car, but limit where and how it can be driven, and they require that it be drivable."
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