You can visit Stonehenge in Europe or the United States. But there's only one place to visit the Airstream Ranch--just west of Plant City, Florida.
It's all the brainchild of a local RV dealer--yeah, the same guy who painted advertising signs on the sides of cows and turned them loose in a pasture near his dealership. But this time, Frank Bates may really be on to something. With "A" frames in the ground, and bumpers pointed skyward, a row of seven retired Airstream trailers glints in the Florida sunshine, perhaps causing as much wonderment in passerby as do the ancient stone formations in Wiltshire.
Bates wants the attention, and sure, he'd like it if you'd stop on by and purchase an RV. But in Frank's mind, this is art. Even if the neighbors don't all agree. One critic sums it up, "You can only dress up a pig so much." Local government officials aren't exactly in agreement either. While Environmental Protection officials don't have a squawk, code enforcement officers are firing off a letter telling Bates his exhibit constitutes an unlawful collection of debris. Bates says he'll fight to keep his art on display--right where it is.