I’ve been talking with Mr. Wharton’s very nice sister over the last few weeks, and there have been a couple of developments recently. Mr. Wharton’s court date is this coming Wednesday, May 21st, and he has a lawyer who has agreed to represent him free of charge.
Also, the city of Huntsville dropped off a couple of dumpster/receptacles a few days ago and promised that they would send out some convicts to take direction from Mr. Wharton as to what to throw out. Mr. Wharton concedes that some of the material (not art, but scraps and accumulated ‘stuff’) can go, so this will be a good thing.
It sure does seem that the city of Huntsville has started to come around.
It started out with an old city official saying something along the lines of “if Wharton’s yard is art, then the landfill is a museum”, which was quoted in the Huntsville Times, and that the bottle trees had to go because “bottles are for inside use, not for outside” to them seemingly making some steps toward improvement.
One of my friends who wrote the Huntsville Times in support of Mr. Wharton got a rather terse email back from Bill Kling (who she copied on the letter so he would have it for his files), the councilman who represents Mr. Wharton’s area. As the first article the Times wrote – that I linked to in my first post – Bill Kling was complimentary of Mr. Wharton’s art, and has come out to help tidy the yard. He seemed terribly sensitive about the idea of Mr. Wharton’s art being removed.
I’m looking forward to seeing how everything goes on May 21st (a little nervously, but hoping for the best). The public outcry about all this has undoubtedly helped the city evolve from equating Mr. Wharton’s art to landfill contents, to now helping him tidy up, to what they will hopefully be doing very soon: directing fellow residents and visitors to see how creative, individualistic members of the city of Huntsville make joyful art.