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Weekend getaway: Liz checks out flying cars

December 11, 2017

GRAND ISLAND — During my time here, I’ve heard a lot of people talk about Grand Island, so I thought I’d ask around to see why they go there.

“It’s a bigger town than Columbus. There’s more to do and that’s about it,” said the less-than-eloquent people I asked.

I decided to check out Grand Island for myself, so I picked up my phone and searched Google for things to see.

In my research, I found an offbeat attraction that tickled my fancy. It’s called Fred’s Flying Circus.

I saw a picture of several whimsical cars atop poles transporting different cartoon characters from days gone by. The cars sailed over a street near a couple of body shops.

Shrek was in a taxi cab hitching a ride from the wicked witch. Smurfette was present and accounted for, handing Tweety a bouquet of flowers. I had to go see what this is all about.

I traveled west through Central City, where my college roommate lives, and made it to Grand Island about 20 minutes later. The community seemed to crescendo from a plains town to a small city in about a mile’s distance. I was going to find Fred’s Flying Circus, but I wanted to feel this place out a little first.

Downtown was understandably slow on a Sunday afternoon.

I found Grand Island is laid out very well and boasts amazing architecture when it comes to the older buildings. I never cared for architecture all that much until I went to Europe one summer and saw the cathedrals. Since then I’ve found an appreciation for the art incorporated into buildings. It can tell a story, really.

At any rate, Grand Island has a lot to see and do, but only for someone who brings more cash.

I pulled out my phone to search for Fred’s Flying Circus using the GPS. I was expecting it to be in the country somewhere, since that’s normally where the more artsy folks reside. My assumption was proved wrong as I crept through the south side of town to a row of body shops that were almost right under a viaduct.

“You have arrived at your destination,” the GPS stated.

I got to the front of the exhibit and saw it was surrounded by a very tall fence.

But what I could see was pretty interesting.

There was a painting of a mechanic working on a pink Cadillac on the fence. This would have been insignificant to me had I not seen the statue of Don Henley standing on the corner in Winslow, Arizona. A building behind Don had a similar painting of the girl in the flatbed Ford that I was seeing in Grand Island. That was pretty interesting to me.

I had to cross the street to better see all the flying cars.

I learned the guy who made all the cars, Fred Schritt, passed away early last year, which is too bad because he seemed like a happy guy.

All too often we admire art someone left behind and find out the person who made it didn’t have their heart in the right place. That didn’t seem to be the case for Mr. Schritt, which makes those odd flying cars that much more whimsical.