Barney Smith's Toilet Seat Art Museum

This museum consists mostly of toilet seat lids decorated by Barney Smith, a retired master plumber now in his eighties.

At last count, Smith had 645 toilet seats and lids in his garage at 239 Abiso Avenue in the San Antonio suburb of Alamo Heights (210-824-7791). Each item has a different theme. Some themes are more serious than others. "The last toilet seat I hung up was of the Columbia (space shuttle)," Smith said. "I've got the patch that they wore on the front, nd on the back I've got a newspaper clipping that says 'Columbia Is Lost.'"

Deceased hornets are glued to one toilet seat and lid combination. "Please open slowly, do not disturb," reads the message on the lid. Lift the lid and you see the bugs underneath.
"These are yellow jackets," Smith said. "One of them stung me on my head, and I just said, 'I'll put you on my toilet seat.' " Now that's what I call a payback.

Another lid has a photo of Miss America on it. (Miss America probably didn't figure she'd end up being so honored, right?) Another toilet seat lid is covered with dog tags (from dogs, not soldiers), and still another is decorated with somebody's swizzle stick collection of swizzle sticks.
Smith selected toilet seats as his motif because he has connections in the plumbing supply business who give him damaged toilet seats they can't sell. He said the neighbors don't complain because the garage museum hasn't attracted a lot of tour buses.

Ironically, the museum has no bathroom. "I got plenty of toilet seats, but no toilet," Smith admitted.

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