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Ronald McDonald House Chicago Donor Wall: Wood Flowers

Behind dark, twining ivy,

On an old, Victorian wall,

Where moths and small flies flutter,

And spiders weave and crawl,

There’s a rusty lock that’s hidden

In a peeling, old oak door –

They who find the key are bidden

To unlock a treasure store,

For behind those creaky hinges

Lies a garden of delights,

Only known to special people

Who appreciate such sights.

Once an ailing, sickly schoolboy

To whom life was only pain

Found the garden and its pleasures,

Helped him grow and thrive again.

A young woman walked unaided

Midst the sunshine and the flowers,

And a man, betrayed by heartache

Found true comfort in those bowers.

Seek the door, unlock its treasures,

For it’s there for everyone

In that special, secret garden

Where the love goes on and on.


The photos below show artist, Rhett Johnson, and his buddies dismantling a cabin that George Spotts ( yes two t’s ) helped build in Weston,  MO in the mid 1800s.  This cabin was deconstructed , numbered and labeled (each log ) and reconstructed on the outskirts of Taos, New Mexico.  It became a bed and breakfast cabin .  Rhett got the doors and sundry bits from the cabin site.  I used the lath from the cabin to make the weathered wood door. Rhett and his wife Kelly Buntin Johnson, found Mr. Spott’s name drawn on an interior wall of the store on  Main Street in Weston where their gallery Diddy Wa Diddy was located.  This was the boarding house/room where men slept. Rhett and Kelly think that Mr. Spotts just built the cabin but did not reside there as this was a white part of town.

In the early 90s artist, Rhett Johnson, his friendly crew deconstructed a cabin built in the mid 1800s in Westin MO.

80 unique doors will be showcased on two gallery walls in the main public area of the Ronald McDonald House being built in the heart of downtown Chicago near Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital. The doors are meant to symbolize the philosophy that ” The doors of Ronald McDonald House are always open for you.”  To learn more click on the following links:

Materials used: 

  • Cold roll steel – flowers and stems
  • Recycled wood from a cabin dating back to the 1800’s
  • Various found objects, including upholstery nails and pen parts – flowers
  • Hand built ceramic – blue dog



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Chris - February 2, 2012 - 3:39 pm

Thanks, the slat wood is from an old Missouri barn built in the mid 1800’s. I should have mentioned that in the post.

Carole Duh - February 2, 2012 - 3:30 pm

Love the contrasts of the sleek smooth metal and warm worn wood. WOW

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