Frank Sinatra painted on a spider web. Two-trunked elephants. Shrunken heads. If an oddity is worthy of a proper sideshow, roadside attraction, or even its own heavily guarded museum exhibit, you dont have to tell Edward Meyer: hes already intimately familiar with it. After all, you dont become curator (and original founder) of Ripleys Believe it or Not! Museums (as well as editor, writer, and publisher of more than 50 Ripleys books) by keeping your head in the sand.
Meyer has been expanding the eccentric company for 20-plus years under one rule: everything must be authentic. That double-nosed pachyderm? It was DNA tested. The minimized cranium? Its an artifact, a final vestige from a 100-year-old Indian ceremony. And Old Blue Eyes on Charlottes spindle? Well, hell, thats just fascinating in its own right.
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Now consider this: Meyer has spent the better part of his life working in Ripleys two-story warehouse, its the size of a football field, and its filled to capacity with oddities: curious spectacles waiting patiently until Meyer finds the perfect place to showcase their glory. Theres no doubt that a life like his is as interesting, peculiar, and varied as the collection itself. Wouldnt you like to hear about it? Well, today you can. Meyer is speaking at the Gubelmann Auditorium (2 Four Arts Plaza, Palm Beach); hes following a local girl who communicates with lizards. The whole thing is free and starts at 10 a.m. Free? I dont believe it.
Sat., Dec. 15, 10 a.m., 2007