The Pictorial Exhibit: the best way to show the creative genius of my dad

The Website is 501® Levi® Original fit and tall & big original fit jeans for men.

The pictorial exhibit and its design was the best way to show the artistic genius of my dad.   By designing and making an 8-feet long pictorial exhibit out of heavy wood, I was able to depict dad’s life story from the various events that had been included.

The pictorial’s exhibit was an accumulation of dad’s creative innovations; rare pictures, unique stories; musical talent; his awe-inspiring sculpture and his building activities.

I am Judy, the designer, and William Harry Wheeler was the name of my dad who was down to earth as well as being an artist who built a 47-foot cowboy.

Each event in his life which began in 1935 until his death in 1997 included his background and his interest.  The exhibit also included dad’s innovations; rare pictures, stories and other surprises.  

The pictorial exhibit was made of a heavy plywood with a centerpiece and two sides.   

I had always respected Levi Strauss & Co which was one another reason I decided last year to write about jeans and other subjects related to jeans.                                                                          In fact, ‘501 Levi jeans original fit and tall & big original fit jeans for men’ became the name of my website.   I wrote post articles that one could navigate to other posts dealing with the subject of jeans, even indirectly.   They were also entertaining.  

Knowing about the personality and the background of Levi Strauss also motivated me to build the pictorial exhibit.  Levi Strauss, the man, and Harry Wheeler both had the same personality; that is, a true innovative spirit and a creative thinker who put their dreams and observations into action.   

My dad and Mr. Strauss were interested in classical music.   I grew up listening to that music.  They both understood the need for their business by using clever advertisements.     

But, the main reason I built my exhibit was to tell the public about my dad and why he was a creative genius. 

So, are you interested what I included in the pictorial exhibit?

A Levi Strauss garment manufacturing company in Amarillo, Texas was responsible for fitting the jeans for the big cowboy in 1960.  Unfortunately, they had to close their garment factory after 35 years sewing fine jeans. 

Read about that sad event and make a comment here if you know anything about that event.     

Anyway, 1960 was the time my dad, William Harry Wheeler, built the 47-foot cowboy.  


                                          the big 47-foot cowboy

Dad was not a builder by profession.  In the 1950’s and the 1960’s, my dad worked at the Strategic Air Command which was located at the Amarillo Air Force Base.  He built many things apart from the big cowboy in his spare time and on weekends.  Some people enjoyed looking

He had his Master’s Degree in Music; not engineering which was a feature of the well-built sculpture.  He played the piano and clarinet.  But then again, he was a man with the Jack of all Spades.  (or is it, trades?)

Many people today change their professions or jobs after they get their college or university or training schools.  Sad to say but many still had to pay their college loans.

He had his Master’s Degree in Music!!  Yet he built the curio shop and the motel and other things too without the benefit of training or additional schooling.

Some quotes that apply to Dad. 

creativity and intelligence poster

Building the 47-foot cowboy was just one of the varied events in dad’s life.  He was such a creative genius, that it would take a long time to describe the background and events that happened in his lifetime thoroughly.  

Most people have one event in their life, but various accomplishments in that one event.  This was so with my mom but not my dad.  He had a variety of events or professions.  His name was William Harry Wheeler and was born in 1916, I believe. 

Genius hit target poster

My mom, who had her music degree in Piano, accomplished many things in that one event.  Of course, both my parents concentrated on their curio shop business in the 1950s and early 1960. Mom did keep up with her music.  

She taught piano and did some accompanying for the singers at the local university, now known as West Texas A & M University.  She was known for her compositions and exceptional teaching ability.

Mainly, during the time of the curio shop business, (1951-1963) she helped the tourists buy their souvenirs and talked with them after they had finished buying them.  She would also clean the curio shop every morning.  Kept tabs on business records.  Kept the tax records.

The cash machine was not like the ones you have today.  We had to count the money and give change by hand.   Here is a picture of an old curio shop; not ours, however.   And the cash machine looks exactly like the one we had in the curio shop.   By the way, the curio shop was named, The Corral Curio Shop and Motel. 

There were other Curio Shops in Texas.                                                                            

Here are the TeePee Curio Shop and the old-fashioned cash register.   I used this type of cash register in Middle school and counted change in my head.   Pat me on the back?   Naw, everyone did that in the old days.
Curio shop name TeePeemoney in a cash register 

I learned a lot by taking care of the curio shop.   Communicating with the tourist kept me from being provincial like so many of the school-age students at the high school.  I remember at that time no one wore original Levi jeans very much.

Are you getting the “feel” of the pictorial exhibit?  

Let me show you the pictorial exhibit that shows my dad’s creative events from the 1930’s to his death in 1979.   The 1930’s and 1940’s is on the left side.    The middle part concentrates on the time when we lived in Canyon, Texas.    It was the time he built everything in 10 years part-time!   The right side includes the special events after he sold his business.    He once again taught piano and had his hand in something new— sculpturing.    It was the kind of sculpture that included wall hanging and stand-up sculpture that even men liked to view.


pictorial exhibit of W. H. Wheeler


The pictorial exhibit is 48 inches tall. (I still have it in my home.)    It sits on a utility table and is quite heavy.   I took it once on a 10-day tour in Amarillo in July 2015.  I hope to go again.   It was well received and was exhibited in a huge mall in Amarillo, Texas.  Bealls and West Texas Western Store were the two businesses that showed the pictorial exhibit.  

They were both very friendly and accommodating managers.  I am fond of everyone I met.

 So here is the pictorial exhibit that shows the events and the professions in Mr. Wheeler’s life.  It was sitting on my sofa in this picture rather than on the utility table.  The top center picture is now, after improving the exhibit, larger and the words are seen much better.  The above picture shows the original exhibit.     

Later, I will have a patented design of a curio shop that is a one of a kind tourist attraction and will be shown in the pictorial exhibit.   I registerd the pictorial exhibit with the copyright office.                          

Here are the different events of dad’s life.  The events or professions are listed horizontally and the item, stories, cartoons, and information are listed vertically down from each event or heading.

Rare photos and items are also included.  The stories and the rare picture or pictures describe Mr. W. H. Wheeler’s exciting life story.   

These are all the various skills and events or professions in (his)Wheeler’s lifetime.

The Headings on the Pictorial Exhibit:

  • Professional Duo Pianist

  • Band Leader;  

  • Mule Trainer;  

  • The Big Cowboy (with curio shop and motel);  

  • Gunfighter Museum;  

  • Carpet Designer and Carper Maker;

  •  Piano Teacher; Sculptures (implied heading);    

Listed in Back of Exhibit 

  • Builder;  
  • Roofer;  
  • Mechanic;  
  • Gardener: 

Owner of Rental Property;

  • Writer/Editor at Air Force Base;  
  • A writer of the first Protocol for Airline Accident Investigation; 
  • A House Painter;  
  • Fixed–Doors, Windows, Carpet, and other household damages;

He had other skills!

  • Was one of three writers at the Amarillo Air Force Base to give the protocol for accident investigation {the first one that was done):  
  • Innovator;  Entertainer;  Reader (profusely);  
  • Salesman (curio shop and firework stand;  
  • Mathematician;  Analyst;  
  • Humorist;
  • mechanic; roofer;
  • a sculpturist;
  • electrician;
  • technical writer;
  • and of course, a good Father and a loving Husband.     

I had a lot of fun showing articles about the special events my dad experienced.   Some of these events, he wrote himself; such as the gunfighter museum.   I wrote about the mule Francis who drank 10 cent cokes from coca cola bottles under the heading, Mule Trainer.

This reminds all of us of Levi Strauss; the company and the man.   It was a time of daring movies showing men wearing jeans.   Yes, Levi® jeans.   For the significant times, read about it in the post, Mule Story one.   It is about entertainment and introducing a new innovation both Levi Strauss and my dad had the insight to do with fine results.   This is the picture of our coke machine that is included in the stories about dad’s mule.   The mule LOVED cokes.

cokes for tourist and Francis 

Many tourists tried to talk to Francis, but he never said a word.   Here is a Trailor about Francis, the TALKING mule.  I am sure it gave some ideas for our Francis to be able to drink cokes out of a coca cola bottle; a new concept.

Would you like to see me working on the exhibit?   

The Sculpture behind me is one of many that my dad sculptured.   That one is pictured on the pictorial exhibit.  It was one of many my dad sculptured as a wall hanging.

                                                                                                      Judy making pictorial exhibitBelow is an article in the Canyon News.  

I had wanted and told the Canyon News and the Amarillo Globe-News to write all about the pictorial exhibit that included everything my dad did in his lifetime; that is, most of his life.  

It did not work out that way, but next time I will make sure reporters understand that the pictorial exhibit was about my dad’s life.  I wanted to set the story straight.  So many of the websites from Canyon were misinformation.   The big cowboy was an icon, but I wanted the people to know who built the icon in 1960.    

The reporters did not realize this important factor.  This was a very good article, but the focus was not on my dad nor the Pictorial Exhibit.

Canyon news article

 Nola, the publisher of this article, was very nice and professional.   She interviewed me a couple of times and wanted to have the article factual with no mistakes.   Her publisher told her to write about how the family was involved with the building of the cowboy.

The reporter for the Amarillo-Globe-News was Vanessa Garcia.  I do not have her newspaper article here (maybe later), but it was more about the situation that exists about the cowboy today.   We talked often and she too is one who wants to write the fine story.

The Amarillo Globe-News and the Canyon News did not write about the pictorial exhibit.  They wanted to write about the Present Time or a human interest involved about the cowboy. That was okay.   They just forgot that he was the artist.

Do you think it is fair or moral to change an artist’s work, famous or not, and whose artwork is considered an icon? 

I would love for my visitors to ask each other or comment together on this issue.  

If I go again on tour again someday.  I will make sure they write about the artist, William Harry Wheeler and all his events in his life until he died in 1997.

The Headings to tell about events, professions, stories—all the things he did in hie life.

Now to the specific headings on the left and on the right side of the exhibit.  The blue rectangle and the top said, ‘duo piano; band director.  This was during the 1940’s and the 1950’s.   Dad studied with William Revelli and got his Masters at Oklahoma State University.

The headings on the left side are Piano Teacher.  In one picture my mom, Gayneyl, my precious mom, and my dad are playing professional duo piano.

                                                                                                                                                      The left side of the pictorial exhibit

My mom had perfect pitch and composed classical music.  Dad had a great technique at the piano but had to practice more to get ready to perform.  He was certain his playing was just right, but the audience made him nervous.  This is typical of many performers.  My mom was a little nervous but once on the stage playing, she lost all her jitters.  

It was my dad that suggested that they quit and at first tried to encourage him to continue, but later saw how it was affecting him and agreed to quit their professional duo piano. He was just too nervous to play on stage in front of people.  

They always got great reviews and they played and entertained the audience very well.  I have some of their actual programs that show what they performed.  Mom and dad did enjoy playing duo piano together; and in fact, years later they performed several times.

The next heading on the left side of the Exhibit is The Band Director.

They were playing duo piano when dad got his Masters and studied with William Revelli and the University of Michigan in Ann  Arbor.  Mr. Revelli was a well-known music director and a famous innovator of the marching band on the field.  Band directors began to copy his technique, especially at the football field.  

His band movements and the music that was played while marching is copied even today.   Today, directors play a more challenging music repertoire.  Dad was there for one year and had to return to Oklahoma to finish his degree.  I was just about 3 years old when he lived in Ann Arbor, but I remember the house we lived and the snow!!

Here is a video of William D. Revelli.   He was famous throughout the United States for his marching band.   Like my dad, he was an innovative genius.   It is a rare interview with him.


You can see a young W. H. Wheeler on the exhibit; that is the heading of the band director.  Yes, for two years dad taught band in Stillwater, Oklahoma.   He put into practice the things he learned from Mr. Revelli.   On the heading, I put pictures of the old campus and some funny pictures of different moods of Directors.  Dad’s report card shows that he made straight A’s.  Revelli had a lot of respect for my dad, but dad did not have the money to finish his degree there, but what he learned was immeasurable.

Dad thought this picture was hilarious.   Not everyone knows how to conduct effectively.


Then they moved back to Oklahoma so that dad could continue with his studies to earn his Masters Degree.  I believe mom had her degree already. Like I wrote already, Dad also taught for two years at the Stillwater School District.  The students really loved my Dad.  It was the first time that they had played a more classical theme of music and the training out on the football field astounded them.

In fact, 35 years later his band students contacted my parents who at that time lived in Amarillo were teaching and dad was doing other things too.   Only his band members were at the reunion dinner.  They reminisced about their days when dad was teaching.  
There was one story that was told.  Once, dad stopped their rehearsal, turned around and walked to look out the window without saying a word.   Everyone in the band became quiet.   Then just as suddenly, he came back to the podium and began again as if nothing unusual had happened.

Items on that side of the board included my dad’s grades from Mr. Revelli.  There are 4 original music programs under the heading Professional Duo Piano.

On the right side of the pictorial exhibit are the headings; Piano Teacher and his Sculpture although that is not the name of the heading. It just included his sculpture. On the lower left is the same picture that was behind me while I was making the pictorial exhibit. 

  You can barely see my dad practicing on the piano, then you see a funny script, dad’s innovative counting notes for little kids and a picture of a horse that had a poem. 
                                                                                                                                                                                         Right side of pictorial exhibit

Dad was in Ann Arbor, Michigan for one year.  Then they moved back to Oklahoma so dad could finish his Master’s Degree.  He then taught band in the Stillwater high school system.

Under the heading, Piano Teacher, are dad’s innovative counting notes for little kids and a picture of a horse with a poem written.  The counting notes were designed with young children in mind because dad knew that children can not keep a steady pace after the word two.

So between the 2 and the 3, there is a slight pause; but there are no pauses when the children count by saying walk, skip, sit two, and run, run, run.  (they know how to run and I am sure they have seen “Forest Gump”.   Now he could really run.)  The eighth notes are run, run, run, run,—

If you scroll up to the full image of the pictorial exhibit, you will view the center part of the pictorial exhibit.  Beginning on the left side is the heading Mule Trainer.  In the middle is about The Big Cowboy (implied heading because it is obvious that this was the time he built his business (the Corral Curio Shop and Motel.  Dad had a little help with a friend for the motel.)

He built a 22-foot cowboy and later, in 1959 he built his 47-foot big cowboy.  The family and tourist always called him The Big Cowboy.  We did not have many locals come to the curio shop or to take pictures, but we had thousands of tourists that visited the cowboy, the curio shop. and the gunfighter museum.

The center part has rare pictures of the frame of the cowboy.  It took 3 cranes to lift the heavy cowboy up.  

Then he was put in the ground with a heavy steel (I think it was steel but it could have been iron) pole went through the inside of the frame through his boot and way down in a hole that was covered with cement.  

The body was also covered with cement but was the kind that would not crack.  What would you use to make his body very smooth; yet,  add the indentations and folds with the creases?   Some of you out there work with cement. 


frame of the big cowboy
little cowboy and curio shop
 sculpture of John Wesley Hardin

My Website title is 501® Levi® original and tall & big original fit jeans for men.  The garment manufacturing company made the jeans, and then dad had to sew them on the cowboy when ready.  

This little chore was done by hand and also by using dad’s hand-built railing.  You can read, if you like, more about the big cowboy later when you have the time.  It is on top of my website pages.  

Now to the very right of the middle part of the pictorial exhibit.  It had two headings; the Gunfighter Museum and the Rug Designer and Maker.  It also showed a rare picture.  It has a rare picture of one of the gunfighters.  (shown below)

When dad sold the business in 1963, he sold the gunfighters to a curio shop near the Palo Duro Canyon, who ignorantly left the gunfighters outside in the elements.  But they were inside when a fire broke out and all the gunfighters were destroyed.  

Dad had some pictures and I had just one.  It is quite rare.  A story is included in the picture.   The museum was in the back of the curio shop, but the entrance to it was inside.   It cost 35 cents to enter.   It was very dark and the walls and everything was black except the lights on the gunfighters.   In front of each was a small podium that told about each gunfighter.


                                         The gunfighter museum

I will show some pictures and the story about my dad’s carpet design.  They are under the headings:  Carpet Designer and Gunfighter Museum from the pictorial exhibit.  One carpet design was made with various rectangle shapes and the other was from an octagon shaped remnants.      

“HOW TO DESIGN YOUR OWN CARPET,”    You can not make the carpet or the rug free any longer.  Dad, in the 1970’s, was able to salvage his own scraps from the carpenter’s dumpsters.  Then, dad’s carpet became so popular, the companies began to sell their remnants and their scraps.  

Perhaps, you live somewhere where they still have special dumpsters to throw away carpet scraps.  He had to find clean carpet first, so some scraps were scraped.  

The design of his carpets was typical of his sculpture also.  He was a brilliant man and designed his sculpture in geometric patterns.  His sculpture was elegant and captured the people’s hearts that bought them at an inexpensive price.

He was a very humble man who did not want to charge a lot of money for his ideas.

How to design your own carpethand-made rug

Be sure to click the comment at the beginning of this post and just leave a short comment at the end here if you have the time.  I would| appreciate it very much.  And if you so choose, go to the page, Order Jeans or the Product Review to click on the link to buy the jeans or any wonderful products on the Accessories from Amazon.  

I also have a post about my dad’s mule, Francis on my Website here.  To find a post, you can click on Hone or Press the Search bar to find ALL the list of Posts. He is not the talking mule, Francis but he does like his cokes.   I will have a link to that post so you can click to buy a Francis, the Talking Mule movie collection.  It is very inexpensive but will give you hours of laughter.

If you do not want to buy anything, that is okay since I have had so much fun writing, I hope, an entertaining website.

Giving a comment would be so pleasing and important for feedback on my Website.  By, by and remember, “Everyone |has a story!”  Don’t forget my title, 501® Levi® original and tall & big original fit jeans for men.  

From Judy Kingsberry,

Owner of the website,

email:   If I write a new post or a new Website, I will email you.  Ask Questions or comments Please.

smiles on a bench

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