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The Pictorial Exhibit Design

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

A.  The Pictorial Exhibit Details

The making of the pictorial exhibit took a lot of work and time.   But it was fun and it helped me learn that I too have some artistic abilities. I did not realize this even though my whole family has a certain talent they can speak about.

You too can make any pictorial exhibit design.  It takes motive and concentration.

Judy making pictorial exhibit

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 exhibit was made of a heavy plywood with a centerpiece and two equal sides that folded to the center or out from the center.

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 builder of the Pictorial Exhibit and my dad were named William Harry Wheeler.  His life is depicted in the exhibit by certain events that I am sharing with my visitors to this Website.

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. 

B.   What Motivated me to build a pictorial exhibit about my dad, William Harry Wheeler. 



  •     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.
  •     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.
  •     Both Levi Strauss and my dad were acute businessmen and were innovative in their business practices.
  •     Levi Strauss Sewing Manufacturing Company made the Levi jeans for the big 47-foot cowboy.
  •     The small city where the cowboy is located is an icon for the people around the Panhandle.
  •     I wanted to tour around the Panhandle to give the local people a last chance to ask questions about the exhibit and about my dad.
  •     But, the main reason I built my pictorial exhibit was to tell the public about his creative genius that he exhibited throughout his life.

C.   What is included in the Pictorial Exhibit Design?

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.  



D.   Introducing the man.
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.
He had his Master’s Degree in Music; not engineering which was a feature of the well-built 47-foot cowboy.
His sculpture was well-liked even by men.  His technique with his sculpture is innovative; no one can figure out how he accomplished some of his sculpture.
He played the piano and clarinet.  But then again, he was a man with the Jack of all Spades.  (or is it, trades?)
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.
E.   Some quotes that apply to Dad. 

creativity and intelligence posterGenius hit target 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.  He was born in 1916, I believe. 
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 was very talented!  
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.
F.   Fleeting Memories
The name of our curio shop was called The Corral Curio Shop.   Below is a picture postcard I seem to remember.  I do not know who owns the postcard.  I would be happy if someone knew and told me about the card in the comment section.

Postcard of cowboy from Pinterest


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. 

Please leave a comment and tell me if you can give change without subtracting.   Do you think all young people should learn how to give change?

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.
All this information is the background that took 57 years to finally come to light.   And it came by my creating a Pictorial Exhibit.    This is from an interview for the Canyon Newspaper about the Pictorial Exhibit.   Yep, that’s me.

Interview about the pictorial exhibit story

G.   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.

geometrical sculpture by 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.

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.

 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.      

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.   

                        pictorial exhibit-three sides

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.   

H.   The list of 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)    
I.    List of skills dad had is located on the back of the pictorial exhibit design.
  • Builder;  
  • Innovator;  Entertainer;  Reader (profusely);  
  • 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;
  • Mathematician
  • Humorist


  Bragging?   Who me?   Yeo, he’s my dad!  

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 number 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.

J.   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.

 K.   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.

L   The Headings

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.

William Revelli was famous all over the United States.  Band Directors wanted to emulate his performance on the field.  Read about his interesting life.

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.  Do you see them playing?

                                                                                                                                                      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. 

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

These are more of the copyrighted pictures on this Website.  It too is copyrighted.  Please let me know if you would like a picture or a story.

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 is the page about the big cowboy.

You have had a glimpse of my dad, William Harry Wheeler, the creative artist, and innovator.  He built a Gunfighter Museum, trained a mule to drink coca cola, and built unique signs for the Curio shop and Motel.
He designed and made a rug with geometrical design by using scraps. 
You know how now to give a person you admire the respect by building your pictorial exhibit design.  It takes endurance.  All the stories had to be laminated so that the exhibit would last a long time.
I hope to hear from you in a short while.  It will be interesting if you would tell me what you would like to do.  I will help all I can.  Please, write a short comment.  Email is to notify you of a new post or Website.
“Everyone has a story!”


Judy, Authur of findmejeans.com
smiles on a bench

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