Behind-the-Scenes: Just One Room Circa 2006

In February 2006 I arrived at Rancho Obi-Wan with my computer, a trunk full of clothes and my cat Claire. It was my intention to stay for 6 months, do a complete catalog, and return home to Texas. That was now 14 years ago. The catalog is no anywhere done, but looking back, I can see the museum is now a lot cleaner.

The photos above are of just one room. These buildings were once hen houses and we’re told there were approximately 20,000 chickens living here. After the chickens, a new owner turned the barns into separate work rooms and storage units. The room you’re looking at was a 3-car garage when Steve purchased the property in 1997. When Steve renovated the first hen house he turned the 3-car garage into a storage area that he intended to be like a store where visitors could purchase his duplicates.

When we agreed that I would come live here for 6 months I needed to clean up this room as this was where I was going to sleep. The room was divided in two by metal grid racking that you would find in a store. It was attached at the ceiling and the floor. The Dark Side had two windows and some built-in shelves. The Light Side had two windows and a French door. Two lines of poles hold up the second floor above.

I called Steve during that first week while he was at work and told him I was prepared to be “ruthless”. He said “What does that mean?” It meant I spent days just breaking down cardboard boxes. I’m sad I don’t have photographic evidence, but I remember the pile being 6 feet tall. The resulting 250 square foot space that was to be my own on the Light Side of the barn took about 2 weeks to wrangle. Claire liked it.

Anne Neumann is President and CEO of Rancho Obi-Wan, former Volunteer Coordinator and Fan Club Breakfast Manager for Official Pix, and previously a Systems Analyst at the University of Texas at Austin.