I love being a teacher. I love working with children. I love seeing them grow and change from August to May. I love always having an audience. And I love the fact that I have never known my life without the beauty that is spring break.
My roommate, Marie, and I have lived together for three years and know each other pretty well at this point. In November she said to me, “I know you like experiences better than things so I have an idea for your Christmas, but I want to run it by you before I purchase.” That “idea” was a trip to the Bob Ross Experience in Muncie, Indiana, and I was all in.
If you’re new here, I have mentioned a time or two about my love of that painter and his velvet voice. I used to watch his show on PBS after school with a Fudge Round in hand, and now if ever I can’t sleep, I let Bob lull me into peaceful dreams.
Last year for spring break I went to Ireland. This year I went to Indiana. Maybe it’s because I haven’t left Atlanta for a year, but we had the most fun.
You know Ball glass jars? Well, the brothers who created them were from Muncie too. It’s really a who’s who of celebrity town. The brothers had several homes within a very short distance of one another. Those homes were donated to the city and serve as different museums. The Joy of Painting was shot in the home of Lucius Ball from 1983-1988, and they’ve refurbished the area back to the original “set”.
I was overwhelmed. Obviously.
It’s very interactive. They let you touch almost everything just to get that fully immersive experience that only Muncie can provide.
They had an episode playing on loop on the tv monitor, so they entire time you were in the studio you heard Bob painting. Again, overwhelmed.
There are hundreds of thousands of paintings by Bob Ross. He did several for every episode. You cannot purchase them anywhere. They are basically on lockdown so seeing so many of them in one place was a rare treat (for me at least).
You had an hour long reservation at the museum. While we were there, an elderly couple was walking around as was a family of four. We traveled from Georgia, and I was getting my full hour. Everyone else had left by this point. Marie and I were sitting in a “living room set” watching an old episode of The Joy of Painting when the man working the front door came over and said, “So ladies, we just got word that there is an active shooter down the road, so we are in lockdown, but feel free to watch the show, walk around, do whatever.”
Locked in the Bob Ross Museum. It’s a story I’ll tell my grandchildren, so we fully immersed ourselves in the silly while we waited for the Muncie PD to do their thing.
Try on Bob’s JCPenney shirt? Why not.
Wear Bob’s shirt and pretend you’re painting a masterpiece? Go for it.
Be the center of Bob’s universe? In my dreams.
Eventually, justice was served in Muncie, and we were allowed to leave, but it was an experience that I’ll never forget. Shout out to Marie for planning this trip and going along with all the nonsense. If you ever find yourself in Indiana, say hello to Bob. You won’t regret it.
It’s it obvious that we like to party. “So from all of us here I’d like to wish you happy painting, and God bless, my friend.”