On an unassuming corner in the eclectic Clifton neighborhood of Louisville, KY is a two-story brick house. If driving by on Frankfort Avenue, one might not even notice the house and would have no idea of what's hidden within the house and in plain sight behind the owner's gates. But, if you're the least bit observant, there's a good chance that the vintage Ford Coca-Cola delivery truck, the rusty railroad caboose, or the groups of people that always seem to be gazing through the owner's gates might grab your attention.
The latter is what initially caught my attention. I mean, it's kind of rude when people stand on the sidewalk and peer into someone else's backyard, so that definitely made me wonder what was going on. Then I noticed the life size caboose, then the aerial bomb, then a replica of the Statue of Liberty. As I approached the house, I asked an onlooker if that was a private residence. She said, "Yes, it's Jerry's Lotz's house, the owner of Jerry's Junk." Before that moment, I had no idea this place existed. It was by accident that I was even on that street to begin with (I was searching for a mural).
The owner, Jerry Lotz, said that he started collecting when he was around 8 years old. Now an octogenarian, Lotz has been collecting for decades and his enormous collection is very... overwhelming. Looking through the gates, for me, was much like looking at a larger-than-life I Spy book! I would easily say that one could make multiple return trips and see things that hadn't been seen before.
During my first visit, I completely missed these jewels that were parked in plain sight in what would essentially be his front and side yards. The vintage cars are actually parked on a yellow brick road, too.
Although he has enthusiastically shown his collection to people in the past, it's been said that he's now suffering from dementia and no longer does so. Still, the collection is worth a trip to the Clifton neighborhood to see. Just remember to be respectful if you make a visit; this is a private residence in a residential neighborhood. If you go, you may get lucky and see Jerry himself, as he often sits outside on this upstairs deck overlooking his treasures.
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