Lokkal- todo SMA
Timmy Land, San Miguel's Edward James

by Joseph Toone

When I first came to San Miguel ten years ago I took a tour of the chapels in the countryside. That's when I discovered Timmy Land. Timmy Land is a concrete work of art mixing the Flintstones’ town of Bedrock, indigenous faith, Catholicism and an Alice in Wonderland on drugs vibe a huge childish playground.

Located not far from the cloistered monastery outside of Atotonilco, Timmy Land is the type of marvelous, rambling, otherworldly folly foreigners are fond of building in the countryside. Not far from Timmy Land is a home constructed to look like the set of Gunsmoke so much so that the ghost of Miss Kitty is sure to frequent it.

Over the years I had come to forget Timmy Land. Then back in March of this year it was brought to mind when a group was holding an event there. Basically the event revolved around wearing a costume, getting your body painted and having a 1960s era good time alongside the surreal architecture featuring snakes, monsters, mermaids and saints. I recall thinking there isn’t enough pot in the world to make me want to do that, especially once the sun sets and heaven only knows which concrete images come to life. Now, in pot’s defense, all marijuana ever did for me was make me a bit more sleepy and hungry, two states I’m normally in most all the time.

Then while out exploring campo celebrations of the cross I stumbled upon Timmy Land again and took another tour of the site. Today’s Timmy Land features more Martians and Marian iconography than I remembered. Those fit in nicely to the Gaudi-esque landscape. Speaking of landscape, there is a plant nursery growing beside it with some lovely succulents (a type of cactus, not a Mexican vampire, as the name might seem to imply0, though a vampire would feel at home in Timmy Land, I suspect).

With mosaic floors, warped staircases and colorful architecture connecting the buildings by curvy pathways, the buildings appear to be toddler playhouses. Truly, the only thing I enjoyed more than gamboling about was scratching the love-starved dog, Bicicleta, named for her obsession with objects that go round and round.

Tim Sullivan, the owner of Timmy Land and a concrete construction company in California (say that three times fast) started the project with a storage shed over two decades ago. The notion of a Salvador Dali type of paradise spread from there. They remind one of Edward James’ gardens on the mountain in Xilitla featuring larger concrete structures of a surreal nature. But Tim Sullivan wins for color and folly, and, well, proximity to San Miguel.

After Timmy Land I had a meal with some dancing pals and I showed them photos. Despite growing up here, none had been or heard of Timmy Land. So the next day seven native danzon dancers, and one foreign tour guide, ventured back out. Lucky for us, Guadalupe, the caretaker was about and encouraged us to explore farther back in the property. Here I found a theater with a Buddhist type of walking maze. I enjoyed walking and pretending to be meditative in between imitating imitating the famous stride of Dorothy, Lion, Scarecrow and Tin Man assumed after battling those apple-throwing trees on the Yellow Brick Road to Oz.

Speaking of trees, the nursery features several I’ve not seen in Mexico. Also there are giant maple trees. I pondered if their leafs turn colors in the fall like their northern cousins. There are lovely blue Deodar Cedars, evergreens I thought needed snow to survive.

Afterwards we stopped by the nearby cloistered monastery that, again, no one raised here had ever been to. It my pal, Noemi opined that only foreigners are so curious, that natives are already blasé to what is around them. But then she doesn't know my brother, Pat, who knows everything about our hometown Hershey, PA and region, more than I could ever know about San Miguel. Oh wait, she does know Pat and will dance with him anywhere in, or out, of town!


Joseph Toone is Amazon's bestselling author of the San Miguel de Allende Secrets series of books and TripAdvisor's best rated historical walking tour guide. For more information contact toone.joseph@yahoo.com or visit History and Culture Walking Tours or JosephTooneTours.com, also on FaceBook.

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