Judging by the looks of things outside of their house in Millsboro, Del., Judy and Lou Hagen don’t like to let anything go to waste. The Hagens’ modest home is just outside of town on Route 24, and chances are, you’ve never seen anything quite like what they’ve done with the yard.
Yup, that sure is a giant metal brontosaurus swooping down with teeth bared over a scenario that also features Dollie, a bikini-top clad motorcyclist; Mollie the Mermaid lounging come-hither-style on a park bench, a skinny goggle-eyed giant of a fisherman casting his line out towards the highway; and, well, a couple of M&M candies hanging out for good measure.
There is much more, including a couple of really cute giraffes named Norma and Lola, but you get the idea. All of these sculptures are made from salvaged metal materials, from old shovels and bicycle wheels to air tanks, army helmets, and much, much more.
The Hagens call their operation 2nd Time Around. You can visit on your own anytime in the daylight hours, but the artists will be there only by chance or appointment—they do not keep regular hours. If you do catch one or both of them at home, be sure and ask if they’re free to show you the workshop and gallery out back.
The Hagens are both long-distance truckers by trade. It seems that back in high school Lou took a liking to welding and so kept at it as a hobby. Somewhere along the line Judy developed an interest in painting. One thing led to another … and now their works are featured at the likes of the Ward Museum in Salisbury, the DuPont Nature Center in Wilmington, and the Children’s Guild of Baltimore.
Transforming their whimsical notions into sculptural reality is no easy task for the Hagens. On top of the welding and painting, there is a whole lot of scraping, bucket rinsing, sandblasting, grinding, filing, sanding, spraying, and other tasks involved. Every piece they do basically has a paint job that’s as sturdy and weather-resistant as the one on a brand new car.
When you visit, be sure to get out and walk around. In addition to oversized dinosaurs and bikers, the Hagens craft some wonderful smaller pieces—flowers, dragonflies, horseshoe crabs, birds, fish, and more—designed as one-of-a-kind bits of lawn and garden décor.
If you don’t know, Millsboro is about 15 minutes southwest of Lewes and Rehoboth. 2nd Time Around is at 26380 John J. Williams Highway, 302.945.3988. Here is their website.