There was a lot of Dr. John Galey's life on display at the Dr. John H. Galey Art and Music Festival. But, if you didn't look closely, you might have missed one or two items.
Perhaps the most "unlike Galey" exhibit in the art show was a collection of hats that were owned by his mother. According to Terry Tessemer, they came from the Neosho Beauty College which is next door to the One14 Coffee Bar, where the show was held.
"Apparently, Mrs. Erma Hill of the beauty college did a favor for John, and he gave her these hats in payment," Tessemer said.
That act was evidence of John Galey's personality. He was into trading, swapping, preserving and reclaiming. He often took jobs demolishing old houses or buildings in Neosho. His old 1948 Power Dodge military truck was a common sight in Neosho. Using it, he reclaimed some of the flooring in these old buildings which he used to replace the floors in his home on Wood Street
That flooring provides another peek into his life because, as he replaced the floors, he put in trap doors.
"I remember helping him fix one of those trap doors in the bathroom," Tessemer laughed.
The Galey Festival featured music, food and lots of artists who set up booths on North Wood Street. People gathered in and around the booths to paint, visit, and listen to the music. There were activities for the kids and the kids could get face paintings.
But John Galey's art was the center of attention, with dozens of pieces on display. His fascination with hotels and aviation subjects was much in evidence. In his life, Galey traveled far and wide and his paintings tell the story of those travels, from tigers in some exotic land to airplanes flying out of obscure African airports.
Even though the art show said much about Galey, there is still one unanswered question. What was his passion for the moon?
Most of his artistic endeavors include a bright yellow moon, and no one yet has learned why he always found space on the canvas for it.
Festival planners hope this show will become an annual event in Neosho.
Maybe next year, we will learn Dr. John Galey's lunar mystery.