Quotes of Ed Galloway

The final words Ed Galloway said to his son before his death in 1962. "If you stay with the 10 Commandments and listen to what it says, God will lay his hand on you and he will build you up. Because it says in the Bible, 'Seek and you shall find and hark and it’ll be given unto you.' So you’ve got to seek for these things, they won’t come to you. You’ve got to seek for ‘em; you’ve got to use your mind, and build it up, and seek for these things. ‘Cause, they’re the most essential thing you’ll have through life."(1)

~ Ed Galloway audio recording with Paul Galloway, 1962

Regarding using one's imagination:

"Remember this, imagination is the greatest thing we have. You’ll be going drugs ‘n things, and then turn around, and can’t see it. Well, we haven’t haven’t got much imagination. An’ whenever you see anything, try to keep that imagination in mind, the shape of it, an’ form of it, an’ what it looks like, an’ then you can go over here and and and draw a sketch a little something, then go back over here an’ make it, when you get your imagination built up to where it’s, where it’s, you can master things then, an create things with it."(1)

~ Ed Galloway audio recording with Paul Galloway, 1962

Regarding building Totem Pole Park:

"I put in six years buildin’ on a piece of property I now live on and this piece of work was six years building. Then, I decided after six years I was at home I’d come out here and get in to finish with something, and so I come out and built the Totem Pole, took eleven years of building it. I built the Fiddle House, twelve-sided buildin’ with 26 totem poles connected with it. Then I built the Tree with a number of odd things on it. Built the Arrowhead with Five Civilized Tribes on it, and the western Indians on the opposite side from the Totem Pole."(1)

~ Ed Galloway audio recording with Paul Galloway, 1962

Regarding the Tree Totem:

"This tree is made of concrete. It’s about 5 feet in diameter, and it has the first figure in front of it with a tall bonnet on is a string guide on an Alaskan Indian. He’s fishing under the ice with spears, an’ hooks, an’ things like that. Then the other Indians are just decorations that go around on it. On a band is a possum squirreling his head out, an’ an old squirrel’s climbing up and down in one place. And there’s falcons on top of it, on each limb, sticks out there’s a falcon. An’ the birdhouse on top is made out of wood, but the rest of the building is a birdhouse where, the holes you can see in there is to house 50 - 75 starlings through the winter.”(1)

~ Ed Galloway audio recording with Paul Galloway, 1962

Villie Galloway quote regarding Ed Galloway's Tree Totem, paraphrasing the poet Joyce Kilmer: “Totem poles are made by fools like thee, but only God can make a tree.”(1)

Regarding the height and shape of the Birdbath Totem:

“I did it in this style and height so cats couldn’t get to the little bitty birds.”(1)

~ Ed Galloway audio recording with Paul Galloway, 1962

"All my life I did the best I knew, I built these things by the side of the road to be a friend to you."(2)

~ Ed Galloway

"This is my hobby and my pastime since I started the Totem Pole in 1937 and finished it in 1948. The carvings and other pieces have been made through the years, and I am still making plans for more as I go along. There is no admission and it is open seven days a week."(2)

~ Ed Galloway letter to the Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce, 1961


(1) "Totem Pole Park Audio Tour," written by Tim Brown, commissioned by Dr. Carolyn Comfort and the Rogers County Historical Society.

(2) Wooley, John. Ed Galloway's Totem Pole Park: The Story Behind One of the Greatest Folk-Art Attractions on America's Mother Road, Route 66. Rogers County Historical Society. Copyright 2014.

Photo courtesy Erin Turner and Ed Galloway Totem Pole Park Archives.