Twenty years have passed since the glory days of the Anders Museum.
Back then, it was really a labor of love for the three of us: me, my brother, and some kid named Eric who lived down the street. Anders wasn’t actually Eric’s last name, but he’d given up his museum naming rights in exchange for the official title of “Lead Snake Wrangler,” which was an irresistibly impressive title to a nine-year old.
And over the door of my parents’ garage, we put up a sign that read, “Museo de Anders,” which we thought was Latin but turned out to be Spanish. We charged the neighbors four bits to come inside.
Now, what that four bits bought you was a chance to have a peek at some of the coolest animals native to the Texas Gulf coast region. We had snakes! We had toads! We had turtles of every kind: big red ear sliders and little red ear sliders, alligator snapping turtles, three-toed box turtles, and soft shells. You could also see a lizard, some garden spiders, Eric’s pet gerbil, and the bones of a cat we’d accidentally dug up in our back yard.