'Princely Ambitions'

Jim "Prince" Hughes' Top 5 "permanent distractions"

Obsession is a powerful word, but then again, a man's gotta have a hobby, and not all of us are cut out to parlay our love for, say, antique Milk Duds into a viable source of income no matter how often eBay tells us we can. Here, then, are Jim "Prince" Hughes' Top 5 "permanent distractions."


1) The 1939 World's Fair

"Apart from the art deco imagery, it was a really interesting affair. It was the beginning of the modern age. Everything was streamlined; Norman Bel Geddes designed some of the buildings. Then World War II happened."


2) Japanese ghost mythology

"That comes from my interest in Japanese things in general, and the stories are extraordinarily fascinating to me, because we don't have much mythology in our culture. We're too young, I guess."


3) Art deco

"I think that must have came from The Wizard of Oz and the house on 29th Street that I grew up in, which was very much in that style. When you start looking at it in total, there were paintings, cars, furniture, and architecture. It was a huge art movement, and I don't think there's been one since."


4) Halloween

"In the Fifties my dad made me a pitchfork that lit up. My grandmother handmade me a costume one time, and we just did it all from scratch. Then Halloween kind of disappeared from the culture, until the Seventies or so. I don't like the new, cute Halloween. I like the old, scary Halloween. Once you get one piece of Halloween stuff, you instantly want another. The collections grow. It's dangerous."


5) 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

"I saw that movie when it first came out when I was a kid. Also, I was a swimmer for years, up until college, and, you know, I just love the underwater parts. I bought my first replica of the Nautilus four or five years ago, and the next thing you know, I'm fixing up my bathroom to resemble the inside of the Nautilus. One thing leads to another, and if I have an idea, I'm going to try and do it. On the cheap, but, nonetheless."

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