Everything I learned about bolo ties was in the Phoenix airport

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One of the best parts of traveling, are the surprising finds that you discover in the most unexpected places.

A few years ago while traveling back from Phoenix, we happened upon the airport museum in the main terminal.  At that time, it was an amazing photo history of ranchers in Arizona. While many airports have art exhibits of some kind, I have been most impressed with the quality of  the gallery in Phoenix. While it’s a big, grand room, it’s always filled with wondrous things and information.  Now when traveling through Sky Harbor Airport, I always make a special trip through the latest exhibit.

The last time we were traveling through was in early May and there was an exhibit about bolo neckties.  I learned from the exhibit that not only is the bolo the state tie for Arizona, but New Mexico and Texas as well.  For those who love the Southwest, you’re probably quite familiar with bolo ties – likely worn by your grandfather or quirky uncle (although, I enthusiastic applaud any “today’s man” who can pull it off and still look sexy).

The airport exhibit showcased bolo artwork from various culture across the globe, which surprised me since I thought it was a unique fashion piece of the Southwest.  Some of the 250 ties on display were so intricately designed that if I saw a man wearing it, I would have to touch his chest!  However, I have seen ladies wear these neckpieces too … maybe something I should add to my American Indian jewelry collection as a definite conversation piece.

So, while next time you’re through the Phoenix airport, you may not be able to experience the bolo tie exhibit,  I still encourage you to stop in for some type of great Arizona cultural exposure.

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