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141 River Rd


2017 Maze Story

For anyone who missed Gary's final maze story, you will find it below.  Each "page" has been separated by a line.  It is certainly not the same as walking through the story in a corn maze but we believe the magic of the story still shines through!

Welcome to the 2017 Riverview Farm Corn Maze

The Museum of all Things

            There are seven puzzles in seven rooms along the path of the maze.  There is only one way out but many dead ends and a few trick passages to throw you off guard as you try to answer the riddle of what Willy’s mother said when Willy said he wanted to build a museum-a museum of all things!

            The theme of this year’s maze is to encourage children to create, to inspire them to paint, to sing, to dance, to write stories and put them on plays, to empower them to dare and to dream.  And then to visualize and build from the workings of their imaginations.

Admission to the museum is $5 for adults.  Children 4 years or under are free.

Please pay in the retail barn.

            Please do not run in the maze.  The corn leaves have sharp edges that can hurt.  Please do not break new paths through the corn.  Though it may seem like a short cut it will only lead to confusion in the end.

            Don’t panic and dial 911 if you think you are lost (someone in Danvers, MA did this a few years ago and though they were surrounded by cornstalks they were only 20 ft. from their car).  Our maze is only 2.75 acres.  Last year 3,500 people visited the Riverview Farm corn maze and they all found their way out…eventually.


One day when Willy’s mother asked him what he thought he might like to do when he grew up, Willy surprised her by saying he wanted to build a museum.

            “Of all things, a museum!” she thought to herself.  But she never revealed her astonishment to Willy.  Always wanting to be supportive and encouraging, she remained silent for a few moments before she spoke and then gave her advice. 

            “What did she say?” you ask, “what did she say?”

            Well, her great words of wisdom are hidden in riddles throughout the 7 rooms of the Corn Maze Museum.

            In each room, solve the puzzle to get one word.  The seven words are in the correct order of the sentence Willy’s mother had said to him.  Look for the numbers 1 through 7 to make sure you have them all.  The crows will help you find the clues.

Good luck!

“You can make art out of anything,” Willy’s mother said.  And so they did.  Willy’s mom was a craftsperson whose hands were always busy braiding rugs out of the scraps of woolen clothing, making quilts with cotton cloth and weaving baskets of grape and bittersweet vines.  Willy’s dad was a farmer and a builder.  He created gardens and orchards all over their property and made furniture and sheds and a chicken house out of found wood.  Willy grew up being involved in all of their projects.

            Willy was a very easily inspired child.  That is to say that ideas came freely into Willy’s mind and having made things with his parents, he could visualize how to turn his thought into objects.

            For instance, when Willy was five years old, his parents took him to the Canaan Fair.  While it was fun going on the rides in the midway and playing the ring toss games, Willy was studying how things looked and how they worked.  He came home and made his own version of the Canaan Fair in the backyard.  Using old boards, apple boxes, burned out light bulbs, an umbrella, anything he could find, he created the Octopus (where Willy is sitting in the photo), the merry-go-round (a person sat on the apple box, held the umbrella and turned it to simulate the motion) and the Scrambler.  In the distance is the ring toss game.

            When his cousins Glen, Mark and Bonnie came to visit the fair, Willy gave away most of his stuffed animals as prizes.  Glen was especially good at the ring toss game!  (They gave all the toys back to Willy before they returned him to Connecticut).

            In school, when Willy’s class took a fieldtrip to visit a local newspaper office called “The Mascoma Week,” Willy became inspired again.  He gathered the neighborhood kids, (Betsy, Timmy, Jim and David) together and they produced their own newspaper.  Everyone wrote stories and illustrated them.  Mr. Jaeger printed copies in his office for all the folks on the road.

            Painting, writing, music, animals, history and folkarts; Willy had many interests and his parents always encouraged and supported him.

            After Willy visited an artist’s studio, his parents gave him an easel and paints, brushes and canvas.

            When the family took a history trip around New England, Willy came home and made models of the colonial houses they had visited out of toothpicks and shirt cardboard.

Willy’s dad read to him every night at bedtime.  Together, they loved animal stories and the tales of Uncle Reamus were their favorite.

            Willy’s mother showed him how to use a sewing machine and make puppets.

            When he inherited his older brothers’ record player and collection of 45’s, Willy put on plays and puppet shows, complete with music, based on the old stories.

Willy loved music from the time his older brother, Jack, gave him the record player.  On one side of this room are portraits of 10 of his favorite singer/songwriters.  On the other side are 11 gold records.  Match the singers with their songs.  The one word title of the extra record is the first word of the sentence.

Willy’s dad taught him about animals;

A male chicken is a rooster, a female is a hen.

A male bovine is a bull, a female is a cow.

A male goat is a billy, a femals is a nanny.

A male pig is a boar, a female is a sow.

A male donkey is a jack, a female is a jenny.

A male sheep is a ram, a female is a _________.


            The answer to this quandary is the second word in the sentence (need a clue? The 21st letter of the alphabet).

When Willy was young there were only three television networks; American Broadcasting Corporation, National Broadcasting Corporation and Columbia Broadcasting System.  Willy’s family could only get CBS so Willy grew up watching Captain Kangaroo, Andy of Mayberry with Opie, Barney and Aunt Bead, and his favorite “I Love Lucy” starring Lucille Ball and Desi Arnez.

Hey, if you have a smartphone with you right now, you could youtube the short clip of Lucy and Ethel working in the chocolate factory.  It’s still one of the funniest moments from television history.

            Take the first letter of each of the TV networks and form a three letter word.  This is the third word of the sentence.

With his interest in making paintings, Willy learned about the famous artists and the great art they made.  Vincent Van Gog painted the “Starry Night,’ in 1889.  Georgia O’Keeffe created a canvas full of clouds that was 24 feet long.  Grant Wood made the famous “American Gothic,” using his daughter’s dentist and his sister as models to depict a farmer and his unmarried daughter.  One night, Willy had a dream that all the artists had become animals ; Vincent Van Goat, Georgia O’Beeffe, Grant Woodchuck!

            The underlined letters in the paragraph above form the fourth word in the sentence.

There are hundreds of American folktales about the adventures of Brother Rabbit and his cohorts handed down in the oral tradition and collected by Joel Chandler Harris, who published them as “Uncle Remus; His Songs and His Sayings,” in 1880.  This story was the favorite of both Willy and his dad.

            Uncle Remus said, then came the day that Brother Fox and Brother Bear finally caught that clever Brother Rabbit, they had been trying to catch him for years, but now with their prize in their hands, Fox and Bear couldn’t quite agree on what to do with him.

            “I say we skin him and roast him with an apple in his mouth,” said Brother Bear, “and serve him with biscuits and gravy.”

            “Oh,” laughed Brother Rabbit, “I love biscuits and gravy.  Yes, roast me and serve me that way.  That would be great!  But don’t, whatever you do, don’t throw me in the briar patch.  All the raspberry and blackberry vines…oh, I would hate that.”

            Brother Fox, pressing his index finger into the palm of his other paw, had other thoughts.

            “No,” he said, “I think we should boil I’m up in a big iron cauldron and make rabbit stew out of him.”

            “Oh, great idea,” replied Brother Rabbit,” I just love that big cast iron cooking pot.  Make sure you’ve got the water up to a rolling boil before you fling me in.  but please-PLEASE whatever you do, DON’T throw me into the briar patch.  Think of how horrible that would be.”

            Brothers Fox and Bear looked at each other for a thoughtful moment.

            “Hey,” Fox said to Bear in a low voice, “he isn’t the least bit afraid of our plans for him, but he sure seems scared of that briar patch.”

            “Hmm,” said Brother Bear, “maybe the worst, most horrible thing we could do to him is to throw him into the thorns and prickers.

            And with that, Brother Bear grabbed Mr. Rabbit by the ears, twirled I’m a few times around his head and let go.  Brother Rabbit sailed through the air and landed smack in the middle of the Berry Patch.

            Fox and Bear listened for the sounds of Rabbit’s painful cried and groans.  But all was silent.  Was Brother Rabbit dead?  They moved closer to the briar patch to see.

            Just then, up popped Rabbit out of the thorns and vines, “Born and raised in the briar patch, boys,” he sand as he clicked his heels.  He lept up again; just to show them that he could slide in easily and out of the briars. 

            “Been navigating through these berry bushes all my life!”

            Before Fox and Bear could realize that they had been tricked, Brother Rabbit scampered through the briar patch and back to the safety of his hole. 

            Rabbit minus the Rabb equals ______.  This is the fifth word.

“Bow to your corner.  Now bow to your partner.  That their arm and promenade…dosy do.”

            While square dancing in elementary school, sometimes there would be live music and a caller who told you how to move, but most of the time they would listen to records (which would skip if the entire class jumped on the floor at the same time).  The sixth word of the sentence is under the dancers’ feet.  The footprints they have left in the sand spell out a two-letter word. 

Aesop’s Fables and the Greek Myths were other favorites of Willy and his dad.  In this old story we played with the names a little.     

The Minotaur (part bull, part man), has become the Paulotaur.

Daedalus is Daddylus and Icarus is Itcarus.

The Paulotaur had captured Daddylus and his son, Itcarus, and imprisoned them in the Labyrinth (a maze) where they could not find their way out.  Using wax from a bee’s nest and feathers he found on the ground, Daddylus made a set of wings for Itcarus.  The young Itcarus was to fly above the maze, calling out the directions of escape to his father still on the ground.

            “But don’t fly too high,” Daddylus told Itcarus, “because the heat from the sun will melt the wax and your winds will fall apart.

            But did Itcarus listen to this warning from his father?  No.  He became so excited by the freedom of his new wings that he flew off into the sky, higher and higher.  The wax melted, the feathers became loose and scattered to the four winds and Itcarus fell from a great height into the ocean.  Daddylus remained imprisoned in the Labyrynth for a long time, endlessly searching for a way out.

“See how important it is to obey your parents” Willy’s dad said.

         The seventh and last word of the sentence is another two letter word; these are the first two letters in the name of Daddylus’ son.  The sentence is now complete.  What did Willy’s mother say when Willy said he wanted to create a museum?

                  “__  ___  ___  _____  __ , __  __.”


         “It’s good advice,” said Willy’s dad, “Listen to your mother.”

“If you can dream it, do it,” Willy’s mother said.  And so he did!

            “Wait, what?  What do you mean he did?” you ask.  “Is this a true story? “Is there really a guy named Willy and did he create a museum?”

            Well, yes.  His name isn’t really Willy.  That’s a nickname that the three women (Paula, Anne and Arleen) at Anne’s Country Store gave him when they couldn’t remember his real name.  His real name is Gary, his mother’s name was Alice and his father’s name was Ozzie.

            Over his 59 years he has been an artist, a writer, a puppeteer, a lover of folk music, a historian, a storyteller and a teacher.  He works here at Riverview Farm and he designed and created most of this corn maze, (his museum) as he has done for 10 years.  This maze is something of a retrospective as it reuses and repurposes the scarecrows and plywood cut outs he made over the past decade;

            The crows were from the 2009 maze.  The square dancers’ faces were painted in 2008.  There are faces from the Wedding Maze in 2010, when Laura and Dave got married at the farm.. The animals are from “What’s the Hub Bub Bubba Hubbard?” and the raccoons are from “Van Goat’s Left Ear.”  There is something in here from every maze. 

            This year Gary has had an apprentice, Emily Zea, a recent graduate from Virginia Commonwealth University.  Emily created the Hall of Mythology with the Paulataur, Daddylus and Itcarus.  Next year, Emily will create her first maze at Riverview Farm.  Gary feels it’s time for new and fresh ideas.  He’s encouraging her to let her imagination run wild…”You can make art out of anything,” he tells her. “If you can dream it, do it.”

            “But did Gary ever create a museum?” you ask. 

            Yes, you just went through it.