Go Here: Button King Museum in South Carolina
For Dalton Stevens, it all started with a case of insomnia.
Dalton — 53-years-old at the time — couldn’t sleep. Back then, watching TV all night wasn’t an option, as programming ended at 2am, and so like any normal human being Dalton decided to busy himself by sewing some buttons on a denim jumpsuit. He didn’t stop sewing for the next three years, sometimes going four or five days at a stretch without sleeping. He says that his insomnia became an asset, in that it allowed him to be prolific.
When he was done, the jumpsuit (above) was covered with 16,333 buttons. I’m not sure of the logistics of when he was officially crowned the “Button King,” but that really does the trick, as far as I’m concerned. Dalton was far from done, though. Once he ran out of room on his jumpsuit, Dalton took to covering other items: 517 buttons on his shoes, 3,005 on his guitar, 150,000 for his Corvette:
Dalton caught the attention of the media and appeared on Johnny Carson, Letterman, Geraldo, and several other TV shows (ironic, since his lack of television entertainment was what led him toward developing his passion for buttons in the first place). During television appearances Dalton went all out, decked in buttons head-to-toe, and perform any number of his original songs on his button banjo. Songs with lyrics like:
I sew buttons, I don’t chug-a-lug
Smoke the weed or do no drugs.
Buttons on my suit, banjo, and guitar
My wife got upset when I started on my car.
Now 80, Dalton displays the many button-covered items in his life in the Button King Museum, in a building that his children built for him next to his home in Bishopville, SC in 2008, the year his wife died. Visit Dalton and he’ll play for you, grinning. Dalton is the kind of old person I’m crossing my fingers to be someday — he’s calm, happy, and doesn’t care what anyone thinks about him. He’s the best.
He made himself a button coffin for when he finally kicks the bucket — he accidentally locked himself in it recently, while taking a nap. He’s. The. Best.
Please visit Dalton. Call out sick tomorrow and book the next flight — I’ll go with you, call me later. Check out his website for information on visiting, as well as a lot more awesome pictures.