Growing up in Albuquerque, New Mexico writer Tanya Ward Goodman was joined at the hip with her father Ross Ward, a nationally known carnival artist and creator of the whimsical Tinkertown Museum.  Years later, when Ross was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease and told he had five years or less to live, Tanya gave up her apartment in LA and moved back home—living in the center of the museum—to help care for her father.  In today’s show, she talks about the experience, captured in her memoir “Leaving Tinkertown,” and how it reinforced her sense of identity and put Hollywood in perspective.  From painting wagons with her father as a child on the carnival circuit to traveling to and from LA with him as he slid deeper into Alzheimer’s, Tanya describes the events—both frightening and funny— that marked her father’s decline, and how her family managed the downward spiral of this free-thinking, creative genius who lives on for her kids in Tinkertown.

Ross and Tanya. Photo courtesy of Tanya Ward Goodman.


Link to Tanya’s book:

More about the Tinkertown Museum:

Music: “Covered Wagon Days” by Ted Weems and His Orchestra | Public Domain