Harlem’s hidden gem: Ollie Also and Stanie Too Fine Mess Old Car Museum
By Caitlin Boland

Gary and Jean Russeth are shown in the Ollie Also and Stanie Too Fine Mess Old Car Museum located on E. Boundary Street in Harlem.
A hidden gem, Ollie Also and Stanie Too Fine Mess Old Car Museum, is located in Gary and Jean Russeth’s backyard in Harlem.
The Russeths, originally from Minnesota, moved to Harlem 12 years ago.
“We wanted to retire in Georgia, but one of the main reasons we chose Harlem was for Laurel and Hardy,” Gary Russeth said.
Russeth added that he was in the south during the 1960s as a member of a Marine fighter squadron detached to Beaufort, South Carolina.
Russeth said he has been a life-long fan of Laurel and Hardy as well as a builder of model cars.
“I started making models as a youngster,” Gary Russeth said. “I made the ‘Highway Pioneers’ from photos. As I got older, I began restoring Model T Fords, which really got me interested in different scales.”
As a child he began assembling plastic models, and as a teenager, he began carving antique cars out of wood.
When the Russeths children were in school, he began making props and sets for school plays, eventually moving to community theater productions. During this time, he developed the ability to make an uncanny replication of almost anything.
Russeth said he chose wood as his material not only because it was an art form but because metal was impractical and expensive.
Russeth starts with a photo, and he scales the model from the wheels. The wheels are created by sandwiching pieces of flexible wood together to make one piece.
“He starts by making the wheels and steering wheel as realistic as possible and goes from there,” said Jean Russeth, Gary’s wife.
With the larger scale pieces, Russeth puts the side view on a piece of paper on the floor to make sure all the measurements are correct or he works with cardboard to make sure the pieces are the correct size.
FOR ADDITIONAL DETAILS, see the full story in the March 23 issue at The McDuffie Progress. To have The McDuffie Progress delivered to your home or business each week, simply call 706-595-1601 to subscribe. Or, follow the link on our home page to subscribe.





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