Like it, or not, Potsdam, NY has toilets in people’s yards. Actually, they belong to one individual, Hank Robar. Mr. Robar is protesting different decisions made by the Village of Potsdam that affected his properties over the years in an adverse way. I think the first “bad” decision according to Mr. Robar, had to do with him wanting Dunkin Donuts to be located on one of his properties downtown. The details that I know are what has been talked about and passed around for the past decade, so who knows if this information is real, accurate, or imaginary. It seems a change in zoning or some other action was required in order to get Dunkin Donuts to consider Mr. Robar’s property. There may have been other considerations, as well, like how close to a major intersection the property was, and parking space, etc.
Anyway, the Village didn’t do what Mr. Robar wanted, so he wanted to protest. He chose different things at first. I can remember seeing field corn planted in that field, and sunflowers. Gradually, the toilets appeared, and seemed to take on more and more of an “artistic” value. This was probably intentional. He seems to be “winning” as far as his toilet farms staying put. They are an embarrassment, a talking point, a tourist attraction, a finger-in-the-eye. At first glance, they are not ugly, rather, colorful. It’s only when you see them up close, or for a long time that they take on a more repugnant nature. To add injury to insult, many people are starting to photograph themselves by the toilets.
John Meyers, Taxi Driver and Dispatcher