Bob Ruwart’s Cowboy

After stopping at Fort Laramie in Wyoming and seeing Chimney Rock and Scott’s Bluff in Nebraska we were driving south on I-25 to get to Rocky Mountain National Park. This cowboy was on the northbound side of the interstate but fortunately the exits were only about a mile apart. A quick turn around allowed me to get this cowboy on the grounds of Bob Ruwart Motors in Wheatland, Wyoming. Take exit 80 off I-29. Bob sells everything, Chevy, GMC, Buick as well as Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep.

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 Bob Ruwart’s Cowboy

Cody Trading Post

Here’s a bit of serendipity — we stopped for the night in Fort Platte, Nebraska and before dinner stopped, for some reason, at the Fort Cody Trading Post near our motel. Surprisingly it was more than a “cheap gift shop.” In addition to the expected shot glasses, key-chains, stuffed animals, they have a Buffalo Bill Wild West Miniature Show that is fascinating. The show, made by Ernie and Virginia Palmquist, took 12 years to carve and contains over 20,000 hand carved pieces….many animated! At any rate while browsing I noted a framed Smithsonian magazine with a Native American Muffler Man featured. When I asked where this big fellow was I was told he was right out back! Thanks all at the Fort Cody Trading Post, you made my day.

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Cody Trading Post

Big Steel Guy

Unplanned and kind of in the proverbial “middle of nowhere” we found this big steel guy probably created by some bored welders.  I have not planned on visiting. We were just driving across Nebraska on US-20 from Souix City, Iowa to Valentine, Nebraska. If you have never driven here I would urge you to make the trip. You drive through the eastern part of the Sand Hills of Nebraska. The Sand Hills is a region of mixed-grass prairie on grass-stabilized sand dunes in north-central Nebraska, covering just over one quarter of the state. (Thanks Wikipedia for this description). Anyway we stayed the night in Valentine, NE. A very friendly town, lot’s of authentic cowboys and close to Smith Falls, the tallest waterfall in Nebraska located on a small stream tributary to the Niobrara River. The state park there is very nice and was under-used when we visited.

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Big Steel Guy

Redfish Charlie’s Monster

Next to the Cocoa Flea Market in Port St. John, Florida is this Monster advertising Redfish Charlie’s Bayou Grill and Tiki Bar. Looked to be a pretty laid back bar. With a slogan like “It’s OK by Me, If it’s OK Bayou” who could not have a good time. Especially if you ride a motorcycle. They have a big BIKERS WELCOME sign as well. I didn’t have my colors with me or I might have stopped in.

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Redfish Charlie’s Monster

Gosai Park’s Big Jim

Meet Big Jim. Jim was constructed by the Artist/Welder James Krutz Sr. in 1978. Big Jim now stands in “Gosai Park” which is the little lawn in front of Dr. Jamlesh Gosai’s Best Western Garden Inn in Bentleyville, PA. I may call my front lawn “Hejl Park.”

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Gosai Park’s Big Jim

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Southeast HS Spartan

We were in Springfield, Illinois visiting the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum. It is the 200th Anniversary of Lincoln’s birth in 1809. After lunch at the Cozy Inn restaurant – “Home of the Hot Dog on a Stick” we went over to Southeast High School to get this shot of their Spartan mascot. It was raining pretty hard – Deb stayed in the car to get this shot (turned out not to be so good.)

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Southeast HS Spartan

Springfield Lumberjack

Even this photo doesn’t give you a sense of how hard it was raining on this Thursday afternoon when we were after this Paul Bunyan Muffler Man outside the Lauterbach Tire Shop on Wabash Ave. in Springfield. It’s a very busy street and took some time to get across the street. Meanwhile I was getting pretty wet – what I don’t do for this hobby!

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Springfield Lumberjack

Curtis Orchard Archer

On the way to Springfield, Illinois we stopped at Curtis Orchard and Pumpkin Patch in Champaign, Illinois. They’re open from July thru mid-December. You can pick your own apples and pumpkins here. They have 29 varieties of apples available to pick as well as events for the entire family. Oh, by the way they have this copper Indian Chief Kesis, of the Kickapoo tribe of eastern Illinois.

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Curtis Orchard Archer

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Palmer ACE Muffler Man

I found this Lumberjack Muffler Man outside the Palmer ACE Hardware store on Lowell Street in Elkhart, Indiana. We tracked him down on our way back from a quick visit to Saugatuck, MI for Fall Break. Late October and kind of mixed weather but nice to get away nonetheless.

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Palmer ACE Muffler Man

Meridian Street Ghost

Well I guess this image should be in the Big People tab.  We were driving down Meridian Street in Indianapolis, between 86th and 96th street when we spotted this Big Ghost. I’m not sure if a ghost should be on a Big People tab, but what is a ghost but the current state of a past person.

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Meridian Street Ghost

Wisconsin Dells Lumberjack

“A Family Traditon since 1958” it says on the sign out front. It should say “More Than You can Eat.” The Paul Bunyan Cook Shack in the Wisconsin Dells is crowded, serves lots of food and is perfect for families. Not for me. Like Cracker Barrel you have to walk through a gift shop to eat. Go there if that appeals to you. At least they didn’t have the rocking chairs on the porch in front. Did I make myself clear that I didn’t like this place, except for the Big Guy!

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Wisconsin Dells Lumberjack

Wisconsin Farmer

A planned shot. We traveled high and low to get this shot. I think one of the faults with GPS is that you don’t necessarily take the route that you would if you looked at a map. On the other hand the GPS takes you on a route that you would not usually take and you get to see a little country. If you’re in a hurry use a map. In this case the address I was seeking was the middle of a field We continued down the road a little and in the BP station we found this Big Guy.

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Wisconsin Farmer

Oshkosh Muffler Man

On the road to the Oshkosh Correctional Institution we spotted this traditonal Muffler Man in front of Fasco Appliances. I don’t understand why he is there and the owner was not in when we stopped by. It was late, nearly 5pm. We were behind schedule after spending so much time at Mel Schellt’s and were getting anxious to move on to the Dells.

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Oshkosh Muffler Man

Mel’s Atlas

A Wisconsin bonanza. Mel Schettl Sales in Oshkosh. I was able to get images to fit every category. There were Big Things inside the Flea Market and outside in Mel’s Garden. Overwhelming to say the least. You can see the zebra and giraffe in the background. I’m sorry that Mel wasn’t there when we stopped by, I guess he was out buying some more Big Things.

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Mel’s Atlas

Tribute to Reggie

This is not a true Big Picture. After living in Philadelphia and seeing the impact Reggie White had there. And then taking his love to Green Bay, Reggie was bigger than life. Maybe too sentimental, but after all this is my web page and I control the content. Reggie White was a gift, both on the field and off. He deserves recogition!. Thanks Green Bay.

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Tribute to Reggie

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Packer

Our trip through Wisconsin started in Door County. After spending the night in Ephriam we drove down the next day to Green Bay. We had to get a Green Bay Packer, this one was in front of the Titletown Brewing Company. What an appropriate name, the Packers won 12 League and 9 NFL championships as well as 3 Super Bowls. Reminds me of my Detroit Red Wings playing in Hockeytown. Excuse the umbrella, it was raining.

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Packer

Derringer’s Lumberjack

There are any number of this type of “Lumberjack Muffler Men” around the country. click on the Category and you can see those that I’ve found. We spotted this guy in Lima, Ohio at 1501 Findlay Rd. He stands on top of Derringer’s Small Engine Repair. They must do pretty good work since they’ve been around since 1951.

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Derringer’s Lumberjack

York Barbell Company

A side trip landed us in York, Pennsylvania which was the seat of the Continental Congress during the Revolutionary War while the British were busy occupying Philadelphia. The Articles of Confederation were drafted here. In addition, the Conway Cabal was hatched in York. If you’re not familiar with this historical fact, Mifflin, Lee and others wanted to oust Washington as head of the Continental Army and replace him with Horatio Gates, the so-called hero of Saratoga. These breakouts are what happens when you are married to an historian.

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York Barbell Company

“New” New Jersey Muffler Man

I lived in South Jersey for 13 years and never saw this Muffler Man or was tipped to him by my vast network of Bird Dogs. I don’t know where he came from or how I could have missed him. We did get this photo last year when we were visiting Ben and Annie. First I thought it was a Muffler Man that was moved from down the White Horse Pike (US-30) from another tire dealer in Berlin, but it’s not. I wish I had gone into the shop and asked how long he’s been there, maybe I will next time I’m out there.

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“New” New Jersey Muffler Man