The Riverhead Muffler Man Indian whose name I’ve just discovered is “Chief Running Fair,” was downed by the winds of Superstorm Sandy.
When I saw photos of the poor guy, torn in half at the waist shortly after the storm subsided he looked like he was reaching for a lifeline from next to his own still-standing legs. “I’m hit!”
My heart broke a little.
This weekend while we were bumbling around in the Ural, we made a pit stop to see him for ourselves. All that was left when we pulled up was his peeling pants. Insert huge frowny face here.
But… as I looked around, I noticed a few feet of his arm sticking out above a fence inside the grounds of the Raceway. It was kind of like he was waving to me saying, ‘I’m over here. I’ll be okay!” And I sure hope he will be. According to a Riverhead Patch article, the owners of the Raceway do intend to restore him.
Hang in there, big guy!
The mighty Indian just a week before Sandy brought her havoc to our area:
Kenny and I made a quick stop in Cherokee, NC to snap a photo of a gent we’d passed many moons ago but never stopped for. The Cherokee Muffler Man:
And look – he has nipples! This was the first time I was ever consciously aware of an Indian-model Muffler Man’s anatomical correctness I did go back and look at the other Indian Muffs I’ve seen and they do all indeed have them.
Unfortunately the Cherokee Muff’s headdress is now broken. But even so, he appears to be well-loved and in really good shape. According to Roadside America, he’s been there for 30 years. That’s a lot of waving for one guy.
Did you notice those crazy white eyes? Perhaps they were light blue at one time. Either way – they look like they can peer deep into your soul. ::shudder::
Over the last few weekends my travels have added two more checks in the “Visited” column of my Muffler Man to-do list. There are still plenty more to see but I’m enjoying picking them off one by one.
Sometimes I think about those places that I’ve visited, towns I’ve passed through before the time I cared even the tiniest tiddly-boo about the Muffler Man. I think about what might have been…
But, no sense in crying over spilled milk. I prefer to not see those trips as missed opportunities. Someday I’ll go back. I just hope the mighty muffs will wait for me.
The Muffler Man Halfwit of Jackson, NJ:
Though he could use a fresh coat of paint, overall he’s in pretty good shape. He’s also mounted on a trailer which if you think about it is pretty handy. Who wouldn’t want to bring their muffler man to the Stop & Shop or to the park, maybe swing by the in-laws for lunch?
One thing to note however is that his arms are a little veiny and those hands are a wee bit strangle-y. But, judging by the hat he’s Amish so it’s probably nothing to worry about. He might’ve just gotten done with a barn raising.
A few weekends ago I took a ride with some friends who wanted to stop in to the open house at MotoMarket in Acton, Ma. Since I had no interest in buying anything I let the guys know I would be excusing myself for about a half an hour while they ate lunch.
“Where are you going?”
“I’m just going to check something out.”
“It’s a muffler man, isn’t it?”
They know me too well
This big guy stands outside of a used car dealer, waving to the traffic that goes by.
Upon closer inspection he too needs a fresh coat of paint. The poor fella is has a serious case of the peels. And something isn’t quite right with that raised arm. And… well.. there’s this:
Finding a roadside treasure while riding my motorcycle is one of the simple joys in my life. There is a happiness that only spotting a 15 foot fiberglass cauliflower can bring. Am I right?
From the Road in 2011:
Bigfoot – Happy Camp, California
While riding along on CA96, I was excited to see the school bus icon on the GPS get closer and closer to the town of Happy Camp. I knew this awesome giant was in town and I couldn’t wait to see him. He was more impressive than I imagined he’d be.
There are other celebrity shoe trees out there in the world that are more “popular” than this one on CA36. Sadly, several of these perennial favorites have fallen victim to soleless vandals. (See what I did there?)
I had no idea this shoe tree existed so you can imagine my surprise when we found this baby in all of it’s shoe-filled glory.
This fella relocated from Dunsmuir to Hat Creek. In the process he got some spiffy new clothes and a very smart looking cowboy hat. I’m sure that after all of those year of standing at Daily Drivers’ Auto Care, a change of scenery was nice.
It seems that we were able to get an audience with Big Mike shortly before he was sold and taken down. I don’t know where he’s headed but it’s nice to know someone cared enough to take him home instead of sending him to the big fiberglass dump in the sky.
The Big Duck is one of my favorite things about Long Island. Now at 80 years old, it is also one of the greatest surviving examples of programmatic architecture. I find it nearly impossible to ride past it without stopping for a photo. Did I just hear Kenny mumble, “I know”?
One hot summer day in 2011, I was stuck in a line of traffic crawling along at 35mph behind a giant hotdog. Seeing this totally psyched pachyderm on the side of the road gave me a chance to get out of the conga line of cars and off my hot motorcycle.
House of Doors Muffler Man – Cheshire, Connecticut
One of the last times that I stopped in to see the House of Doors Muffler Man, he was nothing more than a pair of pants standing there. He has since been put back together and is proudly holding his American flag.
Yellow Submarine Oil Tank – Shelter Cove, California
The Yellow Submarine tank was a really nice surprise. When Kenny and I pulled into the parking lot of the Inn at the Lost Coast in Shelter Cove, it was sitting in the front yard. It is painted on all four sides.