Tag: mufflermen

Pal’s Sudden Service with Bonus Mufflerman

Pal’s Sudden Service with Bonus Mufflerman

The facade of the Pal’s Sudden Service chain has to be one of the best around. Normally I wouldn’t say such things in polite company but, look at that huge wiener!

Back in 2012, when Kenny and I were heading towards the Shady Valley Country Store on TN 421 (The Snake) we happened to zip past a Pal’s. As you might imagine, I couldn’t resist stopping.

At the time, I had no idea that it was a chain. In fact, there are 29 different Pal’s locations. There’s a Pal’s in Johnson City, Tennessee. That joke writes itself.

The Pal’s in Kingsport, Tennessee does not have a huge wiener but we won’t hold that against them. What is does have is a hamburger-holding mufflerman on the roof. I’d say that makes up for it. He’s a bit on the pale side, don’t you think? Even so, he was good company as I enjoyed my burger and “frenchie fries” outside on the patio.

The Gemini Giant Muffler Man of Wilmington, Illinois

The Gemini Giant Muffler Man of Wilmington, Illinois

The Gemini Giant stands sentinel on Route 66 in the town of Wilmington, Illinois. For as long as I can remember being aware of muffler men, he has captured my imagination as being special. Is it the handsome green space suit? The helmet? Maybe his name? I can’t say for sure.

fuzzygalore at the gemini giant muffler man

What I do know is that he is my favorite muffler man. That’s just the way it is. To some people these fiberglass giants all look the same. They think, what’s the big deal? They don’t do anything. They just stand around being the same as every other muffler man who stands around looking the same.

But, those people would be wrong.

The town of Wilmington is 900 miles from my house. In the scale of this big, wide world it’s not that far. Hell, people ride further than that in a 24 hour period. But, the truth is – sometimes it seemed like I would never be able to get there. I mean, it’s easy to hop on a plane, fly to California and do some sightseeing around San Francisco or LA. A trip like that seems to have a much more concrete purpose, a more definitive destination. You don’t question that you would be able to fill your time there with a million things. When would I ever have a reason to find myself in Wilmington, Illinois?

But, you know what? The only places you can’t get to are the ones you decide you can’t get to. When you decide there isn’t reason enough to go, there isn’t reason enough. But, when you decide you can and there is? Well, then…

In October of 2015, I finally made my way to Wilmington.

fuzzygalore at the gemini giant muffler man

It might sound silly but when I approached the spot where he stands I actually got a flutter of excitement. Especially when my GPS stopped marking his distance in miles and started marking it in feet. I may have said “Ohmygahhhhd” out loud. Maybe.

fuzzygalore at the gemini giant muffler man

When I pulled into the lot and parked, I stumbled around for a few minutes just gawking.

I’d made it!

To a parking lot of a closed down restaurant!

In Illinois!


Reconciling what you’re seeing with what you’d imagined is a curious feeling. Arriving at knowing versus wondering is almost a physical sensation.

Though I was dazzled by his gorgeous green suit, that I did something that I set out to do was as important than seeing the thing itself. Maybe more important.

fuzzygalore at the gemini giant muffler man

I just now realized that the Gemini Giant is secretly smiling underneath his helmet. I know someone else like that.

Thankfully, I don’t have a football jammed up in mine, though.

fuzzygalore at the gemini giant

Just wanting to is reason enough to do things.

Quirky Roadside Attractions from Illinois

Quirky Roadside Attractions from Illinois

This morning when I saw the Daily Page prompt: What’s the quirkiest thing about you? I had to smirk. Personally, I don’t think I’m exceptionally quirky but then, who does? It’s other people who find your you-ness quirky and comment on it.  I don’t think I dare ask my husband what he thinks it is.

But since we’re on the subject, I will go ahead and share some actual quirky roadside stuff that I saw in Illinois.

Pink elephant towing a trailer? Sure, why not?

pink elephant antique mall

Boyfriend might want to think about a spray tan. Just sayin’…

Doesn’t he look like he might bust out signing into that ice cream one? “I love you, baby and if it’s quite all right I need you, baby… thank you, thank you, very much! Thanks for having me on the Merv Griffin Show!”

beach dude pink elephant antique mall

Big John. Not big Johnson. Two very different things. Although he looks pretty freakin’ chipper and has a strategically placed apron so maybe he’s got a secret we don’t know about.

It might be best to just move along here…

big john metropolis illnois

“Hi, Billy Mays, here. Do you like Muffler Men and motorcycles?”

harley davidson shrimpy muffler man

muffler man boot

The awesome green futuro house. I saw one of these on Milton, Delaware a few years back. I think they’re so great looking. They have that “this is what the future will look like in the year 2000,” flying car, spandex space-suit clothing vibe. Can you imagine living in one?

futuro house in Illinois at pinkelephant

For More Information & Articles:

A Twistee Treat ice cream cone-shaped building. There was a time when I just wanted to see one. Now I’ve got two under my belt after seeing this one in Illinois.

twistee treat ice cream building in illinois

Maybe when I’ve finally had enough of corporate America I’ll get myself a big ice cream cone and start slingin’ sprinkles. What can I getcha, honey?

One of the downsides to traveling alone is that often there is no one around to take your picture through one of these face-hole cutout things. I might’ve looked like a real motorcyclist. Oh, what could have been.

The well-groomed, much loved Lauterback muffler man of Springfield, Illinois:

lauterbach mufflerman

Vigilantly surveying his domain with beady eyes.

lauterback mufflerman



Uncle Sam Muffler Man – Happy Fourth of July

Uncle Sam Muffler Man – Happy Fourth of July

While I was cruising around the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania, I stopped to visit the Rockwood, PA Muffler Man at the Scottyland RV Resort. Kenny and I passed there once before a few winters ago but the resort was closed so we had no muffler man joy. Persistence finally paid off.

fuzzygalore at scottyland muffler man uncle sam

The muffler man is on private property and is not visible from the road. You must get a pass to enter the campground. So, I parked and went in to the camp store to see if I would be allowed to enter.

rv resort map

“Hi, I was wondering if I could visit your muffler man.”

“Our what?”

“Muffler man?”

::puzzled pause, sizing up the nut who just walked in the door::
“Oh, you mean Uncle Sam? That’s what we call ’em. He was just painted ’bout two years ago so he looks pretty good.”

fuzzygalore at the scottyland mufflerman in rockwood pa

The woman kindly gave me a pass so that I could go see Uncle Sam. When I presented it to the gate-keeper, he asked “what site are you going to?” I told him I was going to see their Uncle Sam and he responded with, “What?” and looked at the pass for about 30 seconds until the lightbulb went off and said “Oh! Oh, oh, oh. I know what you mean,” and let me through.

fuzzygalore at scottyland muffler man in pennsylvania

You’d think that Uncle Sam would be in the forefront of everyone’s mind at that campground. He’s so awesome!

muffler man feet scottyland

Happy Fourth of July from Uncle Sam… and me!

%d bloggers like this: