Tag: roadtrip

Bigfoot’s Bodacious Sittin’ Muscle Revealed

Bigfoot’s Bodacious Sittin’ Muscle Revealed

bigfoot butt cheeks

Well? Now you know. Bigfoot has some junk in the trunk. He got them Applebottom jeans, the boots with the furrrrrr…

To be honest, I’m not sure why wondering about the goings on of the big man’s hindquarters hadn’t plagued me sooner, but here we are. Cryptid butt cheeks reveal themselves in their own time.

Other Bigfoot Posts you Might Like:

Mail Pouch Tobacco Ghost Ad – Ford City, Pennsylvania

Mail Pouch Tobacco Ghost Ad – Ford City, Pennsylvania

mail pouch tobacco mural - ford city, pennsylvania
Ford City, Pennsylvania

This restored Mail Pouch Tobacco wall ad in Ford City, Pennsylvania sure is a looker. Clearly a lot of love and care went in to making it vibrant once again. There is so much detail on the packaging – it’s just lovely.

It warms my heart to see projects that commit to caring for such local landmarks, particularly in times and places where money is tight. Without a doubt there are many people who might counter and say that money could be better spent elsewhere. And maybe they’re right. I don’t know. Quality of life does have some variables beyond the survival basics.

My point of view is colored by being a stranger to these communities. But I suspect that there are generations of people for whom this type of image will be weaved throughout their memories even if unwittingly. In my opinion, it is this type of visual energy that adds a pinch of spice to the unique flavor of a neighborhood. They become a touchstone.

The place in which I live is the land of homogenization. And while it is very “nice” and keeps property values high, there is a grave boringness attached to it. One of the key missing ingredients is largely nostalgia. Strip mall, mcmansion, chain store, strip mall, mcmansion, chain store; repeat ad nauseum. We live in the prettiest ugly neighborhoods. And I bought into this ideal wholeheartedly.

My road trips largely center around seeing Americana such as this Mail Pouch sign. What doesn’t get captured in any of the photographs that document my stops, is a sense of longing that I don’t quite understand, which draws me to such places. I find it challenging to articulate what this search is. It is a strange marriage of melancholy and joy.

Visit the Mail Pouch Tobacco Sign in Ford City, Pennsylvania

Other Mail Pouch Posts You Might Like

The American Sign Museum – Cincinnati, Ohio

The American Sign Museum – Cincinnati, Ohio

Over the last 5 or 6 years there have been several occasions when I’d been traveling and thought, “oh, well, while I’m in the neighborhood I’ll just swing by,” in reference to the American Sign Museum in Cincinnati, Ohio. Though I was closer to the city than I would have been at home, each and every time that I’d considered and even worked towards that pit stop, something derailed my loose plans. I never made it.

In the summer of 2021, I decided to drive out to the museum specifically. Unfortunately the universe decided that it wasn’t a good idea and left me stranded in a gas station waiting for a tow and I never got there.

Life is mysterious and unfolds in its own time. The fickle hand of fate gave me a shove in the fall of 2022. I finally made it to Cincinnati where I got to tour the beautiful collection at the American Sign Museum.

The signs are buzzing, clicking, ticking, chasing, blinking, spinning, humming feast for the eyes and ears. As a lover of this type of advertising, a wave of nostalgia washed over me as I took in the Americana gems. That nostalgia wasn’t necessarily directly for the objects but for a place in time or a version of myself. Maybe even a feeling that is hard to come by, like innocence, true wonder, an unburdened mind, or what can now be identified as unbridled possibility.

Photos and Video from The American Sign Museum

american sign museum cincinnati ohio capter genie at entrance
american sign museum cincinnati ohio frisch's big boy fiberglass statue
american sign museum cincinnati ohio ddrugs signs dolly madison ice cream
american sign museum cincinnati ohio porcelain signs goodyear winged shoe sandal boot foot
American sign museum vintage mcdonalds neon sign
american sign museum cincinnati ohio
american Sign Museum
american sign museum cincinnati ohio gulf neon kona lanes
american sign museum cincinnati ohio neon signs
american sign museum cincinnati ohio rotating satellite sign sputnik
american sign museum cincinnati ohio bowling pin mural sign painter

Visit The American Sign Museum

The American Sign Museum
1330 Monmouth Ave
Cincinnati, OH 45225

To All the Muffler Men I’ve Loved Before

To All the Muffler Men I’ve Loved Before

Muffler Men are the handsome superstars of the American roadside attraction universe. With their chiseled good looks and steadfast perseverance they are a welcome sight to many a roadtripper.

When traveling around the US, visiting muffler men is one of my go-to sightseeing stops. The fiberglass giants always put a smile on my face.

Muffler Man - Seaside Heights New jersey minigolf halfwit
Seaside Height, NJ – Mini Golf Halfwit

My awareness of and interest in muffler men is now spanning into plural decades. It started with an “oh, so that’s what they’re called!” after thumbing through a paperback copy of New Roadside America: The Modern Traveler’s Guide to the Wild and Wonderful World of America’s Tourist Attractions in the early aughts. It then spilled into tracking and visiting them via the Roadside America website, and iPhone app.

But before I knew that muffler men were indeed referred to as muffler men, I knew that they existed in a peripheral sense. You see, we have a muffler man Indian here on Long Island. I’d passed the Elmsford, NY Bunyan many times and mini-golfed with a halfwit in Seaside Heights, NJ.

Muffler men have long been a part of my universe. They were simply waiting for me to wake up to them.


Muffler Men – The Same But Different

Now, I’m sharp enough to know that some people think my level of interest and muffler man visitation is a waste of energy. The idea of traveling around and looking at big dumb fiberglass statues that “look the same” as all the other big dumb fiberglass statues I’ve seen before is ridiculous. But who needs that kind of negativity in their lives?

Yes, it’s true that they share the same basic DNA. And yet, these same-old-same-olds do have their own personalities, if you will. Each with little details that set them apart from one another that the uninformed might not be aware of. From accessories like hats, hamburgers, eyelashes and chest hair, the giants do have their own unique flair.

Wilmington, Illinois – Route 66 – Gemini Giant

It has also occurred to me that each one is infused with the flavor of their locale. They take on the vibe of their surroundings as they become infused with the landscape, neighborhood, or the personality of the owner.

You hear it all the time, “people are the same everywhere.” Hell, I’ve said it myself and meant it. But that sentiment is both true and false depending on the parameters and nuance you wrap around it. The same is true for big fiberglass people. They’re all the same, but different.

oaks pennsylviania halfwit muffler man and giraffe 2021
Halfwit and Giraffe – Oaks, Pennsylvania – 2021

Take a moment to consider the thought process of the person charged with repainting the Uniontown, Pa. muffler man. They looked at his face, squinted their eyes and said “something is missing…”

A few thousand bush strokes later, and with a triumphant voila! our boy was befitted with bedroom eyes.

Uniontown, Pennsylvania

And then someone somewhere else looked at the Lake George, NY Around the World mini-golf muffler man and said, “Yeah! Him, too! …but only on the right eye.”

Lake George, NY Mini Golf Muffler Man

Tales of Muffler Men Resurrection

When cruising around if I know a muffler man is close by, even if I’ve previously visited, I will typically stop to see what’s doing.

Over time the overall condition of the giants will change due to wind, sun, storms,… people hitting them with their cars. When you pull up to find one repaired or in better condition then when you last saw it, I’m not gonna lie – it’s kind of exciting. It’s heartwarming when someone loves what you love.

Hancock, Massachusetts

Hancock, Ma.

Having passed by the Hancock, Massachusetts giant a few times over the years, I got to witness his resurrection. He’d been suffering from a terrible case of the peels and it was great to see him freshly painted again.

Check out his blue bowtie – now red, nails on fleek, and sporting a fresh baseball cap.

Hancock, Ma.

Just look at those beautifully manicured nails!

hancock Massachusetts muffler man nails
Hancock, Ma.

Elmsford, New York

Another case of a giant who needed some TLC was the Elmsford, New York Bunyan. He stood armless for years. This spring (2021) when I stopped by, I was glad to see he’s got at least one ticket to the gun show again.

elmsford new york bp bunyan muffler man no arms - triumph speed triple motorcycle
Elmsford, NY

Sadly, the green-eyed giant is now starting to peel.

elmsford new york bunyan muffler man 2021
Elmsford, NY – 2021

Cheshire, Connecticut

The first time that I pulled up to the House of Doors in Cheshire, Connecticut years ago I was surprised to find nothing more than a pair of muffler pants. Doh!

cheshire connecticut muffler man pants - triumph speed triple
Cheshire, CT

Saved! The muff was returned to flag holding service!

Cheshire, CT

Riverhead, New York

When superstorm Sandy crushed the east coast, Long Island’s Muffler Man Indian, also featured on the Sopranos, was sheered across the middle.

Riverhead, NY- Following Superstorm Sandy

He too was little more than a pair of muffler pants for a while.

Thankfully, Long Island’s beloved giant was repaired and is back to waving at the traffic in the town of Riverhead, NY.

Riverhead, NY

Muffler Men on the Move

As well-loved as muffler men are, it isn’t surprising that enthusiasts and collectors buy and move the giants from their long-term locations to new locales. Sometimes they move clear across the country.

And then sometimes, they just up and disappear altogether.

The Big White Guy of Massachusetts

Big White Guy – Chicopee, MA

This fella, previously referred to colloquially as “Plantation Man” as he stood outside of the Plantation Inn in Chicopee, Massachusetts – was sold at auction and then turned up in nearby Agawam, Mass. He stood there for a short time and is now MIA.

Big White Guy – Agawam, Ma.

From Mecca to Joshua Tree, California

Mecca, California

In 2016, I visited a muffler man who stood in the town of Mecca, California along the Salton Sea.

Fast forward to January 2020, and I visited that same muffler man, now sporting a new paint job and name. Meet Big Josh, of Joshua Tree, California.

Big Josh – Joshua Tree, California – 2020

AWOL – Desert Storm Muffler Man

I stopped to visit the Desert Storm muffler man in Havre de Grace, Maryland several times. As of 2015, he was taken down and moved to storage. Who knows where and when we’ll see him again?

Desert Storm Muffler Man – Havre de Grace, Maryland

Big Mike – Hayward, California Muffler Man

In 2014, we visited Big Mike in Hayward, California. He stood outside of a business that was boarded up. That’s typically a sign of uncertainty for the giants.

Hayward, California

Thankfully Big Mike was purchased and moved across town to Bell Plastics to keep a host of other giants company. He was even thrown a 50th birthday party!

Bell Plastics – Big Mike and friend – Hayward, California

Uniroyal Gal – The Ladies of the Muffler Man World

Rare in the muffler man world, there are only about a dozen known Uniroyal Gals in the wild. Seeing one is a treat for any muffler man lover.

The Uniroyal Gal of Pearsonville, California – Hubcap Capital of the World

Uniroyal Gal – Pearsonville, California – 2016

Nitro Girl – Uniroyal Gal Superhero

New Jersey is home to Nitro Girl, arguably the most badass of all the Uniroyal Gals. She’s my favorite of all the girls.

Nitro Girl – Blackwood, NJ

During my last stop to visit her, I was able to purchase a Nitro Girl bobblehead which stands proudly on my desk at work

Muffler Men - Nitro Girl bobblehead
Nitro Girl Bobblehead

Muffler Men Photos

If you too love muffler men keep scrolling for more photos of the big guys I’ve seen in my travels. Buckle up, there’s a lot to look at!

Alabama

Say, hello to Stan from Birmingham, Alabama. He’s a gemini and like lifting invisible weights. Hiiiii Stannnnn.

birmingham alabama - stan the muffler man
Birmingham, Alabama

California

cowboy muffler man happy camp california
Hat Creek, California
hayward california muffler man cowboy bell plastics
Hayward, California

I’ll be honest – there is something a bit creepy about the dead black-eyed stare and drawn on mustache of the Planada, Calfornia muffler man. It’s a wee bit, I dunno,… murdery? I believe this guy may have been sold or moved.

planada california muffler man
Planada, California
willits california muffler man cowboy
Willits, California
kevin van buys california muffler man
Kevin – Van Nuys, California
el salsero muffler man in mailbu california
El Salsero! – Malibu, California
babe - san jose california muffler man
Babe – San Jose, California
bakersfield california muffler man indian
Bakersfield, California

The house where the Mentone, California muffler man stands has a yard full of… stuff including a giant chicken army fiberglass rooster! It’s quite something.

mentone california muffler man bunyan
Mentone, California

Connecticut

cheshire connecticut house of doors bunyan muffler man - triumph bonneville motorcycle
Cheshire, Connecticut
norwich connecticut cowboy muffler man
Norwich, Connecticut

Georgia

The Washington Georgia muffler man has a formidable set of nostrils.

washington georgia muffler man
Washington, Georgia

Illinois

The Gemini Giant on Route 66 in Wilmington, Illinois was my holy grail of muffler men. My favorite of all. I love this guy!

gemini giant muffler man route 66 wilmington illinois
Gemini Giant – Route 66 – Wilmington, Illinois
lauterbach muffler man route 66 springfield illinois
Lauterbach Muffler Man – Route 66 – Springfield, Illinois

The shrimpy Harley-Davidson muffler man stands outside of the Pink Elephant Antique Mall which is chock full of interesting roadsidey goodness. Definitely worth a stop and a look-see.

harley-davidson muffler man livingston illinois
Livingston, Illinois
hot dog holding muffler man atlanta illinois route 66
Atlanta, Illinois -Route 66
surfer dude livingston illinois at pink elephant mall
Surfer Dude – Livingston, Illinois
big john metropolis Illinois
Big John – Metropolis, Illinois

Maine

rumford maine muffler man bunyan
Rumford, Maine

Maryland

berlin maryland mark cline muffler man cowboy with ice cream
Berlin, Maryland
ocean city maryland pirate muffler man
Ocean City, Maryland
desert storm muffler man - havre de grave maryland
Havre de Grace, Maryland

Massachusetts

big white guy muffler man agawam - texaco big friend - ktm 990 baja motorcycle
Big White Guy in Agawam, MA
shirely Massachusetts muffler man indian
Shirley, Massachusetts
yvon shrimpy muffler man groveland massachusetts
Yvon – Groveland, MA

New Jersey

halfwit in jackson new jersey
Jackson, New Jersey
ocean city new jersey pirate muffler man
Ocean City, NJ

You may recognize this muffler man from the opening credits of The Sopranos. He hangs out underneath the Pulaski Skyway.

sopranos muffler man - jersey city new jersey wilsons carpet
The Jersey City – Sopranos – Carpet Muffler Man
deerfield new jersey carpet store viking statue
Viking – Deerfield, NJ
mr bill - halfwit muffler man - winslow new jersey
Winslow, NJ
nitro girl uniroyal gal muffler man blackwood new jersey
Blackwood, New Jersey
magnolia new jersey muffler man
Magnolia, New Jersey
cowtown rodeo muffler man cowboy woodstown new jersey route 40
Cowtown Rodeo – Woodstown, NJ
seaside height new jersey halwit muffler man mini golf
Seaside Heights, New Jersey

New York

yasgurs farm hippie muffler man - bethel new york
Yasgur’s Farm – Bethel, NY – 2021
muffler man - around the work golf lake george new york
Lake George, New York
former magic forest muffler man - lake george new york
Lake George, New York – GONE
former magic forest muffler man - lake george new york
Lake George, NY – GONE
former magic forest muffler men - lake george new york
Lake George, NY – GONE
lake vanare new york one armed muffler man
Lake Vanare, NY
soda jerk mark cline muffler man derby new york
Derby, NY
Lake George, NY – Gone
irving new york muffler man indian
Irving, New York

This muffler man is in the town of Stony Point close to where I grew up. He’s a little sentimental for me because I actually took my dad to see him before he left this world.

stony point muffler man
Stony Point, New York

North Carolina

I believe that the Cherokee, North Carolina muffler man may be in storage.

former cherokee north carolina muffler man indian
Cherokee, North Carolina

I don’t know why but the face on this guy looked so amazed to me 🙂 And i love the sartorial choice of overalls!

raleigh north carolina muffler man
Raleigh, North Carolina

If he just isn’t the most friendly muffler man!

wilson north carolina white tire service muffler man
Wilson, North Carolina

Pennsylvania

uniontown pennsylvanie muffler man - one of the muffler men with eyelashes
Uniontown, Pennsylvania
kittanning pennsylvania muffler man holding a hamburger
Kittanning, Pennsylvania
Oaks, Pennsylvania
greensburg Pennsylvania headless Pittsburg steelers muffler man
Greensburg, Pennsylvania
muffler men - big chip - coopersburg pennsylvania
Big Chip – Coopersburg, Pennsylvania – 2021

The Rockwood, Pennsylvania muffler man is only available for viewing when the campground is open. I had to check in at a booth and get a pass to enter the grounds. It’s worth it. He’s awesome!

muffler men royalty - red white and blue rockwood pennsylvania muffler man
Rockwood, PA

Tennessee

This burger-clutching muffler man stands on top of Pal’s Sudden Service in Kingsport, Tennessee.

pals sudden service kingsport tennessee muffler man holding a hamburger
Kingsport, Tennessee

Virginia

A muffler man… with an actual muffler!

newport news virginia muffler man holding an actual muffler
Newport News, Virginia
roanoke virginia muffler man
Roanoke, Virginia

This kooky amalgamation is called The Paulverizer.

paulverizer muffler man in buena vista virginia - a mark cline creation
Paulverizer – Buena Vista, Virginia

West Virginia

farnham colossi muffler men group in unger west virginia
The Farnham Colossi – Unger, WV

Learn More About Muffler Men

Hope you enjoyed this trip down road trip muffler man memory lane. If you’re interested in finding out about the history of, the latest news, and location maps for muffler men, these sites are excellent resources for more information:

Retro New York: The Parksville Pharmacy

Retro New York: The Parksville Pharmacy

There’s been a pin on my Google map at the location of the Parksville Pharmacy, in the Sullivan County town of Parksville, New York for a long time. I first noticed the old building’s hunter green panels and weathered signage on Instagram. Social media for the win. 😉

Parksville Pharmacy Facade - Sullivan County - Parksville, NY

Throughout the course of my life, I’m not sure just how many times I’ve passed the ghost town’s exit off of Route 17. And I’m amazed that I never caught a glimpse of the old store. During one of our cold weather drives, we wheeled through what is left of town to finally visit the map star in person.

Main drag in Parksville -  Sullivan County - Parksville, NY

There was absolutely nothing going on.

Parksville Pharmacy  Signs - Sullivan County - Parksville, NY

Remnants of a former gas station.

Old Gas station Light - Sullivan County - Parksville, NY

I remember gas station lights like this from when I was a kid. Seeing it filled me with a funny sense of longing and… loss? Maybe that isn’t the right word, but whatever the sensation was, I felt it in my belly. In some strange way it almost felt like a broken heart.

My memory transported me back to gas stations of my youth with the ding-ding hose bells, colorful triangle-shaped flags, rotating brand signs, and these melancholy lamps hanging over the pump island.

My youth. Gone.

Parksville Pharmacy - Sullivan County - Parksville, NY
Parksville Pharmacy - Sullivan County - Parksville, NY
Parksville Pharmacy - Sullivan County - Parksville, NY
Parksville Pharmacy Door  - Sullivan County - Parksville, NY