This team is from Turlock ca.
Just a moment of levity from the tiresome task of fighting the Red Mountain fire...
Thank you!!! to all the hundreds of brave firefighters who took care of us here in the Foster Park, Red Mountain valley. ..
It's like picking a favorite child, but I have to say that the Bunyan-style muffler men are my favorite. This one in North Carolina has a buddy, or rather a Babe, and you can see them from 95 South or up close with a little mild trespassing (or when you're buying a log home). More about this handsome fella and his sidekick on the blog today, if you're into that ⛏ #mufflerman#northcarolina#paulbunyan#babetheblueox#ag233#roadsideamerica @americangiants #latergram
The Gemini Giant is a landmark statue on Route 66, standing outside the Launching Pad Drive-In restaurant. The 30 foot tall statue is one of many giant "Muffler Man" advertising props found throughout the US in the Sixties. The Gemini Giant is named after the Gemini space program and holds a silver rocket ship in his hands, while sporting an astronaut's space helmet. #GeminiGiant#Route66#ag233
I've followed @americangiants for ages and this morning I finally found a Muffler Man in real life! 😍This bad lad is 20ft of pure unadulterated fibreglass. There's not many of these left that are completely intact anymore, (they were originally created in the 60s to advertise roadside businesses) so we were well happy to track one down 😬🌵❤
Since I can only fit so much In these posts, I'm doing another quick one on Magic Forest in Lake George (with two photos!). This wasn't carnival showman Arthur Gillette's first Lake George amusement park...he had a failed one in the mid-1950s. He then left Lake George to open Carson City in the Catskills (I'm tying all these posts together!). In the early 1960s he bought land in Lake George and opened Christmas City Amusement Park. Over the next few years it expanded and transformed into the Magic Forest. The park is known for its 40 foot Uncle Sam "muffler man" which in a correction i noted came from the Danbury Fairgrounds after it closed in 1981. Let's talk about these Muffler Men though. These large fiberglass statues of Paul Bunyan, Cowboys, Vikings, etc were all built in the 1960s starting in 1963 by International Fiberglass. They were used as advertising mascots (the original Paul Bunyan was for a diner. Some Indians were for Pontiac Dealerships. Some Cowboys for Phillips 66 stations). Recent years have brought greater attention to the 150 to 200 Muffler men that still exist (the Muffler Man name is a misnomer because some statues advertised Muffler shops). They are pure Americana and mid-century road culture. The Magic Forest has an over-abundance of them because Arthur Gillette's son kept buying them from shut down parks (like Danbury Fair, Lake Placid Golf Course, etc) and junkyards where businesses dumped their outdated ones. Site like Roadside America try to chronicle all of them. #lakegeorge#magicforest#NewYork#christmas#mufflerman#advertising#amusementpark#themepark#amusements#upstateny#upstate#santa#danburyfair#arthurgillette#paulbunyan#midcentury#americana#ag233
I have childhood memories of my family vacationing in Lake George, and going to the Magic Forest Amusement Park in the late 80s. The place looked like it hadn't been updated since the 1960s then too. For some reason, I love these mid-century time capsules, filled with totally outdated attractions and possibly structurally questionable rickety rides. Obviously, my reason for wanting to see it again in March of 2016 was for nostalgic reasons, but also some historic ones. My father could have taken a picture next to the "World's Tallest Uncle Sam" in 1966, I could have when I was four in 1988, and I could have again last year. Other than the cars in the parking lot, nothing would have changed from this 1960s park. It was opened in 1963 by Arthur Gillette right on US Route 9, and as the name suggests, features fairy tale and whimsical attractions. There are so many muffler Men and other creepy statues in the park, plus stuff that probably wouldn't keep kids attention anymore like a magic show, petting zoo and Lightning, the Diving Horse (supposedly the son of the Atlantic City Steel Pier Diving Horse). From this parking lot view, you can see Uncle Sam, which I remember as taller in 1988, Santa Claus, a cottage, an old ferris wheel, and a Paul Bunyan Muffler Man. I do not know how this run down park is still open, especially considering there's a Six Flags nearby. (Hell, the Lake George Zoological Park and Gaslight Village are all gone!). I don't care. I love that this piece of unique mid-century Americana still exists.
One correction: the Uncle Sam wasn't there in 1966. It came in 1982, from the Danbury Fair. Oops.
Visited Bell Plastics last weekend and celebrated Big Mike the Muffler Man's 50th birthday!
Big Mike was faithfully stationed at a car wash, and later a tire shop, on Mission Boulevard in Hayward, CA throughout my youth. I have fond memories of Mike - as a kid, there was something fantastic about seeing this larger-than-life figure on the side of the roadway.
Eventually, time got the best of Mike, and he grew increasingly faded and worn. Finally, a few years ago, I saw a news story about Mike being taken down, and I couldn't help but feel a little wistful about how much my life - and the Bay Area - has changed over the years.
Then, by chance, I was watching the 10 o'clock news last weekend and learned that Bruce Kennedy, the owner of Bell Plastics, had bought Mike, restored him to his original glory, and was throwing him a 50th birthday party!
It was a great time, replete with vacuum forming and CNC demos, Bell's amazing collection of fiberglass giants (in various stages of restoration!), and meeting Joel and Neto from @americangiants.
It was awesome seeing Mike standing proud again, in vibrant colors, looking better than ever. Thanks, Bruce Kennedy and Bell Plastics for keeping a little piece of my youth alive.
@americangiants @roadside_america @weirdca @plasticsbell #bellplastics#brucekennedy#americangiants#ag233#mufflermen#mufflerman#roadsideamerica
First #mufflerman of tour! Unveiled in 2013, standing upon the cab of a junked #truck ... this guy holds a dirt bike with his beefed up #muscly arm, while the other is a flesh colored #tentacle ! Inside its chest is a control pod operated by an #insectivore#alien .
This Muffler Man was created by Mark Cline, who has brought the Muffler Men he's worked with into a few shades queerer than the rest. He reportedly got the idea for this guy from a scene in the first Men In Black.
Paulverizer is the cyborg embodiment of the owner of the recycling plant it guards patiently. Its RoboCop-inspired head was originally modified by Cline for a Muffler Man that stood in Nags Head, North Carolina, but Hurricane Bertha destroyed that statue in 1996; Mark salvaged the head, and it lay in his studio for years UNTIL--
he was asked to play Patsy Cline's husband in a theatrical production of her life (Mark is related to Patsy's first husband, Gerald Cline). The woman who played Patsy was married to the owner of this recycling plant (Paul Palma), and so the friendship began. Palma paid Mark to build this 24 foot tall titan of post apocalyptic daydreams based solely around the long lost head and his imagination.
Nowadays it rocks a Trump/Pence sign, which isn't my personal cup of tea, but that doesn't make this wonder any less fascinating.
These two photos are 20 yrs apart ...
The Giant was in the Ventura river bottom between Casitas Springs (one time home of Johnny Cash )and Oak View ca. ..
Photo contribution by Joel Baker of America Giant. ... thanx Joel !!!