Saturday, May 29, 2010

Roadtrip: Oklahoma!

Welcome from Oklahoma, where I decided to spent my Memorial Day weekend.

Oklahoma (oʊkləˈhoʊmə/) is a state located in the South Central region of the United States. With an estimated 3,687,050 residents in 2009 and a land area of 68,667 square miles (177,847 km²), Oklahoma is the 28th most populous and 20th-largest state. The state's name is derived from the Choctaw words okla and humma, meaning "red people", and is known informally by its nickname, The Sooner State.

Formed by the combination of Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory on November 16, 1907, Oklahoma was the 46th state to enter the union. Its residents are known as Oklahomans, and its capital and largest city is Oklahoma City where I plan to spent the next two nights, before looping my way to Texas.

My first oddity for this trip was to pay homage to the giant Muffler Man at Steppin' Out Western Wear in Wynnwood, OK. This is my second sighting of a Muffler Man, the first being one in Amarillo, TX a year or so ago. Steppin' Out owner Harold Marcum says he bought the cowboy from an individual who leased it to the film company that produced the movie Twister. Marcum says the cowboy (approx 22 ft tall) was placed in a pond at Garvin County Lake for a scene in the film that was not used in the final production.

They're big. They're scary. So what is it with these muffler men, and where did they come from?

Today's owners, often three or four times removed from original purchasers, have little or no information. Were they fashioned by "some company in California," or dozens of dead and defunct fiberglass makers?

Enter Steve Dashew, whose company, International Fiberglass, turned out thousands of commercial statues in the 1960s and 70s. International Fiberglass took a single statue mold created for a cafe and parlayed it into a roadside industry.

Standing approximately 20 feet tall, the first figure was a Paul Bunyan character designed to hold his axe. Derivatives of that figure were widely used to hold full-sized car mufflers, tires, or other items promoting various roadside businesses.

Okay, now on to Oklahoma City!

Source: Wikipedia and

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