Saturday, July 4, 2009

roadtrip to armadillo - I

a friend had a job interview in amarillo last week. she asked if i'd go along for the ride and for moral support. i said i would on one condition. that we could stop at every historical marker and any roadside attraction i could find.

we proceeded to turn a fairly boring 6 hour drive through west texas into a 9+ hour trek full of all kinds of crazy/interesting shit.

an hour or so and 2 historical markers later we noticed a homemade-looking billboard that said, "GLENN GOODE'S BIG PEOPLE. TURN RIGHT. 2 MILES."

i'm here to tell you, that was a side trip well worth the taking... 2-25 foot tall "big johns", 1-22 foot tall reconstructed "muffler man", 1-17 foot tall "uniroyal gal" who bears a striking resemblance to jackie o., and a life-sized calf are right there for the gawkin'. and the collector/artist, mr. glenn goode himself, came out of his air conditioned house to tell us all about them in the sweltering heat. (truth be told, he loves to talk and more than just kinda likes visitors.)

said he paid 300 bucks each for the big johns. cut off their arms to get 'em there and reattached them himself. they're apparently from some defunct grocery chain. the bags they used to hold are in his back yard.
he paid 5 bucks for the muffler man. it was head, hat and armless at the time. goode, pronounced like "dude" but with a "g", did the fiberglass reconstruction himself.

my favorite story was about the uniroyal gal.
when he got her, she wore a pink bikini, a low cut blouse, and a mini skirt. he told me, "i just had to fix her up a little. had to give her some respectable clothes to wear. so i lengthened the skirt over 2 feet and put a decent shirt on her."
(phew!! thank god for that!)

i think i still have a myspace page somewhere out there in digital land. anyway, a photo i found on the interwebs of the 2 middle figures was my profile picture for quite a while. i called them mr. and mrs. muffler man. i never knew anything about them until now. cool!

oh, and the calf? someone just gave it to him.
one day sometime later, he got a call from a neighbor. said his cow got loose and would he come get him? mr. goode said he didn't own any cows. turns out some kids had stolen the fiberglass calf in the night and it must've fallen out of their truck making a turn not too far away from the scene of said rustling.

here's a link to a web album of some photos of the big people outside of gainesville, texas. click and enjoy the madness...

big people

stay tuned for more roadtrip pics and stories.
...just don't hold your breath.


Snooty Primadona said...

What a hoot! I've lived in West Texas for 35 years & I never knew those exsisted... Road trips like that make my hubby crazy so I have to do them alone, lol. Not quite the same.

rilera said...

That is too funny Rick. Glad you enjoyed your road trip.

Annie said...

Loved the photos! I love historical markers and roadside attractions. How did your friend's interview go?

cornbread hell said...

i think she aced the interview. she'll find out in a few days.
i'm not too sure she wants to move to armadillo, though.

rainbowheart said...

That is what I call a road trip....

seanlb said...

i have a very vivid memory of the muffler man. it involves coming home from denton and knowing we were close when i saw the muffler man on 75.

Anonymous said...

Hello Rick,
I found your web site again.. and this blog with your photos. The first one made me burst out laughing..
I remember the photo you had on mysppace with these muffler people..
Yippee. Im so glad you doing good and still blogging..
in the NW.

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