Actually closer to Bossier City this cowboy has been up on this pole for about 26 years. He stands high above the Topps Western World and Trailer Sales just north of I-20 to the east of Bossier City. As far as cowboys go this one is in really good shape. He also is decked out with allot of accessories which is nice to see since these days many cowboys have long lost all their extra stuff. Maybe standing high up on that pole well out of reach has done him some good. He wears a black stetson and holds a piece of rope and also has a really nice pair of spurs on his shoes. You also don’t see to many muffler men these days with bright yellow shirts so he is hard to miss when driving by. They also have him up on a billboard right next to the interstate advertising their business although he’s wearing a red shirt in the billboard picture. As with most cowboys, he once stood at a Phillips 66 station and had their logo on his chest pocket. He was purchased around 1982 by the owner of Topps named Bubba Reeves. Bubba who started his business in 1964 with Topps Milling company went on in 1973 to start selling western wear and saddles. By the time the muffler man came along Bubba had a well established buisness and was looking for more ways to promote it. He doesn’t remember to much about the day he got the cowboy or how much he paid for him but he does remember the Phillips 66 gas station had closed and they were selling everything. He remembers that the gas station was in the Dallas area and I have started to put two and two together with his story and one Glen Goode told me. Glen has stated that he cast the muffler man head and hat mold for his collection form a cowboy muffler man that stood on a billboard at a gas station in Canton, TX about 45 miles south east of Dallas back in the early 80’s. Bubba remembers getting his cowboy in the early 80’s somewhere around Dallas so this could possibly be the Canton muffler man. That could also be why the Shreveport muffler man stands on a tall poll because Bubba first saw him on a billboard up in the air in Canton. Bubba set him up at his store on East Texas street and it stayed there for 5 years before bringing him over next to I-20 around 1987. The muffler man has stood here ever since and hats off to Bubba and his guys for having an original 66 cowboy at their store for over 30 years now.
My 13th M Man was one of the more famous or well known ones out there. A tall cowboy standing in Gainesville, TX one of 4 giants standing in front of Glen Goode’s farm. Glen’s collection is one of the more photographed and talked about ones so I had heard of Glen long before my visit and it was a pleasure to finally meet him. He loves having visitors and as soon as he saw me out there taking picture he hopped in his golf cart and came right over to tell me about his collection. He’s got 2 Big Johns (not M Men but another bread of big men, I’ll do a blog about them sometime in Feb) a cowboy and a Uniroyal Gal. The cowboy is a rare model made by International Fiberglas that has yet to be coined with a name (I call it the “Glen Goode” version) and it often is confused with the Texaco Big Friend which Glen assured me it was not. He told me he had once worked for Texaco and remembers the big friends and that the wind blew a few over and they caused law suits and Texaco ordered them all taken down and destroyed. He alluded to the fact that he had a chance to get his hands on a few but didn’t. Anyhow years later he spotted this body in Garland, TX at a go cart track laying out back with no head or hands. He bought him and hauled him home to start his collection of giants. A standard head and cowboy hat was borrowed from a muffler man in Canton, TX and Glen cast a mould from it. He then talked to Ken Johnson of “Ken’s Mufflers” in Dallas and borrowed the arms from one of his half wits to make moulds for the missing hands. If you look close you will notice that the hands are a dead match for any other standard muffler man as well as the head and face.
Glen went on to also cast a mould of the body and legs and started making copies so his son could also have a giant at his sandblasting shop in Sherman, TX. In total he cast two copies from his mould, one still stands in Sherman and the other is up in Amarillo. The moulds still stand in his barn and although they aren’t used anymore it is a rare site to see a mould for this version of muffler men.
There are a few originals of this kind of M Man still standing but they are rare. There is one in Oakwood Village, OH that I mentioned in my last blog as well as my #72 sighting (not standing) which is a good example of what the original face and hands looked like.
Another exmple of this version but with a suit coat that came as an option for it is in Chicopee, MA.
These are great examples of what Glen’s Cowboy once looked like and somewhere out there is a head and hands without a body. So the truth be told, Glen’s cowboy is not really a cowboy at all. Also as a side note and another mystery I want to track down is the muffler man he cast the head and cowboy hat from. It stood in Canton TX but I’ve never seen a picture of it or learned where it went. If you have any ideas or info let me know.