Larger Than Life #2

Today we have update to our ongoing series of picture posts that look at some of my favorite attractions and oddities across America.  If you missed my first Larger Than Life picture post, you can check it out right here.

Today, we’ve got a look at what could be considered a cousin to our first oddity, Mr Bendo.  Actually, if you’re a fan of these kind of oddities, you might know them as kin to the “Muffler Men”.

Muffler Men are these giant statues that were created in the late 60’s to early 70’s and were used as promotional tools for a variety of businesses all across the US.  Many of the Muffler Men are long gone, and the ones that still exist have morphed into a wide variety of similar giants.

Both Mr Bendo and today’s “Larger Than Life” statue are considered part of the Muffler Men family to those in the know.  But if you’ve ever traveled through Tennessee on Interstate 65, you might have encountered this giant and not known the Muffler Man connection.  Today we focus our spotlight on a giant that we call the Cross Plains Indian.

Unlike Mr Bendo, this statue doesn’t have an official name, but since he’s located in Cross Plains, TN it sort of makes sense to call him that.  The Cross Plains Indian is located at the Sad Sam’s Fireworks Outlet (and BP Gas Station) just off Interstate-65 Exit 112.  This exit is second exit before (or after) the Kentucky border depending on which way you’re travelling on I-65.

From what I’ve been able to find on the internet, the Indian used to be located across the road at the Red River Antiques Mall.  It closed down a couple of years ago, but fortunately the folks at Sad Sam’s valued him as much as his fans, and he was moved across the road.

He was down for awhile after he was damaged in a severe storm.  The repairs even included replacing one of his arms which had been stolen.  Once he was repaired, he was given a fresh coat of paint and now looks great!

Some people online also mention a Loco Joe’s Fireworks stand that he may have been a part of, but I don’t know if they were confusing that with Sad Sam’s, or that perhaps another fireworks seller was once in the area.

Every time I travel North out of Nashville on I-65, I always make sure to check him out as I head his way…. The Cross Plains Indian:

The Muffler Man The Muffler Man

The Muffler Man


Larger Than Life #1

Today we’ll begin an ongoing series of picture posts looking at some of my favorite attractions and oddities across America. I’ve always enjoyed seeing strange roadside attractions. Most are just used for advertising purposes, but have fascinated me none the less.

There’s actually a popular website that highlights many of these attractions. It’s called Roadside America and you can check it out HERE to see many of these larger than life attractions.

Today’s we’re focusing the spotlight on Mr Bendo. He is a giant fiberglass man that is located in front of Ralph’s Muffler Shop (1250 W. 16th St., Indianapolis). I’s just down the street from Indy’s old Bush Stadium. Mr Bendo is one of the attractions that are called “Muffler Men”. You can learn more about the muffler man and his mutant friends on the Roadside America website. They even have a special page dedicated to the muffler men. Here’s a look at Mr Bendo:

The Muffler Man The Muffler Man
The Muffler Man The Muffler Man