Right Palm Up, Left Palm Down
In 1984, a ten-year-old boy encountered a mysterious 20-foot-tall fiberglass statue named Louie in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Eight years later, he spotted an identical statue in Tucson. A third sighting outside a run-down convenience store made it a trend. Thus began a scavenger hunt to discover the origins of Louie and his brethren. Only one rule applied: No searching for them on the Internet!

Right Palm Up, Left Palm Down

The Log of a Cross-Country Scavenger Hunt by Gabriel Aldaz

About the Author

What a Long Strange Trip it’s Been

Since moving from Spain to the United States at the age of ten, I have been fascinated by kitschy roadside architecture. Among the brightly colored billboards, flashing neon, and oddly shaped buildings that have lured motorists off the American highway for the past century, I discovered a series of giant fiberglass lumberjack statues. What began as a persistent curiosity about these statues turned into the much larger project of researching and writing a book. To my knowledge, Right Palm Up, Left Palm Down (RPULPD) was the first work to tell the true story of the so-called Muffler Men.

Along with the book, I also unveiled the rightpalmup.com website in April 2010. As the years went on, the website fell into neglect and eventually disappeared, a fate shared by many a good Muffler Man. I am very pleased to announce the return of the website in 2023, complete with a fresh coat of paint and a new Instagram account.

I currently live with my second wife Sandra in Potsdam, Germany. During our spare time, we love to travel, sometimes by car but preferably by bicycle, sailboat, or on foot. Wherever I am on the globe, I keep an eye out for the unusual. I never know where my curiosity might lead me.

Be sure to follow me on Instagram:

Instagram Rightpalmup


About the Author