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

Meet the Characters

This page is devoted to the Muffler Men in the order that I encountered them in my scavenger hunt. The names of most statues are widely accepted, and the numbers roughly correspond to the book chapters. The map and descriptions were accurate in 2009, and are being updated in 2023 with your help! Click on the numbers on the map or the names on the right to learn more about each one.
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Big Wes

Yuma, Arizona

Big Wes

Big Wes leads a quiet life at a Yuma RV park behind a Toys ‘R’ Us. According to the Yuma Sun, the statue had a tumultuous past in Dodge City, Kansas. Its head was stolen so many times that it finally broke and had to be replaced. The new head is motorized and, at least in theory, capable of swiveling from side to side.

Location: Westward Village RV Park, 3300 South 8th Avenue
Type: Cowboy body, one-of-a-kind head
Accessories: Rifle, deputy badge
Spotlight: It has a motorized head!
Damage: The motorized head does not appear to work
  • Big Wes

Left: Big Wes wearing black pants, vest, and hat (2004). Right: Big Wes repainted in friendlier colors (2009).

2023 Update

Coming soon!