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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Carpet Giant

Jersey City, New Jersey

Carpet Giant

Wilson’s Carpet Giant, under the Pulaski Skyway in Jersey City, is a celebrity. Neighborhood residents and businesses, as well as truckers, have used him as a waypoint for years. A busload of visitors on The Sopranos Tour stops by every Saturday and Sunday afternoon to take pictures of him.

Location: Wilson’s Carpet, 220 Broadway
Type: Bunyan, arms modified
Accessories: Carpet roll with electronic billboard
Spotlight: The Sopranos (1999-2007) opening credits
Damage: In the best mobster tradition, his feet are sunk in concrete
    Carpet Giant

Left: Wilson’s Carpet Giant (2009). Right: The bottom half of another Muffler Man was also on the premises (2009).

2023 Update

Although “The Sopranos” concluded in 2007, the New Jersey Sopranos bus tour has continued to thrive, with the Carpet Man being a popular stop.
Carpet Giant 2023
According to Google, Wilson’s Carpet closed permanently earlier this year, after 60+ years in business. I am not sure what will become of the Carpet Man. Photo courtesy of Tristan Sadones.