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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Phillips 66 Cowboy

Las Vegas, Nevada

Phillips 66 Cowboy

In the late 1960s, the authors of Learning from Las Vegas set out to photograph the architecture of an adolescent Sin City. Figure 46 of the book focuses on the marquee of the Aladdin Casino, but also includes a shot of a Phillips 66 Cowboy reminiscent of Poor Richard. Although there had once been several Phillips 66 Cowboys in Las Vegas, the old-timers there agreed that the statues stood no chance of survival.

Location: Missing, last seen at a Phillips 66 gas station on the Strip
Type: Cowboy
Accessories: Tire
Spotlight: Appeared in Learning from Las Vegas
Damage: Possibly bulldozed
  • Phillips 66 Cowboy

A cowboy stands in front of a Phillips 66 gas station in front of the Aladdin Casino (late 1960s). Photo courtesy of Venturi, Scott Brown, and Associates.

2023 Update

It is believed that this Phillips 66 cowboy moved around between gas stations in Southern Nevada and Northern Arizona. Current whereabouts are unknown.