Muffler Man - Big Johnson
Type: Cowboy (22 ft. tall)
Arm position: standard
Note: When the street was redone by the city of Prescott, it raised the surrounding surface by a foot. But in order to "grandfather" Big Johnson and protect him from restrictive sign ordinances, the owners left him standing in a hole.
The story from Bert Johnson
"Big Johnson," is owned by my father.
Originally this muffler man belonged to [Phillips 66]. They used it throughout all of northern Arizona to open new gas stations. He used to have a rifle in his hands before Texaco decided that was a little too politically incorrect -- even in the wild west of Arizona!
My father bought him in the early 1970s. Big Johnson has been in front of his realty office ever since. Throughout the years he has provided a photographic background for many tourists and residents, has had a fresh shirt and pair of pants applied (usually every 3 or 4 years) and has been the target of several teenage pranks (the most damaging being arrows shot through the fiberglass body). He has become one of Prescott's most loved landmarks.
My siblings and I have grown over the years and have moved from home. Often we meet people that have been to Prescott. One of our first questions is if they have ever seen the 20+ foot cowboy. Almost always the answer is a resounding "yes" as their eyes light up with the memory of seeing that cowboy for the first time! He has been the cause of turning a frequent acquaintance into a lifelong friend. As far as I'm concerned, he'll always be the "silent" member of our family...