La Salsa Muffler Man
Dodge City, Kansas
On November 15, 2016, Bob Jones finally had enough.
Bob is vice-president of the Dodge City Area Arts Council. It had anguished for years -- along with other Dodge City agencies -- over what to do with two Muffler Men that movie star Dennis Hopper had used in an art exhibition and had given to the city when he died in 2010. Fearful of the region's notorious winds, town officials kept the 20-foot-tall statues away from the public. One, "La Salsa Man," was stored at Bob Jones's farm.
"It's a great piece of art, and we'd had him for three years," Bob told us, exasperated. "I just decided, you know, I'm putting that thing up." And he did.
Bob chose a hard-to-miss spot on Dodge City's main drag, only a couple of blocks from its Boot Hill tourist district. He paid for it out of his own pocket, and he didn't tell anyone.
"I took some heat for it," Bob said after La Salsa Man unexpectedly appeared on 11/15. "I understand that. You can't just bypass laws -- like I did." Nevertheless, Bob feels that he has the sympathy, if not the legal support, of the town, and he's vowed to resolve any difficulties he may have created with his one-man rebellion.
The most important thing, he said, is that La Salsa Man is now a permanent public figure in Dodge City.
"We had some really strong winds today and he's still standing," Bob told us. "We're good! It's awesome!"