Lake Ozark, Missouri: Big Indian and Happy Half-WitThey stand directly across the street from each other, each with one arm raised to form a kind of gateway into the tourist strip of town.
Visitor Tips and News About Big Indian and Happy Half-Wit
These are some pictures from earlier this week of the mutant muffler men near Bagnell Dam (a.k.a. Lake Ozark), MO. The half-wit's identified location in the "defunct Dogpatch" may or may not be right, since in March, everything there looks defunct ... but may just be waiting for the arrival of Ozark spring. There appears to be at least one viable roadside attraction behind him, the Old Time Photo place, whose sign helpfully explains to those not acquainted with the genre that the old time photo is, in fact, "Of You." The noble savage is across the highway, in "Two Bit Town," which also boasts a fiberglass gorilla, though it is also closed at least for the season. The half wit has a bumper sticker on his back, advertising adult temporary tattoos, with the motto "From Fantasy to Flesh." I think "From Fantasy to Fiberglass" ought to be the Official Muffler Man motto. P.S. I think the Muffler Man spotter t-shirt is excellent.[Dave Vander Velde, 03/21/1999]
The Half Wit and Indian are standing directly across the street from each other. Both have arms raised either in greeting or for a "gate" effect, and the Half Wit's raised arm looks scarily Naziesque. His pants are replete with patches and he has little to no iris coloration. He no longer holds the lantern; it's at his feet. Must've been too heavy. Or maybe he tired of playing Prometheus. Kind of.[Kendal Obermeyer, 11/30/1998]
I determined to stop at their version of Dogpatch, which used to be along the main strip at Bagnell Dam. While some of the gift shops are still there, the hillbilly image is now discouraged, with the minor exception of the ever popular "Ozarkland" and Walnut Bowl Factory chain of gift shops. Dogpatch proper is no more, but the abandoned and overgrown buildings still stand, including the famous talking outhouse, sans hillbilly. If you are able to peer through the rubbish left by unappreciative tourists you can still capture the glory that once was in your mind. Out front though, if I recall correctly, still stands what I believe to be a "Muffler Man" in disguise. It is a smaller variety, and is in what I would call a Tom Sawyer motif [RA: a happy half-wit?], complete with plaid shirt and straw hat.[Jon Isaacson, 06/10/1998]