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Carthage, Missouri: Marlin Perkins Statue

RoadsideAmerica.com Team Field Report

Address:
S. Garrison Ave., Carthage, MO
Directions:
Downtown, in the town park, on the west side of S. Garrison Ave. between 7th St. and Chestnut/8th St.
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Marlin Perkins Statue

The star of TV's Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom, honored in bronze in the town where he was born.

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Marlin Perkins

Marlin Perkins Statue

Those who've gagged at Aussie Steve Irwin's "Crikey, look at the size of those incisors! They're huge!" (Animal Planet) or dozed off to Mar-ty Stouf-fer's Wild A-merica would do well to remember that the original American TV wildlife series debuted way back in 1963. It was Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom. The show was hosted by Marlin Perkins (1905-1986), Director of the St Louis Zoo and native of Carthage, MO.

The best you can say about it is that it was filmed on location. You never see reruns anymore because commercial segues extolling the prudence of buying insurance were part of the script. These "breaks" were reinforced by examples of the providence of nature (or lack thereof). They punctuated an overly dramatic and anthropomorphic storyline that led inevitably to the gladiatorial spectacle of co-host Jim Fowler's having the stuffing almost kicked out of him by Australian kangaroos, being trampled nearly to death by migrating herds of African ungulates, or partially asphyxiating in the grip of some huge new-world reptile while Mr Perkins remained crisply aloof.

[Chuck Rhode, 09/12/2005]

Worth a brief detour on the way to Precious Moments Chapel. We asked an old gent in the town square for directions, and he launched into a diatribe on Carthage: "There's a lot to this little town! I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Perkins three times. I gave him directions right there by the courthouse steps." The larger-than-life bronze is sheltered among tall trees. The plaque under the statue quotes Shakespeare: "... Nature might stand up to him and say, this was a man."


Nearby Offbeat Places

Alice in Wonderland StatueAlice in Wonderland Statue, Carthage, MO - < 1 mi.
Tire Changing WomanTire Changing Woman, Carthage, MO - < 1 mi.
CrapdusterCrapduster, Carthage, MO - 2 mi.
In the region:
Precious Moments Park and Chapel, Carthage, MO - 5 mi.

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