Oh Boy! Familiar statue tumbles due to strong winds

Elizabeth Dunham, Contributing Writer

Photo by Elizabeth Dunham

The iconic Big Boy sign and statue on US 131 fell over due to high winds on Sunday, Feb. 25. Similarly-sized vintage fiberglass statues can currently be found for sale on eBay, some marked up to $4,000.


KALKASKA – The iconic Big Boy sign and statue on US-131, south of Kalkaska, took a dive last Sunday, Feb. 25, due to high winds experienced throughout the area. The weather service reported wind speed of 40 to 50 miles per hour that day, as well as wind advisories in multiple northern Michigan counties.

The Big Boy franchise was not immediately available to offer a comment about whether or not the sign/statue would be replaced.

The incident received significant attention on social media. Widely shared pictures on Facebook of the fallen icon were accompanied by comments such as “Big Boy down in Kalkaska,” “Poor Big Boy,” “I think he needs life alert” and “That is gonna leave a mark.”

The Big Boy website shares the history of the classic American restaurant, including the creation of the Big Boy mascot. The story begins in 1936 when Bob Wian bought a hamburger stand in Glendale, California. At a regular customer’s request for something different, Bob created the first “double-decker.”

According to the website, “Customers couldn’t get enough of Bob’s new creation. One fan in particular was a chubby 6-year-old boy in droopy overalls. He would often help Bob sweep up in exchange for a free burger. In honor of his young friend, Wian decided to name the better burger the Big Boy. Another regular customer, a movie animator, sketched the now famous character on a napkin.”

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