It’s easy to take the statue of Big Mike the lumberjack for granted.
After all, he’s smiling benevolently at you right now from atop The HayWord.
He’s also grinning at passers-by on Mission Boulevard, near Grace Street, from alongside Tyre Treds. And Mike’s nearly identical twin even has a happy expression when he sees Tony Soprano.
Yes, check out the opening credits for “The Sopranos” reruns — now on the A&E channel Monday and Wednesday nights — and there’s a split-second shot of a Big Mike lookalike as Tony cruises through Joisey towards home.
In the early 1960s, dozens of 20-foot-high, Paul Bunyanesque fiberglass statues were made for an automotive company. Each was known as the “Muffler Man,” and they dotted commercial throughfares throughout the country.
Many have survived over the decades, with some getting new names and makeovers. Check out this site for a look at Big Mike and his brothers.
Even with big smiles, they’re real tough guys.
Take that, Tony, Christopher, Paulie Walnuts and Sil.