AN ELEPHANT IN THE…

Another part of our son-in-law’s sculpture excursion took us to see the Pink Elephant Pinky. I have heard of a ‘elephant in the room’ but never at the gas station.

Yep, there really was a pink elephant residing in the corner of this Deforest, Wisconsin gas station’s parking lot. He’s actually been living here since the late 1960’s when the gas station’s owner wanted his gas station to attract customers away from his competitors. I should say Pinky does a good job as a roadside attraction sitting right off the highway.

The irony of this sculpture is it was manufactured in our southwestern part of the state at Sparta’s Sculptured Advertising and its first home actually was at a supper club in Marquette, Iowa. Did any of you ever see it there in 1963?

Other pink elephants found homes around the area at Arco Stations but Pinky now donning glasses is the last one remaining. One might find others farther south of Wisconsin in gas stations, car washes, car dealerships in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri and Tennessee.

It’s not easy keeping the elephant clean as for some reason it attracts graffiti but the station puts in energies to keep it scrubbed so that other visitors can see Pinky in good shape.

A lot of folks have stopped over the years to see Pinky and even return to share the experience with grandchildren. The gas station’s store carries elephant merchandise to help one with those memories. I don’t know how anyone could ever forget seeing a pink elephant with glasses.

Long live Pinky!

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