aka The Statue of Liberty of Los Angeles
Click link to download a 5-page PDF which will 'splain the whole story...
(includes a “Friend of Chicken Boy” membership card!)
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Or if you'd prefer to read and scroll, here is an edited version:
On October 17, 2007, Chicken Boy (aka the Statue of Liberty of Los Angeles) was installed on the rooftop of Future Studio Design & Gallery on Historic Route 66 (Figueroa Street) in Highland Park, a neighborhood just north of downtown Los Angeles.
But Chicken Boy's story dates way back to the late 1960s when he was hatched (customized from an International Fiberglass big guy) and installed atop a roof on Broadway (also Historic Route 66). Chicken Boy spent the next many years peacefully standing guard. The story resumes in the mid-1970s...
Three days after I moved to Los Angeles, I discovered Chicken Boy. He was then the sign for the restaurant that gave him his name (a restaurant that specialized in garlicky deep-fried-at-least-once-and-sometimes-rumor-has-it-twice chicken). He stood atop a three-story building on Broadway, downtown. Back then, Los Angeles was truly the land of the fruits and nuts. Now it's the land of the fully-documented police-and-chopper chase. We miss the nuts though we often enjoy a high-speed chase. There was still a lot of weird, strange, and unusual stuff decorating the So Cal landscape. Since then, we’ve lost so much of it, and with it, the wacky personality of this town. Anyhow, Chicken Boy was built of dimensionally stable fiberglass, and, as I later came to find out, stood 22-feet tall. A rather beefy man/boy with the head of chicken, he looked down on the bustling street below with a goofy yet knowing countenance. He was clearly in touch with his inner, umm, whatever. Don’t get me started on the chicken-headed mutant hawking fried chicken moral dilemma--I only know that he communicated to me that if he could be okay living in LA, I could be okay living in LA. As the years rolled by, he remained an oddly comforting constant in my life. I would tour out-of-towners past him late at night. I would look up and greet him on my way to Grand Central Market. People were starting to ask me how he was.
One evening in 1984, I drove by and the restaurant was boarded up. I took down the number of the realtors and called them to find out what would be the statue’s fate. At first they were suspicious--why was I asking and who exactly was I? The more I called, the chattier they got. Ultimately, they called me--We've got to do some construction work on the building and the statue has got to come down. If you want it so badly, come and get it. So, a deal was struck and we hired a stealth sign mover to go and get Chicken Boy. At the time, I thought I would save this historic bit of roadside LA and find the statue a new home in a lovely sculpture garden at a local museum. How hard could that be? Let’s put it this way--23 years passed and I was still in possession of the statue and a stack of polite form letters giving me copious reasons why Chicken Boy wouldn’t be suitable for [museum-name-here].
Along this twisty-turny path, I started the Chicken Boy Catalog for a Perfect World--a catalog of gift items including Chicken Boy logo merchandise and things Chicken Boy would be proud to have in his home or give as a lovely hostess gift. I gained a certain kind of fame, and a particular kind of non-fortune. And I am resigned to the fact that my obituary will read “Chicken Boy’s mom” no matter what else I may manage to accomplish. Not that I’m complaining. Saving Chicken Boy was a pretty interesting thing to have done. As all this has evolved, so has my understanding of what Chicken Boy is about, and what he is trying to tell us. Which is this: we all need to play the cards we’ve been dealt. Some of us are vertically-challenged, and some are born with chicken’s heads. It may not be fair, but that’s how it is. We all have our troubles after all...we hear Cindy Crawford is often unhappy. Really. We heard that. Chicken Boy thinks we need to try really hard to be a good whomsoever. To quote one Dr Lizardo--Character is what you are in the dark. To quote Chicken Boy--It's nice to be important, but it's important to be nice.