Muffler Man & RV: The statue that started it all in Hatch still stands tall in front of the RV dealership owned by Teako and Josie Nunn. Photo by Gary Warren/ladailypost.com
Dinosaur and Hot Dog: Next to the RV dealership, a dinosaur and giant hot dog easily catch your attention. Photo by Gary Warren/ladailypost.com
Sparky’s: Sparky’s opened in 2008 and is now like a museum for giant statues. The interior of the building features more unique Americana art work and decor. Note: Sparky’s green chile cheese burgers are the best! Photo by Gary Warren/ladailypost.com
By GARY WARREN
Formerly of Los Alamos
Hatch is known world wide for its chile, which is grown throughout the Hatch Valley. This is no surprise, especially in New Mexico.
But there is another side of this New Mexico community that is evident when you visit the town but most may not know about. This small village of about 2,000 residents boasts a large collection of giant advertising art statues. Even if one is just passing through town, the collection of familiar retro statues can not be missed.
Teako and Josie Nunn own an RV dealership in Hatch. They purchased a large muffler man statue in 2006 and placed an RV in his hand to attract attention to their RV business. Two years later, the couple opened Sparky’s Restaurant down the street. Shortly after Sparky’s opened in 2008, more of the whimsical statues began appearing.
Today the area around the restaurant is lined with numerous retro statues, which were a popular form of advertising in the 1950s and 1960s.
Displays of advertising art such as this make me smile. I have to walk around and observe them all. They are fun. In addition, I find it pleasing to know that this part of Americana is being preserved rather than decaying in the middle of nowhere.
Editor’s note: Longtime Los Alamos photographer Gary Warren and his wife Marilyn are traveling around the country and he shares his photographs, which appear in the ‘Posts from the Road’ series published in the Sunday edition of the Los Alamos Daily Post.
Uncle Sam: Near the street next to Sparky’s is a giant Uncle Sam holding a green chile while a large red chile is displayed next to him. Photo by Gary Warren/ladailypost.com
Ronald: Ronald McDonald is seen on the sidewalk near the front door of Sparky’s. Photo by Gary Warren/ladailypost.com
Pink Pig and More: Across the street from Sparky’s, the giants continue. Robin Hood, Pink Pig, Yogi Bear and others line the street. Photo by Gary Warren/ladailypost.com