Tucson Oddity: We've reached the end, oddly

Almost 4 years later, it's time to give this weekly feature a break
2013-04-22T00:00:00Z Tucson Oddity: We've reached the end, oddlyTiffany Kjos Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
April 22, 2013 12:00 am  • 

What a long, odd trip it's been.

And like all trips, this one has reached its end - at least for now.

The Arizona Daily Star launched the Tucson Oddity feature in June 2009. Thanks to the thousands of fans who contributed ideas, Tucson Oddity resulted in two best sellers - "Tucson Oddities" and "Tucson Oddities, Too" - that tell the story behind Old Pueblo landmarks.

Nearly four years in, we've hit most of the highlights. So Oddity is taking a hiatus from being a weekly feature.

In the meantime, let's look at some of Tucson's most iconic Oddities:

Paul Bunyan

The stately lumberjack statue on the corner of Glenn Street and North Stone Avenue is a neighborhood favorite and an advertisement for Don's Hot Rod Shop, 2811 N. Stone Ave., and the nearby Celebrations Party Spot, a former auto supply store.

"My father-in-law bought it back in 1964 because he had Leo's Auto Supply just north of us, and back in the day it was the place to go for your auto parts prior to all your big chains now," said Madonna Toia, who owns Don's Hot Rod Shop with her husband, Don, and son Donny.

The area has adopted the statue - a couple of months ago a woman draped it with a long knitted scarf "because it was cold."

"This neighborhood has kind of taken him on as a corner marker," Toia said. "They seem to take pride in him."

Big bottle

The Boondocks Lounge chianti bottle, in all its 35-foot glory at 3306 N. First Ave., often brings in curious folk, said Cathy Warner, who owns Boondocks with Bill Shew.

The rebar-and-concrete landmark was designed by artist Michael Kautza for Peasant Villa, an Italian restaurant, around 1974. The eatery later became a German restaurant, then Boondocks.

Funny thing is, even though Boondocks is still an eating establishment, the wine bottle can give people the wrong impression: "The only downside of that bottle is people don't realize we have a full-menu restaurant. They think we're just a bar," Warner said.

Painted bull

The bull in front of Casa Molina restaurant sports a prominent set of, er, bullish parts that are regularly painted by vandals in garish colors and bright patterns. The bull and his matador are easy to spot at 6225 E. Speedway.

Other popular Oddities

• A fiberglass horse mounted on the roof of OK Feed & Supply, 3701 E. Fort Lowell Road.

• The two-story Tyrannosaurus rex at the McDonald's at 6651 E. Tanque Verde Road.

• The storm watchtower at 3149 E. Prince Road, in the parking lot of Arizona Exterminating Co.

• The Daniel's Jewelers clock downtown, along the west side of Church Avenue between Congress Street and Broadway.

On StarNet: View more photos of Tucson Oddities at azstarnet.com/gallery

The books

These and many more Old Pueblo icons are chronicled in "Tucson Oddities" and "Tucson Oddities, Too." The two-book set is $29 plus tax, or you can buy "Tucson Oddities, Too" for $14.99 plus tax. Go to azstarnet.com/store online to buy the books.

Got an Oddity?

While Tucson Oddity is no longer a weekly feature, keep sending us story ideas about curious things you notice while driving through the city that have piqued your curiosity. Email oddity@azstarnet.com

Contact Regional Editor Tiffany Kjos at tkjos@azstarnet.com or 807-7776.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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