Today I went to the Museum of Flight.
It's a pleasant little place called Oxbow Park.
Don't believe me? Fine, I've got proof.
You may now be asking yourself, as well you may, "What on earth are these huge cowboy castoffs doing in a Seattle city park?" Well, gather 'round the campfire, cowpokes, gonna tell y'all a story...
If you've read about the Teapot Dome Service Station here, you may have already divined that between the 1920s and the 1950s the United States went through a novelty building craze, creating various functional structures designed to look like enormous versions of everyday objects. And you'd be right. Many of these were constructed along the state highways in the hope that the unusual sight would entice visitors to stop and gawk and spend a little jingle while they were at it. (My mom remembers with fondness the Giant Orange stands in California, where her family would stop on road trips and buy orange juice so cold it was almost slush.)
The hat and boots began life as the "Premium Tex" Texaco gas station in 1954. It was part of a larger planned Western-themed shopping center called Frontier Village, which largely failed to materialize. From what I've read, the hat originally formed the roof of the cashier area, and the boots were restrooms (the dark boot for men, the light blue boot for women). Eventually the gas station closed, but the Hat and Boots -- even in dilapidated condition -- became a Seattle landmark. When there was talk of tearing down and/or moving the structures, the Georgetown community stood up and said no. They passed the hat (well, a smaller version of the hat) and worked with the city council on getting the structures refurbished and moved to Oxbow Park so they could be enjoyed by future generations. And in 2003, that's just what happened.