February 7, 1995 in Nation/World

Short Pants Cool, But It Ain’t Cowboy Wayne’s Looking Pretty Funny, But Store Owner Isn’t Laughing

By The Spokesman-Review

Wayne the cowboy has been flashing a bit of leg lately - about 9 feet or so.

For the past three years, the 24-foot cowboy statue has stood - dressed in full Western duds - outside Bass’ Western World on U.S. Highway 95.

But on Sunday morning, the couple who owns the clothing store found their giant cowpoke with his pasty-white legs exposed.

Someone had cropped the big guy’s jeans into shorts.

“Which looks pretty funny with his big cowboy boots,” said Robin Bass, co-owner of the Western wear store.

Wayne spent 20 years standing in front of the old Bar-B-Q Ranch in Post Falls. When the business shut down, he went into storage.

Jerry Bass, Robin’s husband, bought Wayne from the store’s owner three years ago. He found the fiberglass statue in pieces, torso here, legs there, and spent a year having the cowboy restored.

The Basses even named him after their friend Wayne.

“We just wanted to have something different, something that would make us stand out,” said Robin Bass.

A black cowboy hat perches on Wayne’s towering head and a silver platter serves as his belt buckle. The Basses had a shirt, cowboy boots and blue jeans custom made out of awning material.

Wayne boasts a 9-foot inseam.

“The tourists just dearly love him,” said Robin Bass. “He’s gotten to be a true landmark in the Coeur d’Alene area.

This weekend’s incident wasn’t the first time Wayne has been hassled. When he stood at the Bar-B-Q Ranch, a drunk blasted a hole in him with a shotgun. Some jokesters hung a sheet around his waist to make it look as though he was wearing a dress.

After he moved to Coeur d’Alene, someone tried to make him anatomically correct by hanging balloons on him.

“Now, I thought that was funny,” Jerry Bass said.

But the vandals crossed the line this weekend.

“It hurt us because everybody loves him so much,” said Robin Bass.

The couple figures it will cost at least $2,000 to replace the cowboy’s trousers. They say they will install a video camera to keep him safe in the future.

And the vandals who depantsed Wayne may not find the joke so funny if they are caught.

Malicious injury to property is a felony when the damage costs more than $1,000. It is punishable by no less than one year and up to five years in prison.

The Coeur d’Alene Police ask anyone with information on the vandalism to call 769-2320.

For now, the Basses say they are considering giving their cowpoke some means of self-defense. Two silver-handled pistols would hang nicely from Wayne’s belt, Jerry Bass said.

“Kids will be kids but I can’t understand why they have to tear things up,” he said.

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