The sunbathing days are over for Wayne the giant cowboy.
After three weeks of exposing his pasty white legs in ragged shorts, he got a more seemly look Thursday. The 24-foot cowpoke statue got a brand new pair of chaps.
“Those legs were a little white,” said Sandy Reeves as she unabashedly watched the big guy getting dressed. “It just wasn’t the `in thing.”’
For the past three years the fiberglass statue has towered above the Bass’ Western World clothing store on U.S. Highway 95.
Until earlier this month he was dressed in full Western regalia - black cowboy hat, blue jeans and cowboy boots. Then one recent morning Wayne showed up with white legs and cowboy boots exposed. Some varmints had chopped his trousers into shorts.
“I just thought they did it for a summer look,” Reeves said while shopping at the clothing store.
But Jerry Bass, owner of the store, said the vandalism cost him about $2,000 and violated a well-loved Coeur d’Alene landmark.
So, on Thursday, with the warm sun shining on Wayne’s black hat, Bass and several other workers restored the cowboy’s leggings, and his respect.
Bass and saddle maker Mike Hanson decided it would be best to put chaps on Wayne rather than give him new jeans. To put jeans on, they would have had to lay Wayne down and then stand him back up again - a difficult and expensive prospect.
Hanson of the Scratch’n Post Saddlery has created hundreds of pairs of chaps for his business.
But, he said, “This is the biggest I’ve ever made them.”
Wayne boasts a svelte 84-inch waistline. It took 30 yards of material to make the 14-foot-long brown chaps, complete with fringe down each leg and yellow piping. Like his pants-turned-shorts, the chaps are made of a rubberized nylon material used to make awnings.
Bass and Hanson lugged the long leggings up a ladder, buckled them around Wayne’s waist and wrapped them around his legs.
Bolts were drilled through the chaps and into Wayne’s legs to make sure no one runs off with his drawers again. Two video cameras now keep an eye on the cowboy.
Bass is offering a $200 reward for information on who vandalized the cowpoke. Or “They can pick out any pair of boots they want,” Jerry Bass said.
But not everyone liked the new look. “You’re not going to put his pants back on, are you?” shouted one passerby. “It’s 60 degrees out, he should be in shorts.”