Paul L. McMurray                 Adult Fiction

                                                                                    Y/A & Middle-Grade Fiction

                                                                                                                        Attempted Humor & other stuff



            The Indian statue at the corner of south Pulaski Ave. and 63rd St. in Chicago has been there since the late ‘50s. I grew up not far away and saw it often, and later had an apartment at 68th & Pulaski and saw it even more. Then, I completely forgot about this giant dude when I moved away from the area—my bad. Fortunately, someone mentioned the Facebook site devoted to the Indian right as I was beginning The Wilding, and I was then determined to work the Indian into the book, and I did. I even took a detour going to the far SW ’burbs from Wisconsin to take my own pictures, including the infamous “thumb”—Freddy would know about this angle of the Indian and no way would he not mention it to Mystique.

            I’m going by what I got off the Facebook site dedicated to the Indian (20,000+ fans and counting, and you can find it easily) and my own research: Originally mounted over a cigar store at the corner, it stands 20 feet tall, with steel posts up through the legs, so he’s still standing proud. However, the store is now houses an optometrist (or at least an eyeglass store) so the Indian wears giant glasses and his eyes are painted a bright blue and he wears a sign on his formerly-bare chest, all-in-all making him sort of eerie.

            Is this wrong, cigars and glasses? Is calling him “The Indian on 63rd Street” wrong—should it be “Native American?” 

            Somebody else can figure that stuff out—all I know is that we Southsiders in Chicago (forever loyal) loved the Indian, and some youthful legends were born by shooting arrows into the backside of the Indian (there were supposedly a few bullet holes put in the poor guy, but that’ll take some verification).

            As for Marilyn, it’s a take-off on the scene from “The Seven Year Itch,” where her dress billows up over a subway grate. The movie takes place in New York and here she is in Chicago, so people are WTF. But it’s a fun statue and one out of four tourist-photos show him/her under the dress, pointing at her panties, or at least grinning.

            Marilyn is supposed to be removed by Spring of 2012, so I hope you get a chance to see her—she’s pretty cool. It’s at Pioneer Court, near 400 N. Michigan, and Jordan’s is real close by. And by then the WGN-window studio will also be gone, everything kicked upstairs. My point is, move quickly—you’ve got a lot of stuff to see and things change constantly in Chicago, sometimes as fast as you can toss a stack of hundred-dollar bills under the table.

            So, anyway, I see Freddy as the 20-foot Indian and Marilyn as the 26-foot Mystique, and that’s why they (the statues) are in the book—it’s a perfect perspective, eh?

            BTW (Spoiler Alert!), in Wayne’s World, during “Bohemian Rhapsody,” there’s a quick shot of the Indian (with glasses). There is some controversy here, since Southsiders know their stuff: Watching a clip on, the Indian is at 1:52 out of 3:08 minutes/seconds, and then the “Spindle”—the stack of cars in Berwyn, IL—is at 2:23. I never really paid attention before to this time-warp, but somebody did, so here’s the problem: The Indian to the Spindle is 11+ miles—23 minutes using I-55—and then back to Chicago the same, so that’s 46 minutes even with Garth driving, and that’s a damn long song. But, you know, who really cares, right? Just have a flashback and look for the Indian. If you go there and have the balls or ovaries, shoot an arrow for me, pal.

DISCLAIMER!!! Wait—don’t do that! Against the law! I never said that!!!

Author Can't Resist Acting Childish