Paul Needs You! (Still)


Nobody puts Paul in a cage.

On a sunny day just after noon I was inspired and exhilarated to see the face of Paul Bunyan, the Kenton neighborhood’s only celebrity Roadside Attraction peeking out from the top of scaffolding. This wasn’t the peeling, sooty faced Bunyan of the past few years. This was a freshly painted version, his hat hidden dutch boy hairstyle and trimmed beard now gleaming with jet black paint. Paul’s cleaned up appearance and piercing blue eyes are giving him a youthful look.  The haggard appearance of the past few years is now a memory. Even his red hat pom sparkled in the sunshine. Paul’s been given what everyone could use, a fresh start. This is only the beginning but starting at the head seems appropriate. It’s the only thing that can be seen through the scaffolding. Knowing that his mischievous grin is right below a platform and soon to be unleashed encourages me. Good things happen through perseverance.

Trained scaffold experts at work.

I was told by one of the harness wearing workers that the top down approach is being employed in the painting process. This helps since Paul has already had some paint spilled on his shoulders. As the painting continues there will be a curing process leading up to the reveal event on Saturday, September 9th.

Primed and ready.

I can’t emphasis enough how sad and shabby Paul was. Between the dirty forearms, chipped paint and bare patches, especially on his boots, he had fallen on tough times. He was never in the position to go to a tailor for new clothes or get down the street to the laundromat where they have a nice large capacity washer seemingly up to any task.

The fund raising campaign for the project is still active but summer’s dry weather proved to be the best time to start and complete the project. Please consider helping pay off Paul’s renovation. He deserves a break. He waited a long time to be cleaned up. He’s still waiting to be suited up with fresh duds. After spending the better part of a year, since the fundraising campaign began, crumbling, with his skin sloughing off and getting increasingly grimy, it became obvious that the painting couldn’t have started soon enough. The scuffed up boots, despite his inability to walk anywhere, keep me hanging on for the promise of those new boots for Paul.

These colors don’t run.

Find a few more coins under your couch cushions and make a donation to Paul if you can. Please see:

The Kenton Business Association posted a great photo on Facebook. You’ll probably have to scroll down to find it:

Our report from two years ago:

Editor’s note: Many of you tuned in this week expecting to read about owls. Our apologies. When breaking news like this happens, owls take a back seat. We won’t forget the owls and will return with an owl post soon. This August has actually become less of a slow news month than usual. The owl report has been postponed until September. Your patience in this matter is much appreciated.



Bunyan Need a Bath!

Paul Needs A Bath

When I first started this blog I included a picture of Paul Bunyan in a blog post professing my love for giant milk cartons and loafs of bread that can be seen around Portland. A woman in the neighborhood who is involved with the Kenton Neighborhood Association saw the post and photo and remarked on how dirty Paul looked. This got me thinking. Paul needs a bath. He’s sooty, especially around the forearms, his painted on shirt is peeling and he’s fading. When it is sunny, he gets blasted. His skin turns paler and his clothes get dingier every second.

I was told that a Paul Bunyan bath runs in the neighborhood of $10,000. Well, that’s what you might expect to pay at the Bonneville Hot Springs Resort and Spa but good luck getting Paul there. It is quite an involved process. It takes time and multiple people to scrape, power wash, scrub and then repaint Paul. The last time it happened was in the summer of 2009.

Bunyan's Bath 004

Bunyan's Bath 005

Bunyan's Bath 008

That’s right, Paul has not had a bath in over five years. We’re lucky Paul doesn’t perspire or the neighborhood would be smelling like it did when the Union Meat Company had a processing plant in the area. I don’t know how it was all arranged the last time Paul was cleaned up but it’s looking like it’s time to start thinking about another restorative/industrial spa session.

Paul needs boots 1

Paul needs boots 2

Despite the fact that our Paul Bunyan statue never takes a step, his shoes are worn out. It’s time. It’s beyond time. We can all agree that no one should have to go over five years without a bath! New shoes, clothes and a good scrub for our beloved Paul Bunyan statue are the order of the day!

Paul Needs...

See this link for more great info on the Paul Bunyan statue in Kenton. The book PDXccentric will tell you about the time the statue was in a movie so you have to buy it:

Here’s a link to a great Kenton history page. Scroll down to see the version of Paul with heavy mascara.

Check out the neighborhood photos from the Kenton Commons web page. They are beautiful. Wait a minute, I live here?

Giant Heroes

Bunyan CU

I like giant things like oversized milk cartons that rotate and gigantic roadside attractions. Was that the subconscious pull that caused me to move to the Kenton neighborhood with it’s towering Paul Bunyan Statue a block away? He’s the rival of tall tire guys and 30 foot Indian statues the world over. On a clear day, we can see the pom pom on his hat from our master bedroom.

The giant milk carton is a thing of beauty. As it spins, four different types of milk are revealed. You could spend an afternoon watching it whirl at the Sunshine Dairy plant in NE Portland around 20th St. Look for the building with the milk carton on it.

Giant Milk Carton

The milk carton plays a minor role in the following video.

Thanks to Josh G. for sending the link.

The milk carton cameo is at 1:58.

Kenton residents might remember Paul Bunyan’s coffee cart.

Jeff Bunyan Eternal 003