The Lonesome Cowboy, Columbus, Ohio

Howdy! My name’s Joe and I’m a cowboy! Well I guess I’m actually a giant statue of a cowboy. I sit in this here used car lot, waving my hat at passing automobiles!

Anyone seen my horse?

Cos I’m made of fiberglass and ain’t a real person, my memory’s not so good. But I do remember the important stuff.

Back in the 60s, a guy by the name of Joe Skaggs started up a chain of restaurants in Columbus, Ohio called the Western Pancake House. By the early 70s, Joe—incidentally, I was named for Joe—had three dozen restaurants all over the Midwest.

Cos I ain't seen him anywhere.

Out the front of his restaurants, Joe would place a cowboy statue to welcome customers as they came in. I was one of them. Kids would pose with me while their parents took pictures. Those were the days!

Then, in the early 80s, Joe got sick and the business began to crumble. Within a few years, the Western Pancake House was a passing memory. A handful of us are still around, mostly in the Columbus area. I’ve been outside Columbus Auto Resale a few years now. One of us even made it down to Florida (with a replacement right arm and no hat!)!

The rein slipped right out of my hand here.

Joe Skaggs recently opened a whole new Western Pancake House just down the road. He didn’t ask me to hang out front. Joe’s restaurant closed in February 2010. I reckon if I’d been there, things might have been different.

Don’t forget to stop by next time you’re in these parts!

Really? None of you seen my horse?

See y’all later,



Giant Cowboy Statue
Address: Columbus Auto Resale, 2081 Harrisburg Pike, Grove City, OH 43123
Phone: (614) 875-1811
Hours: Visible 24/7

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About Richard

I am a writer who travels endlessly. Fascinated by how our lives are propelled forward by what's left behind, I thirst to know everything. I read, collect, gather, organise, list. Here are some of the things I read, see and experience. Please make yourself at home: drinks and pretzels will be served shortly. If you'd like to get in touch, I'd love to hear from you!


on “The Lonesome Cowboy, Columbus, Ohio
2 Comments on “The Lonesome Cowboy, Columbus, Ohio
  1. Dear Richard,
    I am so thankful for your short story about Joe. I’m his youngest daughter and miss him hourly.
    Again thank you for the memory of Joe.

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