I enjoyed the warm weather Sunday by taking in a long bike ride from White Rock Lake down the Santa Fe Trail through East Dallas and on through the mirrored canyons of Main Street Downtown.
This time, I stopped by and snapped some photographs of an odd piece of Art Deco solid artistry outside the Swine Building – the Texas Woofus.
From the plaque:
According to sculptor Lawrence Tenney Stevens, the Texas Woofus is a composite figure with Texas long-horns, a sheep’s head, a stallion’s neck with mane, a hog’s body, the dulap of a sheep, turkey tail feathers, wings, and a highly decorated strip of a blanket.
The original was created in 1936 for the Texas Centennial. Its fate remains a mystery.
So, the story goes that the original was created – a 9 foot tall, 2,700 pound bronze – but a short time later it simply disappeared. Some people think the religious fundamentalists stole it because it resembled a pagan god – or that is was removed for repair and misplaced. At any rate, for 60 years it was forgotten, until Craig Holcomb, executive director of the Friends of Fair Park saw some old shots of the odd sculpture and thought it was very cool.
A fund raising dinner, The Woofus Dinner, was created and wealthy Dallasites attended, woofing hello and singing a specially-written ditty, “The Woofus Song,” ponied up about fifty grand, enough to rebuild the Woofus.
In 2002 the thing made its re-appearance.
For something with this hallowed a history, it’s sure hidden away in an obscure nook. I had stumbled across it during the Fair one year while on a quest for a bathroom and always wanted to get back for a more leisurely look.
So here, without further ado, I give you, the Texas Woofus.