Hillcrest High School Viking
Erik, a 20-foot-tall viking statue has greeted students entering Hillcrest High School in Memphis, Tennessee for nearly 50 years. Several of these statues—some call this style a Spartan—were made for the Viking Carpet chain. Erik was placed on the roof of Hillcrest High (home of the Vikings, appropriately) when he was donated by a family sometime between 1969 and 1971.
Through a hidden speaker system, Erik used to actually speak—saying "good morning" and "good evening" as students entered and exited the building. Originally voiced by the assistant principal, he went silent in the '80s as the school fell into disrepair.
A few years ago Hillcrest became a charter school, and received $600,000 in renovations, including a fresh coat of paint and new supports for Erik. There were plans to make him speak again, but I'm not sure if they ever came to fruition (I visited after school hours). My dad kept insisting that Erik resembled my boyfriend, David, and while I think the similarities are tenuous, at best, it's no surprise that I would seek out my very own, real life Muffler Man.