Mr. Bendo is the Sioux Falls Lil Sebastian – And I Don’t Get It
There is one Sioux Falls thing I just don't get, and it separates me from all the true locals: Mr. Bendo.
Sioux Falls is my favorite place I've ever lived. I have been here for nearly 20 years. The traffic is manageable, the people are wonderful, and the snow removal is the envy of the upper Midwest.
But, like the way Pawnee, Indiana loves the mini-horse Li'l Sebastian on Parks and Recreation, Sioux Fallsians have a passion for a giant fiberglass man that I just don't understand. I'm the Ben Wyatt of Sioux Falls.
Señor Bendo came to Sioux Falls in 1965, starting his standing in front of a gas station career at a Mobile station at 13th and Philips in Downtown Sioux Falls.
On St. Patty's Day 2010, the city was dealt a harsh blow when a drunk driver crashed into Bendo. There was even a fundraiser to help repair the giant after that accident.
No matter where he is doing his thing, Sioux Falls has a mean case of Mr. Bendo-fever, and I don't get it.
I could live here for another 20 years and still not get the same connection life-long Sioux Fallsieans have with the pipe holder. I didn't grow up driving by it with my parents, then doing the same with my kids. It hasn't been a constant in my life.
I may not get the specific love for Mr. Bendo in Sioux Falls, but I do love Sioux Falls, and I understand that the mammoth muffler man is part of the package.
So, here's to you Mr. Bendo, you are indeed 5000 candles in the wind.