My grandfather Leo Toia from (Leo's Auto and Home Supply ) purchased Paul Bunyan back in 1964. Paul was shipped from California and arrived in Tucson via flat bed trailer. Leo bought him and put him up so that he could tell people where to find his store. Paul was installed in 1964 and has been there ever since. He did not come from Flagstaff or any other location. He never had an ox and he has never been stolen. His axe has been stolen a couple of times with a request for ransom. Once in the late 70's and again in late 2009. Paul's axe was damaged the last time they stole it in late 2009. We are in the process of repairing it.
Copy of the 1964 price list.
David Toia and Deanie Burris designed this ZZ-TOP Billy Gibbons outfit for Paul to win a $5,000 prize for the best KLPX 96 Rock sign. Once your sign was up people were supposed to call it in to the radio station. Needless to say there were calls before we could put the finishing touches on.
In the 1980's Paul was dressed up at Christmas time as Santa Claus. The suit was made by myself (Deanie) with the help of my dad and brother. They did the measuring and installation and I did all the sewing. His suit eventually gave way to the elements and vandalism. That is Leo Toia standing beside him back in the 1980's. Leo is the one who had the vision of Paul standing on the corner.
Paul was just painted in June 2011. Photos will be added soon.
July 2011 Paul got a fresh coat of paint. Thanks to the Coronado Heights neighborhood association for all their hard work and the great guys at Brittish Import parts who did the actual painting. He should be good for another 25 years!