This Roadside Attraction
Wimpy Statue, 1001 State St, Chester, IL 62233
We’re finishing up Hamburger Week here on Silly America with one of the great American icons of the hamburger: J. Wellington Wimpy.
No, he didn’t invent the hamburger. No, I doubt he ever even made a hamburger. But yes, he sure did like to eat them! Wimpy is the beloved character from the cartoon Popeye, a smart but lazy and cheap man who holds an inescapable hunger for hamburgers but is oft unwilling to pay for them. He’s the type who would beg, borrow, and steal just for a taste of a beef patty on a bun. And, he is perhaps one of his most famous lines “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today” probably says it all.
Chester, Illinois is home to Popeye creator Elzie Crisler Segar and the town has been turned into a sort of shrine to the man and his work. Statues and murals are erected all over the town in honor of Popeye and the rest of the comic gang. (Check out the Popeye Statue!) In September 2006, at the town’s annual Popeye Picnic, a new statue was added to the mix in Gazebo Park: Wimpy. The Wimpy statue in Chester is an 18-ton granite rendering depicting the famous character, hamburger in hand. As Wimpy says, “I would gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today,” but you can visit this roadside attraction any day of the week.
Site: Popeye’s Wimpy Statue
Location: 1001 State St, Chester, IL 62233
Cost: Free to see
Hours: Always Visible
Date: July 15, 2007