It takes a somewhat warped creative mind to envision a 20-foot-tall man as a 26-foot-tall mutant rabbit man. That mind belonged to Ed Harvey (1928-2017), who ran a boat business named Harvey Marine in landlocked Aloha, Oregon. The story began in October 1962, when a big storm blew through the Pacific Northwest and damaged a fiberglass Texaco Big Friend statue (obscure kin to the more famous Muffler Man). The owner brought the statue to Harvey Marine and to Ed, who was skilled at fiberglass repair. Ed fixed it, but the owner never returned. The statue lay abandoned at Harvey Marine for years (Ed once hauled it to Lake Oswego and used it as a boat).
Then Ed had a brainstorm. One of his favorite films featured Jimmy Stewart and a giant, invisible rabbit named Harvey. And rabbits supposedly brought good luck. “At boat shows, we’d have a guy walk around in a rabbit suit,” Ed told us in the 1990s. “Then we got the idea to put a rabbit head on the big man.” That was in 1974, and the Harvey Marine Rabbit has been attracting attention ever since. Ed told us that 50,000 cars drove past his business daily, and about 1 out of 20 either honked or yelled greetings to the bunny-head behemoth. “We don’t encourage honking,” said Victoria McCurry, manager, vice-president, and self-described “rabbit master” at Harvey Marine. “If we did, we couldn’t hear ourselves think.” Read more >