Giving back to the community…
There’s a small town named Bentleyville off of Exit 32 of Interstate 70 in southwestern Pennsylvania. Until recently, Bentleyville was known mainly as the home of a busy Truck Stop and a Best Western Hotel, both of which are quite visible to travelers along Interstate 70. On the 9th of June, 2007, Bentleyville acquired another landmark. His name is Big Jim the Cowboy and this is his story.
Big Jim lived for many years at the Krutz Welding Company on Twilight Hollow Road, which is a few miles east of Bentleyville. Krutz Welding was no longer in business and the property had been sold, so Big Jim had to find a new home. He put himself up for sale on eBay, but the reserve was not met. Other attempts to find a new home for Big Jim were also unsuccessful and he was in danger of joining the ranks of the homeless. But, at the last moment, a kind benefactor stepped into the breech and offered Big Jim a new home. And, in addition, on the day Big Jim moved into his new home, invited all the townsfolk over for a free barbecue, musical entertainment, a petting zoo and pony rides for the kids, an antique auto show, and more.
The benefactor was Dr. Kamlish Gosai, a prominent local physician, who also happened to be the owner of the Bentleyville Best Western Hotel. Big Jim now stands guard 24×7 at the hotel, with his trusty six-shooter pointed westward. And is visible to all traveling that stretch of Interstate 70.
Big Jim is quite happy with his new home, a new coat of paint, a fancy pedestal to stand on, with a plaque that summarizes his history and vital statistics. If you ever happen to be in the area, be sure to stop in Bentleyville and say hello to Big Jim the Cowboy. And if you happen to meet up with him, thank Dr. Gosai for rescuing Big Jim and giving him a new home his community can be proud of. You can learn more about Big Jim by searching Google for “Krutz Welding Big Jim.” And, take a look here to view more pictures of Big Jim, some of which show the amazingly detailed work done by the artist/welder James Krutz, Sr.