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Meet The Muffler Man

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SOUTH ST. LOUIS, MO. (KPLR) - you might have seen the muffler men and women waving back at you in South St. Louis.  In Friday’s Patrick’s People, Patrick Clark introduces us to man and women behind the muffler family.

Santos made this and he just made it from little pieces of scrap pieces of metal.

Mildred Wright and Rosendo Santos each have their favorite muffler men and women.

The little girl because the hair is a little bit difficult.

We start one at a time with wires and weld it and tack it.  You take your time.

At the corner of Cherokee and Pennsylvania you'll find a metal family parked in front of don's muffler clinic.

It started cause we were just slow you know, not too much business these days so we got slow and just started making them.

And soon some old scrap metal started taking shape and identities of their own.

No just Clarence.  The rest of them don't have names really.

But this one is some precious metal for Wright, named after her brother Clarence who passed away this year.  She included his signature smile and cup of coffee he always had in hand.

When we just see metal or an old muffler laying around we see metal and say, 'that could be a nose or the mouth or I could make the eyes out of that.

And we start the head, the hands, the feet, fingers.

That's their hands on approach to building character.

And the girl she's kind of primpy over there.  And then the little boy he's saluting like he's standing at a parade.

Will you make anybody famous?  Uh, I had someone ask me to make Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz and the Tin Man.  Oh yeah!  I might do that.

We'll make probably two or three more.

The duo will delve into city dwellers next with a welded Hispanic family to honor Cherokee Street.

That's what kept us going.  We kept making more cause everybody liked them so much and there's so many people taking pictures.  They would stop and take pictures and that's pretty cool.  

Anything to make people smile.

It's an exhausting process, but worth its weight in gold or scrap metal.