From the San Francisco Chronicle: There is nothing fake about Bigfoot, who works as hard as anyone else in Willow Creek to keep the lights on.
He’s the real deal. He’s the guy on the shirts. He’s the guy the Bigfoot Motel was named after and the Bigfoot Steakhouse was named after and Bigfoot Books was named after. A foot doctor in town even named his office Bigfoot Podiatry. That should settle it.
Try to have a little respect. Everybody in this town of 1,710 has seen Bigfoot or knows somebody who has.
Everybody except you.
Deep in the Humboldt County woods, the loggers are mostly gone. The miners are mostly gone. Fishermen are growing as elusive as fish. These days, the town’s two main industries seem to be nurturing marijuana groves and nurturing the equally hallucinogenic legacy of the giant ape who is the Western Hemisphere’s answer to the Loch Ness monster (who works just as hard as Bigfoot, one hemisphere to the east).
“No one,” said Steve Streufert, “has ever proven that he doesn’t exist.”
Streufert, the proprietor of Bigfoot Books, is the closest thing in Willow Creek to an authority on the town’s non-smokable cash crop. Bigfoot doesn’t reside only in Humboldt County, of course. Bigfoot has been seen in all 50 states by people who are inclined to see things like Bigfoot.
But Willow Creek resides in the center of the Bigfoot vortex, based largely on the existence of a grainy minute-long film purportedly depicting Bigfoot, shot in 1967 just down the road from Willow Creek by a former rodeo cowboy named Roger Patterson (whose previous venture was peddling a book about Bigfoot that wasn’t selling enough copies).
The clip, which shows a furry black ape strolling along a backwoods riverbank, went viral before things of its kind went viral. To many viewers, it depicts exactly what a genuine Bigfoot would look like if he was wearing a rented gorilla suit from the costume store.
At the bookstore, not far from the center of town, Streufert offers hundreds of Bigfoot titles — perhaps the largest Bigfoot collection in these parts. There are books on other subjects, too, for those customers who insist on reading about something else.
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