DAGSBORO, Del. (AP) — Some people living in Delmarva may be surprised to hear that a giant bull statue is set to stand outside a Dagsboro family farm next year.
But for many who have lived in and around Ocean City and Chincoteague, it's simply the next adventure for the 44-year-old Eastern Shore landmark.
"It was a must-have," said Paul Parsons, owner of Parsons Farms, the statue's new location after the purchase in August. Parsons credits his mother, Cora Parsons, for finding the storied statue on Facebook and getting in touch with its most recent owners in Chincoteague, where it has been for 15 years. Most remember the bull, famous for wearing sunglasses, a chef's hat and scarf, from its days on 64th Street in Ocean City, where it blazoned Capt. Bob's Steak and Seafood House for nearly three decades until the restaurant closed in 2003.
Parsons grew up visiting the bull at Capt. Bob's, named after the owner, Bob Wilkerson, who passed away in 2013. He now plans to have the edifice outside the market on Armory Road, where he hopes it will advertise the family farm's locally raised beef and on-farm bakery starting in the spring.
"The chef's hat is going to go great with all that," Parsons said, adding that the bull will be "back to, hopefully, the way everybody remembered him."
The statue is being restored in at a custom fiberglass repair shop in Ocean City known for its boat work and large blue crab sculptures of the same material seen around town.
The towering fiberglass statue, estimated to weigh over 1,000 pounds, has resided in Chincoteague on a plot of land behind Maria's restaurant on Maddox Boulevard, where those unfamiliar with its history mused over its increasingly hazy origins. Those familiar with Capt. Bob's, meanwhile, feared it was becoming a forgotten piece of Delmarva's past.
For the owner's daughter, Donna Wilkerson-Gutridge, the bull was also a large part of her upbringing. She didn't know it had a new home until she got a call on Nov. 7.
It was her friend who was traveling behind a trailer carrying the ungulate on its side down Route 611 on its way to Ocean City, where it is being restored.
"I'm stoked," Wilkerson-Gutridge said.
She added that she thought about restoring the bull herself, but wasn't sure where she would have put it once it was refurbished.
"He'd look kind of funny as a lawn ornament," she said.
The statue, dubbed "Mr. Ocean City," or otherwise known as "Capt. Bob's bull," stood proudly outside the family-run restaurant from the mid-1970s until 2003, when the restaurant closed, family members say.