Grinning Sasquatch wins Federal Way chainsaw carving contest

FEDERAL WAY — Tom Payne has a new and bigger Bigfoot to replace the carving that was stolen from outside his chiropractic clinic and was recovered only after the feet had been amputated.

Payne is replacing Sasquatch Sam, mounted outside his clinic for more than five years, with the top choice of spectators who watched three local chainsaw artists carve new versions at his office Saturday and Sunday.

The contest was conceived by the Pemco Insurance marketing department, partly for the company’s “A Lot Like You” advertising campaign featuring characters such as “Bumper Sticker Idealist,” “Recumbent Bike Commuter,” “Smug Hybrid Driver,” “Super-Long Coffee Orderer,” “Ponytailed Software Geek” and — in this case — “Roadside Chainsaw Woodcarver.”

“We thought we might get a little exposure for us and do something kind of cool for the community,” Jon Osterberg, Pemco marketing and communications manager, said Sunday. “We approached Dr. Payne about it, and he thought it would be great.”

The winning carving was made by Charlie Hubbard, 58, of Gig Harbor, whose 9-foot work was taller than the pieces made by George Kenny of Allyn and Mark Herrington of Wilkeson and featured a big grin beneath neatly parted hair.

Hubbard used to fell trees for a living and switched to chainsaw carving after a heart attack.

“You don’t get rich, but it pays the bills and it’s fun,” Hubbard said.

Payne said he might follow up the carving competition with a contest among his patients to name the new Bigfoot.

Sasquatch Sam, a chainsaw carving originally 8 feet tall and 400 pounds with red reflector eyes, a depiction of the legendary apelike creature of the Pacific Northwest, bore a slight passing resemblance to the figure on the cover of Jethro Tull’s “Aqualung” recording.

The theft of the creature on Jan. 22, 2007, and recovery two days later drew national publicity. In what police said was a vain attempt to cover up the crime, the 16-inch-long feet had been sawed off at the ankles, which are nearly 9 inches thick, shortening the carving by a foot and a half.

Police spokeswoman Stacy Flores said a man and a juvenile boy confessed to taking the carving, but the motive was unclear.

Payne said he would have nothing to do with an offer to buy Sasquatch Sam.

“That’d be like selling one of my grandsons,” he said.

Talk to us

More in Local News

An example of the Malicious Women Co. products (left) vs. the Malicious Mermaid's products (right). (U.S. District Court in Florida)
Judge: Cheeky candle copycat must pay Snohomish company over $800K

The owner of the Malicious Women Co. doesn’t expect to receive any money from the Malicious Mermaid, a Florida-based copycat.

A grave marker for Blaze the horse. (Photo provided)
After Darrington woman’s horse died, she didn’t know what to do

Sidney Montooth boarded her horse Blaze. When he died, she was “a wreck” — and at a loss as to what to do with his remains.

A fatal accident the afternoon of Dec. 18 near Clinton ended with one of the cars involved bursting into flames. The driver of the fully engulfed car was outside of the vehicle by the time first responders arrived at the scene. (Whidbey News-Times/Submitted photo)
Driver sentenced in 2021 crash that killed Everett couple

Danielle Cruz, formerly of Lynnwood, gets 17½ years in prison. She was impaired by drugs when she caused the crash that killed Sharon Gamble and Kenneth Weikle.

A person walks out of the Everett Clinic on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
The Everett Clinic changing name to parent company Optum in 2024

The parent company says the name change will not affect quality of care for patients in Snohomish County.

Tirhas Tesfatsion (GoFundMe) 20210727
Lynnwood settles for $1.7 million after 2021 suicide at city jail

Jail staff reportedly committed 16 safety check violations before they found Tirhas Tesfatsion, 47, unresponsive in her cell.

A person walks in the rain at the Port of Everett in Everett, Washington on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
First heavy rain event predicted Sunday night for Snohomish County

Starting Sunday evening, 1 to 1½ inches of rain is expected in western Washington. It marks the end of fire season, meteorologists said.

Clinton man, 61, dies in motorcycle crash Friday

Washington State Patrol lists speed as the cause. No other people or vehicles were involved.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Lake Stevens in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Separate road rage incident ends with fatal shooting in Lake Stevens

A man, 41, died at the scene in the 15300 block of 84th Street NE. No arrests have been made.

The Drug Enforcement Administration and law enforcement partners advise the public of of colorful fentanyl.  (Photo provided by the Drug Enforcement Administration)
After rainbow fentanyl pills found in Tulalip, police sound alarms

Investigators are concerned the pastel-colored pills may end up in the hands of children.

Most Read