By Jim Elias
There’s something curious on an Isett Avenue front porch in Muscatine.

Brandora, the big purple elephant, stands watch over the neighborhood with big brown eyes and a warm, inviting smile.

“She really doesn’t like the cold,” says Rose Schultz.  “So, if you don’t see her on the porch, she’s gone to Africa (our garage) for the winter.”

Schultz, who loves elephants and collects all types of elephant figurines, says ‘Brandora’ started out as a joke, but over the last couple of years has become a welcoming fixture on Isett Avenue and somewhat of a local Facebook celebrity.

Brandy and Sonora found the big, wooden elephant about to be thrown out by a local church.  The two women knew how much their aunt loved elephants, so they rescued it for Schultz.

 “I named her Brandora for my two nieces who were expecting me to find a spot in my living room for it,” said Schultz.  “The girls never thought the joke would go as far as it has — when I put the elephant on my front porch and kept her there.”

Schultz says, “she (the elephant) is how the pizza delivery drivers know how to find me … I don’t give them my address, I simply say look for the big purple elephant!”

According to Schultz, people often stop to ask if they can have a picture with Brandora. She obliges and shortly after sees the smiling elephant pop up in a Facebook post.  Sometimes kids knock on her door to inquire.  She thinks it’s probably the parents who are the real curiosity seekers, but she is happy to share Brandora’s story with any passersby.

“I even get cards left on my porch,” says Schultz.  “People say it makes them smile and makes their day go better.”

So, if you’re driving through town in need of a pick-me-up, drive along Isett Avenue just south of H.J. Heinz Company and look for a big, smiling, purple elephant on Rose Schultz’s front porch.  Curiously, Brandora will bring a smile to your face, too.

–          –     –

If there’s something around the county you are curious about, drop me an email at [email protected]  I’ll see if I find something I can share with our readers.