Don Herron has two Doggy Diner heads. But he wants another.
"We want to get three of them so we can set them up like those big heads on Easter Island, all pointing in different directions," said the Glen Ellen writer, who keeps the 20-foot- high heads in his yard.
The 200-pound fiberglass heads are from an old chain of hot dog stands in San Francisco and Oakland, and with their polka-dot bow ties and
enigma wiener- dog expressions, they appealed to Herron, an expert on the writer Dashiell Hammett and the conductor of San Francisco's Dashiell Ham mett Tours.
"With that little smile they have, they're very Sphinx-like," he said, "and one of them still moves in circles if you plug it in."
Herron got his two Doggy Diner heads from a friend in San Francisco who lives in an apartment and obviously can't keep them there.
"He's going to use the one that moves in a parade in the City in a couple of weeks," Herron said. "He'll put it on a truck and plug it in."
Herron has repainted one of the heads, but the other is com pletely original. A third one, if he gets it from the now-closed Museum of Modern Mythology in San Francisco, will be in mint condition, too.
"THERE'S ONE THAT'S
still up in the City," Herron said. "It's opposite the zoo, at a restaurant that used to be a Doggy Diner but is now some thing else."
The others are destroyed completely or taken down and now in the hands of private owners.
"I remember the one at Gold en Gate and Van Ness," Herron said. "That Doggy Diner got closed in 1980 after a guy who was standing in line there got shot for refusing to buy another guy a hamburger."
WRITER DON HERRON
takes in the view in Glen Ellen with two Doggy Diner heads from a nearly defunct Bay Area hamburger chain; (Index-Tribune photo by Windsor Green)