You might remember the giant pink elephant on top of Goben Cars, located at San Carlos Boulevard and Broadway Avenue across the street from the Beach Bowl.This iconic elephant had to be taken down because it violated the county's code regarding signage. The plastic Elephant had to be taken down by crane and hauled into the showroom. Where, oh where did that pink elephant come from are you asking yourself? Don Goben the owner bought it from a guy who runs an estate and antiques yard along with a giant plastic bull paying $5000 and another $2000 for the custom paint over on Pine Ridge.
"Someone called it in and complained" said Pat McCaig, manager of Goben cars."I assume it was one of the neighbors, but I'm not sure. I'm willing to pay for the information." "At first I did not like it " said McCaig, "But maybe we can get it into the Fort Myers Beach parades." "It certainly gets us noticed and people talking, so it started to grow on me."
McCaig had to live with the beast for three months in his home after Goben had closed on the business in November. Out of excitement he purchased this one of kind decoration, "So once again its back in my life," said McCaig.
The building was an abandoned appliance store that was remolded into a car dealership with the neighboring DeHays Automotive where they were going to repair the cars they would sell. 20 years ago the building was a gas station and since then it has constantly been changing hands.
The building is home to as many as 20 stray black cats which the neighbors fed on a regular basis, "It has been a Zoo of sorts" said McCaig. "As a result of the food the birds flew in and we all know what they drop on cars, so this wasn't good. The neighbors had planted Areca Palms across the canal to serve as a cushion between them and Dehays, "Which we had to tear down for the room so there was a good flow between properties," said McCaig, "So I'm not sure the neighbors love us"
A lot of people were upset about the removal of the elephant like Jeff Burdge, a painter as well as the cartoonist for the Sun Bay Paper who actually wrote a letter to the editor in reference to the removal of the elephant. Maybe in time things will get better for Goben Cars considering they gave life to an abandoned property.
Caption: It brings an element of sadness to no longer see the DeHays automotive sign on this building. For several decades, Larry DeHays was a fixture off San Carlos Boulevard right across from Beach Bowl Now that three buildings in a row have been purchased by Goben Cars, we expect that this spot will remain the place to go when the inevitable breakdown occurs. The sale of DeHays is but one on many changes transforming the main artery to Fort Myers Beach. Just last week, the Sun Bay ran a story on the sale of Sunnyland RV park and the week before covered two developments on San Carlos Island. With the limited amount of land and buildings near the desirable Gulf of Mexico readers can expect this trend to continue.