This statue of comic icon Beetle Bailey is located outside the alumni center at the University of Missouri- Columbia campus. Mort Walker, Beetle Bailey's creator, graduated from Mizzou in 1948 and to dedicate his time at the campus the alumni association erected this statue in 1992.
One of the most unlikely things happened while I was a student at Mizzou. I was returning to my dorm from class at Townsend Hall and I saw a gray-haired man sitting alone next to the statue smoking a cigar. A brief thought went through my mind, "Could that have been Mort Walker?" I thought that it was too unlikely. It had to be some old codger who was out for a smoke. I just kept walking.
When I got back to my dorm an looked up a photo of Mort on the internet and I have a strong feeling that it was him. I'll never know for sure, but I'll always wish that I had stopped to ask if had really seen Mort sitting next to the statue of the character that he created.
MU Archives: Sculpture of Beetle Bailey
@Mizzou: New Student Center on the Horizon
(Features a photo of Mort and the statue.)