Day 10: More Louisiana

A rainy and miserable day so I did what I could with the camera. At least we missed the tornados (I understand they were here last week). Lots of really economically depressed areas here in northern LA. I’m usually comfortable hopping out of the van anywhere to take pictures but there have been a couple places that gave me pause. My shiny white van makes me look like I might have money I suppose but my grunge-wear is hopefully a give-away that I ain’t got nuthin. I usually have big muddy footprints on me from playing with the dogs. And I usually wear my oldest jeans and t-shirts on this trips.

I’ve started the backtrack towards home though I’m taking a different route. Another whole week to go. I’m pretty wiped out from the intensity of this schedule and try to imagine what next year’s two six-week trips will feel like. That’s gonna be some gas bill on the credit card. On average, I go through a tank and a half per day, at about $50 per tank, that’s… I’m afraid to do the math.

On with the photos!

The day started with copying Milks’ Roto-Sphere index cards. Note each card contains the date shipped, the company they went to, and some “specs” information. I’ll sort all of these by location when I get home. Right now, they are sorted by sign shop name.

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Lots of sign photos for ya. You can’t drive around Bossier City without wondering which signs Milks created or inspired. Here’s an example of what must’ve been a fun animated neon piece (the plastic box sign surely was added later):

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This one is also from Bossier City. It’s on top of a new made-to-look-kinda-old Mexican restaurant (Posado’s, a chain). I believe this “sign topper” is old and repurposed – probably found in a junkyard or taken from a building about to be demolished. I have seen a number of these cylindrical things with neon rings around town and asked Milks if they had a name (he doesn’t think they did).

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Here’s another example from Bossier City on top of a recycled-many-times-over-looking sign:

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And another one on a rusty/crusty sign in Shreveport that has vertical stripes:

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Speaking of stripes, here’s another oldie (the “Pin Stripe”) with a funky building in Shreveport:

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Here’s an abandoned sign from Shreveport. Its shape qualifies it as “googie”. There! I used the word that makes my skin crawl but in this case its accurate. the word “googie” is used way too loosely for just about anything. I also cringe at the word “retro” which is used to mean old when it really means fake old. They are both fun words and I think people just want to use them. Can we just be simple or stuffy and say “vintage”, “old”, or “mid-century”? Enough with my pet peeve!

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And for some non-signs… Shreveport has some nice Art Deco buildings although they are not in great shape. Here’s the Salvation Army building:

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and an anonymous gutted building across the street:

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Also from Shreveport, this must’ve been a gas station at one point. Great hand painted signage for “Era’s Turkey Leg”:

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And now for some possibly big news: I may have acquired a new dog. While I was in Logansport, LA, I spotted this obviously lost and bewildered dog on the main street (which isn’t much since Logansport is not a big town). I saw her almost get hit twice. Luckily, she was friendly and came right up to me. I asked around and no one seemed to recognize her. It was pouring rain and she was drenched and shivering. So. I popped her in the van, much to the objections of my dogs, and pondered what to do. I could turn her into a shelter or I could keep driving. Knowing what most rural shelters are like (concrete floors and usually full with long-term residents), I decided to bring her along on our journey. She seemed sweet with dogs and people and, worst case, I have a friend upstate with a shelter that is always looking for small dogs with good temperaments. But I just might end up keeping her. She’s obviously an Australian Cattle Dog — the stocky, short-legged type with a docked tail. She reminds me of a little bear cub. She’s super kissy and just lays there in the back of the van. When they other dogs bark at people and motorcycles, she just lays watches (course that could change). I can’t quite place her age — something I’m usually very good at. She seems puppy-like with her big paws and general dumbness. But she has some muscle and sense about her. Must be young at least and maybe still growing some. She’s already clinging to me with adoration after less than 12 hours. My troops seem to be adjusting quickly since she’s so mellow. I’m calling her U-Turn for now (“you-you” and “u-ie” for short).

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12 Responses to “Day 10: More Louisiana”

  1. What a sweet looking dog! I’m glad the others are adjusting to her. I bet she’s really glad to have somewhere to belong. It was so kind of you to take her in.

    Drive safe!

  2. agilitynut Says:

    She’s a real sweetheart and the others seem to be a little more open-minded about her today. I haven’t made a final decision yet (although regardless if I keep her or not, I’ll make sure she’s got a good life ahead of her).

    I did discover four ticks and a couple fleas on her today! I’ve got to get to the pet shop tomorrow for some Advantix before the entire van is infested. My dogs are already on Advantix so these bugs are freaking me out. I think I see a scar on her belly indicating she’s been fixed but I’ll have to have the vet examine for that. I did notice tartar on her back molars today so I think she is full grown. Surprising because she acts so dopey and clumsy. You can see how big her paws are in the photos — like she hasn’t grown into them yet. She’s a big slobbery kisser, too. Ahd squinches up her eyes tightly when you pet her.

  3. Whoa! Hey! Wow! She’s beautiful. This could be big news – jeepers!
    Ticks and fleas up here are awful. My paranoid self has me checking my guys all the time – it’s like the ticks are making a final effort before it gets cold to latch on to anything. Bleh.

  4. agilitynut Says:

    I have seen a lot of stray dogs on this trip. There was an adorable Chihuahua in Asheville, NC that would’ve fit right in with my crew. But he/she was just too frightened and disappeared into a cemetery when I got too close. I saw another small, smooth terrier type just minutes after I loaded this tubba-wubba into the van. I guess folks down here just let there dogs wander or they leave them in the yard and they dig out. I still haven’t made a decision about this girl. She needs to learn to pee and poop on a leash yet. She holds it til she’s absolutely bursting. She reminds me a lot of Beebs — just a little smaller but just as sweet and mellow. Not what I’m used to.

  5. Do you still have her? How’s she doing?

  6. agilitynut Says:

    Yep, she’s still with us. Got Advantix and a collar today. Also, I’ve come to learn that she’s a “blue heeler” not a “cattle dog”. Very common in these parts — and her size is pretty normal. Everyone seems to confirm she’s full-grown – though probably ballpark 1 or 2 years old. So I guess her clumsiness and dope-iness are who she is! I’m pretty sure she was someone’s pet and got loose. She walks too nicely on leash and is probably 10 pounds overweight (my standards not pet standards).

    She is starting to chew on things but luckily when you push her away gently a couple times she stops. So either she understands it’s a no-no or she just forgets what she was doing. One gentle chomp on my old atlas and she took out a chunk that went through all 100 pages. So she’ll have to be crated when I go to work or I’ll come home to a pile of stuffing that used to be my bed.

    The first day, she was clinging to me and staying right at my ankles so I didn’t need the leash. The second day, she was chasing Nik (well trying to). But today, she took off towards some men (thinking they were her family?). And then later off towards apparently nowhere. Does she think she can just trot home now — we’re two states away. Luckily, I can run almost as fast as her so I snagged her. But no more off-leash for her til she a) learns her name and b) starts to appreciate me more when she finally gets hungry.

  7. You’re such a good person to take her in. She seems so sweet.

    That index card with the Da Nite sign rotosphere info – I couldn’t help noticing it since it’s Columbus. :) The rotosphere is long gone (or I’d have shot it by now!) but the name of the place is very familiar. I’m sure they’re still around and I drive by frequently without noticing.

    Of course, if they still had a rotosphere, I’d have noticed them …

  8. agilitynut Says:

    I’m sure there were several Roto-Spheres that went to Columbus. However “Da Nite” and all the others cards only identify the sign company that the signs went to – NOT the businesses they went to. It will be my task to contact the sign companies that still exist, find the oldest guy in the shop, or a willing secretary to dig through old files if there are any, in order to find out where these Roto-Spheres actually went — and then to check if they might still be there.

  9. agilitynut Says:

    By the way, I just checked and the Danite sign company is still operating in Columbus. In fact, they have a photo of a Roto-Sphere on the upper right in the gallery at this page — just wish the photo was bigger so you could make out the business name:
    http://www.danitesign.com/history.html

  10. agilitynut Says:

    19 Roto-Spheres went to Columbus between 1961 and 1964. Another 10 went elsewhere in Ohio. A shame that, as far as I know, none are left there.

  11. Its so many years later, but could you please tell us if you kept this Darling Dog? She’s the spitting image of our Heeler (Hannalore) who has now been with us for 9 delightful years, but is still extremely shy and a little wild, although she is living a superb and protected life with us here in Africa.

    • Nope. I already had my hands full with my own dogs. And she wasn’t really my type. Very sweet but kinda clumsy and seemed a bit slow-witted. I usually fall for smaller, active, long-legged Terrier types. I took her to a number of shelters — but didn’t leave her when I asked about their policy (if no on claims her, she had like a week to live). Finally, I found a place (later in the blog) in Savannah, GA I think it was — where they swore she would find a good home. I called a week or two later — and she had.

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