Day 3: Rolling now thru SW Michigan

The day started out pretty miserable and foggy, just short of rain.  But by noon, the sun was out in full force.  And luckily, the A/C is doing just fine.  Nearly 2am here — lots of emails, Flickr comments & all that — so I’ll skip the chitchat.  Tomorrow will be a Coffee Day.

One important note though before I forget.  I’ll be taking Thursday night off from blogging & Flickring for a social event.  I’ve been emailing back & forth with my good bud Mark re: roadside stuff for more than 10 years now and we’ve never managed to meet.  So now that I’m on his home turf, it’s time!  Which means Friday, I’ll have a lot of catching up to do here.  This will probably be the only interruption in your nightly programming — unless I just need a sanity break at some point.

Let’s start off in Niles with this cute little Art Deco building.  It’s been vacant for years.  As much as I tried to avoid it, you got a self-portrait in the glass.

 

 

 

Early in the day, there was a quick dip into Indiana.  See how miserable with those soupy clouds?  This from South Bend,  Unfortunately, the bottom parts of the arrows are missing now.  In 2008, they were still there:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/732mpd/2766235388/

 

 

Also South Bend — now a used car place — this view from the back reveals it was originally a bank:

 

 

Last one from South Bend.  A former Denny’s restaurant — now Boom City Fireworks:

 

 

I could not for the life of me find a way to get to Lake Michigan from St. Joseph — all huge cliffs — and boy were those dogs screaming!  Finally, I managed to find a bit of paradise in Benton Harbor.   Happy, happy.  Swimming, running, sniffing, peeing.  All bliss til a guy came over and told me that the property belonged to the building across the way.  Hmm.  Looked pretty skank to me with abandoned tractors nearby, etc.  But so be it, we packed it in — no photos of the beasts for ya this time.  Tomorrow, I promise!

 

 

 

While in Benton Harbor, stumbled upon this sign in front of the Harbortown Cafe.  I believe this is one of those big interstate truck stop signs that’s been cut down to size and adapted for this little place:

 

 

Certainly the strangest recycled Burger Chefs I’ve ever seen.  This in South Haven.
For comparison:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/87362701@N00/225743888/

http://www.agilitynut.com/eateries/bchef.html

 

 

 

From Allegan.  There are lots of repros of these Western Auto Associate signs — but this one is for sure the real deal.  A bicycle shop in the storefront below now.

 

 

As I understand it — this building from 1959:
http://www.vanishedkalamazoo.com/library/library.htm
was replaced with this one a few years ago:

 

I had always assumed the roundie part with the midcentury building, dressed up with the boxy mirror glass bits.  But I guess it was all new — and the glass bits a reference to the original building’s shape.  Kalamazoo-ers, correct me if I’m wrong!

 

In Portage.  Very sad that the place is closed — but why-oh-why do they have to cover up the sign so that folks like us with sign fetishes can’t shoot them?  Maybe they’re trying to protect the neon & bulbs?  Here’s what the sign looks like under the blue tarp:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/dogbert10/1315690429/

 

Last one for the night.  I spoke with the previous owner of this sign today (the place is closed, landlord owns the sign & will probably stay because it’s too much trouble and money to take it down).  Originally, this was something like the Swedenbourg Restaurant.  Then adapted maybe 10-15 years ago for Sackett.

 

Onward towards Detroit tomorrow.  I’m officially tapped out of the cookies & snacks that I bought from home.  Which means photos of  locally-bought donuts,  ice cream & all that soon to come.  Any other special photo requests?

 

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3 Responses to “Day 3: Rolling now thru SW Michigan”

  1. Gerald Huebner Says:

    Dear sign sleuth DJ,

    Happy your A/C got sorted out .Hoping it’s permanent. Finally.

    Sorry to hear about Grip.Did this happen since last month?How are you & she coping?

    Special photo requests? Aside from the usual cool / awesome signs, buildings,theaters, the kids, etc.? You know: The most important food group on the road. Sweets.

    Wishing you Sunny / Blue skies / Moderate humidity !

    • Grip’s had only only good eye for about a year now. Lens luxation, then as a result, lost retina. Now this eye, lens luxation, supposedly good retina, but no sign, not sure why. But seems permanent. We’re both slowly adapting after two weeks. Sucks for both of us. I’m more upset emotionally than she is. Between both eyes, I’ve spent close to $10,000 in a year — for a blind dog. Between that and Sparkle’s multiple A/C probs, cost of gas for these biggie trips…. Lots of overtime for me a long while.
      Beginnings of sun everywhere looks like this morning. Time to organize!

  2. I’m bummed to see that the hotel sign in South Bend hasn’t kept its neon. Here’s a photograph of it that I took in 2007, neon lit.

    I totally dig the old Burger Chef and the Western Auto sign.

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