There / Not There (post #1 of many)

I’m now hunkered down for the big winter project.  I’m combing my entire website for dead links to other websites and checking out the map links for ev-ry-thing (2600+ pages) to see if there have been changes (demolitions, removals, repaints, etc.).  As you can imagine, most of the news is not good.  But, these days, anything that’s still in place and hasn’t been touched is good news!

Over the next several months, I’ll be updating my website with the info as I go and posting some of these discoveries here at blog posts.  The focus will be on signs since that seems to be my blog audience.  But I’ll slip in some buildings and statues as well.

So.  Let’s get the ball rolling with the 63 Diner in Columbia, MO which closed in 2015.  These signs hung in there until at least 2016.  But, by this year, they were gone and the building was deteriorating.

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I think most of the signs were retro (new/made to look vintage).  The pig might have been vintage.  The atomic sign either came from a Mr. Quick or was modeled after that burger stand chain’s sign.  There was also a cute giant burger & french fries here.  Gone as well.

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From the Egyptian Revival section at my site, here’s a heartbreak in Los Angeles.  The Ahmed Apartments from 1925 had lots of nice detail.  Until a couple of years ago when some bozo decided to paint and basically ruin it.  Here’s a detail photo I took in 2010:

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And here’s the Google Street View tragic view – ugh:

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That’s enough bad news for one blog post.  Here are some “wins” from the Giant Animals section.  While checking on all the cow head statues, I feared the worst when I saw this at Google Street View for 2017 for Holland Farms in Yorkville, NY:

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My photo from 2010:

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But after Googling a bit to see what happened (bakery closed or what), I found out that the Cupcake and Chuckie had been restored:
https://www.facebook.com/hollandfarms/photos/a.1128178683878451/1896233233739655/?type=3&theater

Here’s John Margolies’ photo of the sign in 1987:
http://www.loc.gov/pictures/resource/mrg.07511/

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The Giant Horseshoe Crab in Blanchester, OH was also missing at Street View.  My photo from 2009:

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A little hunting at Google revealed that the crab is now a feature of a vintage trailer park in Hillsboro, OH:
http://www.ohio.org/blogs/2015/10/worlds-largest-horseshoe-crab-has-new-home

 
Same situation for the Whale Car in South St. Paul, MN.  Missing at Street View so I called the new used car lot biz that’s there now and found out that he’s been moved to the new owner’s location nearby:

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Let’s end with a sign since that’s what most of you want to hear about.  This sign in Victoria, TX was pretty much destroyed last year by Hurricane Harvey.  The text panel survived but the Indian was completely crumpled.  My photo from 2011:

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After corresponding at Facebook for over a year with the owner who insisted that the sign was being “restored”, I had pretty much given up.  But then this news item popped up.  The Indian had been recreated and reinstalled.  Not neon but the style still looks fairly close (although the colors look kinda bright):
https://www.victoriaadvocate.com/news/iconic-sign-returns-to-the-corral/article_47e665ce-f41e-11e8-83e4-3fc7e71b2121.html

More good news/bad news coming soon.  There’ll be another post most likely next weekend.

Happy trails,
dj & the dogs

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L.A. Area Quickies

Hey there!

All of the ~3,000 photos from my June trip are officially up at my website (roadarch.com).  So, if you’re thinking of traveling to Texas or just want to travel virtually, have a look at any of the sections (signs, mid-century modern, eateries, theatres, gas stations, giant statues, etc.) and you’ll find loads of new additions.  There were also some additions to Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Arizona.

In the past few weeks, I took two little daytrips down to the L.A. area.  Here are some funky-blogworthy signs, buildings, etc..  If you didn’t know, the “good stuff” appears at my website and the coarser stuff gets uploaded here.

From Hawthorne — kind of a bizarre circus thingie on top.  Maybe there were horses?  Maybe it revolved?

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The Custer’s Gift Shop in Covina has been gone for many years.  Nevertheless, the sign hung in there. Here’s a photo I took in 2013:

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The central panel has been missing since around 2017.  I don’t suppose any money or effort will be spent to repair it.  I doubt this will be around much longer:

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From Whittier.  Too late in the day and I got silly shadows but I’ll include this anyway.

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From Valley Village:

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The Bootmobile at Victor’s Shoe Repair in Burbank is getting a makeover.  It’s normally red and this looks like a primer coat to me:

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The Mission Hills Bowl in Mission Hills in its new life as a Ross Dress for Less store:

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This sign in Los Angeles was built & installed around 2014:

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Let’s close out this post with some signs from the Valley Relics Museum which recently relocated to Burbank:

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Yes, part of the Premiere Lanes sign from Santa Fe Springs:

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There will be more posts coming up very soon since my annual website combing project  is underway which leads to all kinds of pleasant surprises (restorations) and, more commonly, devastating discoveries about demolitions, horrible sign updating and removals.  Stay tuned!

dj & the dogs

 

Day 28: Albuquerque to… Home! Plus the Trip Wrap-up Summary

A few signs from Albuquerque:

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At the A-1 Trophy Center:

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At Ski-Hi Liquors.  The business is set on a hill on the west end of town but then I’m sure people get plenty high from what they purchase here as well:

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I stopped in at Zeon Signs in ABQ to see if they had anything interesting.  Sign fans might want to pick up this little book about some of the famous signs that this company designed and built:
https://www.amazon.com/Zeon-Files-Design-Historic-Route/dp/0826356028

Sure enough!  They are restoring the Cavern Theatre sign from Carlsbad, NM:

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They are also storing two local signs for Carlos Garcia with plans to eventually restore them.  The Robin Hood Inn archer is about 20 feet tall:

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This one requires a little more imagination as to what the final product will look like:  the Jack’s Liquor sign.  Here’s what the sign looked like at night:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/tadsonbussey/272565135/

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Moving on to Kingman, AZ:

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This one is at the same place but way, high up there:

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I stopped in at Legacy Signs & Iron to see what they might have lying about.  The local Brandin’ Iron sign is still there (eventually restoring it).  I don’t think the City Cafe sign was there last year.  This was another local sign:

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And there was also an Imperial 400 sign.  I don’t know it they just have the top part or the blade is somewhere else.   If you want to see the whole sign, I have a bunch at my website here:
http://www.roadarch.com/modarch/chain2.html

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And then… no more stops… straight driving to Barstow, CA.  I wouldn’t driven all the way home from there but since I had no headlights…  We’ve been home two weeks.  Back all my job.  And more importantly, back at the beach!  Happy dogs, happy life.  This beach is about a four minute drive from my apartment.  Paradise!  There’s no place like home!

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The Ventura River meets the ocean at this beach.  Griz is about to dive into the rivermouth to get a ballie:

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THE TRIP RECAP

29 days on the road
12,314 miles (avg. 440 mi per day)
approximately 3,000 photos for the website

Gas: $2,394 (approx. $83 day); mostly at cheap Texas prices of $2.59 gallon (vs. California $4.29)

Sparkle repairs:  AC ($333), wiring ($419), tie rods & donut gaskets ($567), new tire ($79), thunking diagnosis $22 = $1420.  Plus oil changes, air filters, & top offs = $235

Tickets:  no seat belt ($161); speeding ($250)

New radio & installation: $168

Plantsitter:  $74

Food: $471 (includes snacks, coffee & other beverages)

GRAND TOTAL: (not including lodging) about $5,173

The memories, thrills, highs & lows, adventures for me and the dogs…. PRICELESS!

*******************

So, I’m going to be quiet and busy for many months (photoshopping, researching, and uploading all these photos to the website).  The process will probably take about six months.

If you need another “fix” of photos, you might want to check out the sampling of DIFFERENT photos that I uploaded to Flickr on this trip.  You can either view them as “big” photos here:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/agilitynut/

or chronologically at this trip album:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/agilitynut/albums/72157698017198705

 

And, if you want to review this trip’s blog in entirety, you can see everything via this link:
https://roadsidenut.wordpress.com/

 

But that’s reverse order — So, if you want to start at Day 1, you can start here and then click on the links to the other days at the bottom of the page (above the comments):
https://roadsidenut.wordpress.com/2018/06/15/day-1-of-30-california-to-tucson/

 

If you’ve been viewing these posts on your phone, you’re missing out on a LOT of detail.  You might want to give things another gander on a big monitor.

 

And, one more link — I guess I should plug my book if you don’t already have it (it came out here in the states in April):
https://www.bookdepository.com/Vintage-Signs-of-Americ-Debr-Jane-Seltzer/9781445669489?ref=grid-view

 

Until the next trip (a few three or four day weekends planned for late summer or fall)…

Happy Trails!
dj & the dogs

 

 

Day 27: the Rest of North Texas

We’re in the home stretch now!  Here are a couple of signs from Canadian, TX.  I especially like the bulb thingie at the top of this signs.  Looks pretty homemade and Tinker Toy-esque:

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The Riverside Motel has a Best Western-ish crown sign on top:

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This two panel sign in Miami, TX has been repainted and the place has been renamed the Rafter B Cafe:

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Same business — this sign is stationed a bit lower:

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This super-faded motel sign is in Clarendon, TX:

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This terrazzo apron is in downtown Amarillo:

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A mysterious arrowhead sign in Amarillo:

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Maybe this canopy sign pole was meant to simulate an “A” for Amarillo originally?

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Way back in the posts from this trip, I posted a couple photos of the Teddy Jack’s Hub City Grill in Lubbock.  Here’s the other location in Amarillo.  Both locations have modern retro signs:

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Last subject for this post:  the former Arrow Motel in Amarillo.  The C-152 Lectra has slid down the pole.  Earlier in this trip, I posted a photo to my Flickr stream of a nicely restored example of this sign in Stamford, TX:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/agilitynut/29419009878/

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Last post coming up soon!

dj & the dogs

 

Day 26: Northern TX & Some OK

Let’s start off with some rusty crusty signs in Wichita Falls, TX:

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I love the leggy base on this one.  There hasn’t been a business name on this since at least 2007.  It appears to be a little office complex on the property:

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A couple more from Wichita Falls:

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Tip’s Liquor Store is in Dickens, TX:

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This one is in Childress, TX:

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From Lawton, OK:

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Last one from this post — in Altus, OK:

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The final two posts from this trip coming up tomorrow.

Gnight,
dj & the dogs

Day 25: Frisco, TX, some Oklahoma and on to Wichita Falls, TX

I’ve got a nice big batch for you.  Let’s start with this Independent Order of Odd Fellows sign in Grapevine, TX:

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This one is also in Grapevine.  It looks like it’s probably a modern sign but its construction is a mystery.  Why would they lay that blank panel on top like that?

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In Sherman, TX:

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This one is on top of the Baldwin’s Restaurant in Ardmore, OK:

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These modern Culligan signs are also in Ardmore:

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A detail:

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The Colvert’s Dairy Products sign in Durant, OK is still standing.  But the one in Ardmore was removed 2017.  Here’s what it looked like in 2011:

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When it was removed it was carefully disassembled and put in storage at the Greater Southwest Historical Museum in Ardmore.  The museum has lots of Colvert’s stuff on display (smaller, non-neon signs, milk bottles, etc.).  They haven’t gotten an estimate for the restoration but I know it would be a fortune.  The Colvert family is now saying they might want to display the sign in town at the old family home.  We shall see…

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While at the museum checking on the sign, I couldn’t resist shooting this guy:  a battery-operated Citicar from 1975.  More about these cars here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citicar

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The Cloverleaf is a fun place in Ardmore with lots of statues outside.  There’s clothing and other stuff inside.  The building is painted bright pink.  Here are some other photos & more info:
https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/oklahoma/cloverleaf-store-ok/

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I asked the folks inside about this chicken head and they couldn’t remember where it came from:

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This sign is in a field in Healdton, OK — no idea what the story is.  No offices or any business nearby.  Just someone’s personal treasure:

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Back to Texas.   This sign is in Denison:

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This repurposed KFC bucket is in Gainesville, TX.  Note the red & white striped pyramid and the “Drive-Thru” signs are still there from the KFC days:

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A couple of other things from Gainesville.  I shoot a LOT of mid-century modern buildings on these trips.  Probably as many as signs but the folks that follow my blog seem to prefer signs so…  Anyway, I’m including this building because it probably won’t make the cut to be added at my website but I really like those wonky details on the facade:

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Just across the street in Gainesville:

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Moving on to Bowie, TX.  I also shoot a lot of statues on these trips.  This guy will wind up on my Tin Men page:
http://www.roadarch.com/giants/tinmen.html

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A beauty in Bowie:

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The sun was going down so I got that cursed “golden hour” off-color but I had to shoot this cool guy.  He’s huge!  At the Coyote Creek Event Center in Henrietta, TX:

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Three more days — three more posts to go!

Happy trails,
dj & the dogs

Day 24: Broken Bow, OK to Frisco, TX (northeast of Dallas)

A quickie post:  lots of miles covered today and not as many photos as usual.

This one is in Mount Vernon, TX.  The business in the building is now The Cake Lady but this sign remains.

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This one is in downtown Paris, TX:

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Here are a few shots from Mineola, TX.  The Donut King (they were closed for the day, no donuts for us):

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The Gateway Lanes which I’m pretty sure is closed.  Those lights must have been lit sequentially at night:

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The sign at Kelly Drug — covered up with a white panel for at least ten years but this detail at the top is still visible:

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From inside the abandoned Futuro in Royse City, TX.  Let’s hear it for the Queen of the Road!  Sparkle got us through sooooo much on this trip.  She’s now lounging comfortably in our little beach town.

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I don’t know who this family is at this place with lots of statues in Greenville, TX.  Joseph, Mary & Jesus or just some generic toga wearing people?  The chain link fencing framing them makes them even creepier:

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I have been to this place in Richardson, TX twice before at the wrong time of day to shoot this sign.  Brown signs in the shade are pretty depressing.

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Off to prep more posts,

dj & the dogs

Day 23: Longview, TX to Broken Bow, OK (with a little Louisiana and Arkansas)

No more drama!  Justing shooting all day long.  An unidentified former business in Longview. I love the real door and doorknob.  Different paint job on the other side.

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Moving on to some Louisiana — here’s a bunch from Shreveport.  These two signs are at the long-closed Southgate Bowling Lanes:

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Right next door — the Sunset Village shopping center:

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The only thing that remains of the Pin Stripe Lounge is this sign:

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The blown out plastic panel previously had a lion holding a cocktail:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/stevensnodgrass/5197432420/

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At the OK Cleaners:

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This was George’s Grill from 1960 until last year when George passed away and the restaurant closed.  This sign appears to be from the 1950s.  I don’t know what it was called then:

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This sign originally advertised for Brocato’s restaurant.  It was damaged in a tornado and then has been adapted at least three times after that.  Here’s what the sign looked like originally:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/repowers/3123339102/

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The Carousel Lounge is now known as the Round Bar.  I’m told that the bar inside the round building with the folded plate roof still revolves.

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I’m betting that the neon piece flashed originally:

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This carousel sign still remains on top of the building.  It, too, must have revolved.

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Next door is this sign atop a plastic box sign for an Indian restaurant.

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Downtown Shreveport.  I’m always relieved to see this one still there:

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Another downtown sign.  A reminder that, someday, I need to write an article about parking garage signs:

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I stopped in at Shreveport Neon to check on the Roto-Spheres in storage.  One of them was installed outside and lit until just a few years ago.  Now both are idle and disassembled.  Nobody at the shop does neon anymore.  They’ve been thinking of putting LED tubes on the one Roto-Sphere but I begged them not to.  I also begged, as I have been for years, for them to donate one of the signs to the American Sign Museum.  They will talk to the owner again.  But I haven’t heard anything since then so… I will continue to hound them.  While I was there I spotted this ripple tin panel old beauty.  It’s supposedly going to be displayed in town somewhere.  They were “working on it” for the owner which I’m assuming has something to do with those fat black wires on the left:

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Moving on to Bossier City, LA.  A nice porcelain enamel sign.  It doesn’t look like it ever had neon.

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Then, on briefly to Arkansas — on top of the sign of Fricks Butane in Texarkana — the holes held neon tubing originally:

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Let’s close with these two signs at the Twilight Motel in Texarkana, AR:

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Maybe chasing bulbs?

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More to come very soon!  I’m hoping to wrap up the posts from this trip tomorrow.

Happy Trails,
dj & the dogs

Day 22: Nacogdoches to Longview (East Texas)

Two issues with Sparkle today.  An unexpected blow out in the middle of nowhere, south of Henderson.  Completely unexpected since I’m always looking at my tires:  plenty of tread, plenty of air.  Anyhow, I only lost a couple hours (an hour for the tow; an hour to install a new tire at a Walmart).

Then, later in the day, it was completely my fault.  I was making an impulsive quick cut-through a parking lot to make a U-turn.  I got hung up on a hidden piece of concrete in the grass.  Couldn’t go forward or backward.  So much for all-wheel drive!  Over an hour til the tow truck would come to lift up my front end so I could back out of the jam and get on my way.  Stupid me.

But!  Despite these setbacks, it was one of the most glorious sunny days with clouds in the background where they belong and NOT in front of the sun.  Let’s get going then!

I was happy to see that this sign in Center, TX was still there AND had been repainted.  Although the rectangular sign stuck on top is new:

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A cafe sign in Carthage but no cafe in sight:

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In Jacksonville.  A weird sheen to the porcelain enamel that I’m told only requires buffing out and it’s as pretty as new:

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Moving on to Tyler where there are lots of signs and interesting buildings to shoot.  Let’s focus the rest of this post on some of those.  I love the combination and bulbs on this one:

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Don’t overlook the holes on the sign pole:

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This crown detail tops an otherwise unremarkable plastic sign for D’s Coffee Shop:

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Was that arrow added later?  What happened to the pointy end?  Or maybe there was something else in that square-ish gap originally?

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I was in Tyler a couple of times before but FINALLY this year in the sun!  Interesting plugs in the tubing holes:

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This one is lit in green and red at night! (not that I got to see/shoot that since I was had no headlights at this point in the trip):

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A great rooftop sign at Lew’s Welding Service:

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At the long closed Gilbert’s El Charro Cafe:

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Let’s close this post with one photo from Kilgore which is a big oil industry town.  Here’s a neon clad metal oil derrick sign at Woodlawn Fabrication:

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Still more posts to come from this 28-day trip.  I should be able to catch up completely by the weekend.  If you’re not following along at my Flickr stream, you’re missing a LOT of pretty photos which I’m uploading simultaneously with these:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/agilitynut/
Happy Trails,
dj & the dogs

Day 21: Mesquite to Nacogdoches (Eastern Texas)

Today, I finished up some Dallas/Fort Worth and then it was south and east of there.  In the morning, I was noticing a little thunk that I thought I should check out.  I didn’t want to waste a lot of time.  I found a little Pep Boys, the smallest I’d ever seen, in Dallas and got serviced right away.  The mechanic told me that my sway bar was broken and that the bushings were rubbing (the sound that I was hearing).  The part was no longer available and would take at least three or four days to get. I was told that I would be “fine” for the rest of my trip.  Well, okay…  I paid the $22 for diagnosing the issue and then drove all day like a maniac.  I googled that night about sway bars and found it’s supposed to be dangerous and make steering difficult (at a minimum).  Oh, okay… with six days to go, I crossed my fingers and was extra alert.  I didn’t notice any difference in handling but I was mildly terrified that a wheel would just fly off or and axle would give (though the Dallas mechanic said it wouldn’t).  When I got home, my mechanic found a small crack.  He would replace the sway bar and getting the part would be no problem.

So, here’s the flip side of the final photo in Dallas that I posted yesterday.  I assume that this sign revolved so that you could read both sides.

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More Dallas:

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Also in Dallas and located under a tree.  This is the best light you can get:

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On to Corsicana:

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The Corsicana Super Bowl is still open but now known as the Corsicana Park Lanes:

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In Athens, TX:

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In Palestine, TX.  Whatever this was originally is hidden under the “L&L” shoe store panel:

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This orphan sign is in Crockett.  I couldn’t find any info about what type of business was here originally:

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In Lufkin, TX:

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Let’s closed with two signs from Nacogdoches.  This one was originally on the front of the building.  The business closed and an insurance company moved in.  This sign was saved and moved to the side of the building:

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This one stands in front of the Nacogdoches Antiques Market which was previously BJ Farms, a produce market:

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Seven more days and seven more posts to go.

Happy trails,
dj & the dogs