More Recent Signs News (Minnesota to Mississippi)

The bad news keeps coming.

MINNESOTA

This sign at Wild West Liquors in Duluth, MN was gone by 2017:

yliq

 

The Recreation Lanes in Rochester, MN became the Bowlocity Entertainment Center around 2014.  The facade was updated, obscuring the mid-century modern look, and these signs are gone now:

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Nye’s Bar & Polonaise Room in Minneapolis, MN closed in 2016.  The signs were removed soon after that:

nyes

nyes2

nyes3

 

This beauty in Minneapolis has been basically trashed.  Here it was in all its glory:

haleks

The bar closed in 2013 and quickly reopened as Cliff-n-Norm’s Bar.  They added their name to the top but at least it was still neon:
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But then by 2016, all the neon was gone and the sign was covered with crappy backlit plastic:

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One more from Minneapolis:  the Murray’s big steak panel on the right is gone now.  It was damaged in a windstorm and then removed in 2017.  As a vegan, I should be happy about that but I’m devastated:

murrays2


MISSOURI

The Melody Lane Inn in Branson, MO had been closed since at least 2012.  This sign was removed or demolished around 2016 or 2017:

melody

 

This sign in Independence, MO was removed around 2017:

qcity

 

Finally, some good news!  This sign in Raytown, MO:

clarksapp

was apparently restored or replicated in 2017!  Back to the original red:

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a much better photo of it here:

https://www.facebook.com/clarksappliancesraytown/photos/a.231487887054792.1073741827.231481150388799/817726198430955/?type=1&theater

 

This sign in St. Joseph, MO was adapted for a Natural Grocers in 2016 — so painful:

olympia

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This sign in Kansas City was gone by 2017:

kroberts

 

This sign in St. Louis has been repaired and yet de-neoned at the same time.  Here’s what it looked like until 2017.  That horrific, rusty dent on the far left had been there for many years:

gunner

Evidently, that piece of the panel was repaired but the neon and bulbs were removed from the rest of the sign just after Google shot the photo below.  Oddly enough, the new panel has fake bulb and neon tubing holes.  So, it doesn’t appear that new neon or bulbs are going to be added:

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You can see the details better in this photo that Greg Rhomberg took a few days ago for me (sloppy blue circle is mine):

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MISSISSIPPI

Only one for this state — but it’s a doozie.  This sign in Jackson, MS was gone by 2017.  The whole block of buildings is being renovated.  But I can’t find any mention in the articles about what became of this sign or if there are plans to bring it back: [EDIT!  Note from the comment below that the sign has actually been reinstalled — WOO HOO!!!]

lottfurn

Enough!  More bad news tomorrow night.

dj

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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More Recent Signs News (Kansas to Michigan)

Picking up on the tragedies starting with…

KANSAS

The Townsman Motel in Independence, KS lost its neon:

townsman

By 2016, the letters had been replaced with backlit plastic:

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MASSACHUSETTS

Here’s a real heartbreaker.  These signs in Greenfield, MA are gone now:

swiftcl

This one, too, in Lowell, MA — gone:

broadloom
This restaurant in Newton, MA closed around 2012.  The sign is gone now:

sopacific

 

MARYLAND

This milk bottle sign at the dairy building in Frederick, MD — gone:

dmaid

 

This sign in Beltsville, MD has been messed with.  In 2010, it looked like this:

vetsliq
Then, sometime between 2015 and 2017, the neon was replaced with backlit plastic.  At least the guy’s lightbulb eyes are still there:

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MAINE

The Starlite Motor Inn in Old Orchard Beach, ME originally had a diving woman on the left as evidence in this 1984 photo by John Margolies:

http://www.loc.gov/pictures/resource/mrg.08543/

It looked like this until 2016 when it was removed and replaced with an incredibly boring sign that doesn’t even deserve posting:

starlite804

Another sign in Old Orchard Beach, ME that I didn’t get a chance to shoot:  The Marcotte Motor Court — gone now:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/vintageroadtrip/15737913646/

MICHIGAN

A double-whammy — both of these signs in Grand Rapids, MI were removed around 2017:

dreswel

djlounge

 

The Alpine Motel in Inkster, MI is still there but this sign was replaced with a backlit plastic box sign in 2017:

alpine
This sign in Plymouth, MI has to be fairly modern but I still loved it.  Functions as a mailbox holder:

musman

By 2014, it had been repainted like this:

Capture
This sign in Pontiac, MI was gone by 2016 :

genprint
These signs in Royal Oak, MI were removed between 2015 and 2017:

mgm

 

This sign in Sandusky, MI was a rare example of embossed porcelain letters.  Stunning even with the neon removed.  It was removed around 2016:

qualityr

I was worried about this one in Saugatuck, MI since Google Street View showed only the hanging pole.  I hadn’t got around to shooting it.  I gave the restaurant a call since it was still open.  It seems they remove the sign when they close for the off-season to protect it and then reinstall it when they reopen.  God bless ’em!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/94921703@N00/5121954605/
This incredible sign in Waterford, MI was removed and replaced with a plastic box sign around 2016:

sherw

 

This sign in Wyandotte, MI had already been updated with the Yurkovich name at some point but it still had integrity:

okused

Then, around 2017, the Yurkovich text was replaced with awful “Victory Motors” backlit plastic letters:

Capture.JPG

 

This incredible sign in Detroit was removed around 2017:

welding

This sign in Detroit:

bronx

By 2016, it had inexplicably been painted grey and white:

Capture

 

That’s enough for one sitting.  The next post will resume with more “M”s (Minnesota, Missouri, etc.)

dj

 

 

 

More Recent Signs News (Iowa thru Indiana)

Ready for some more?

IOWA

This beauty in Belle Plaine, IA with embossed porcelain panels is gone now.  My photo from 2010 — missing at Google Street View in 2016:

lincafe

 

The Plaza Lanes in Des Moines, IA caught fire last year and this incredible, animated rooftop sign was destroyed.  They say they may rebuild it but that’s extremely unlikely.

roofbowl2

roofbowl3

roofbowl

 

This Willie Wiredhand sign in Woodbine, IA disappeared around 2016.  Looks like the location closed.  If you’ve never heard of Willie, here’s info about him:
http://www.reddykilowatt.org/2007/03/22/willie-wiredhand-history/

williew

 

IDAHO

The Lytle Signs location in Twin Falls, ID closed.  This sign was moved to one of the warehouse buildings in back of the previous shop:

lytle
The Twin Dragon Restaurant in Boise, ID closed in 2016.  The sign was destroyed during the removal process.  Uff.  I loved this sign:

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btwinn

 

ILLINOIS — lots to cry about there.

This Fraternal Order of Eagles sign in Alton, IL is gone now:

rwbfoe

 

Also gone — this one in Willowbrook, IL.  The bowling alley closed in 2016 and the sign was removed soon after that:

wilbowl

 

This Independent Order of Odd Fellows beauty in Collinsville, IL — you guessed it, gone now:

ioof

This one in Evergreen Park — gone.  The bakery closed in 2016 and the sign was gone by 2017.

naplesb

In Homewood, IL — this one gone by 2016:

bannon

This one in Streator, IL — still there but disfigured.  In 2009, it looked like this:

lamplite

Since around 2016 — “Lamp Lite Room” neon text gone, “Lanes” covered up, and boring paint applied.  At lest the lantern thingie is still there:

Capture

 

I never got around to shooting this Baptist Church sign in Chicago — what a shame — gone now:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/brulelaker/4125098476/


INDIANA

This sign in Lafayette, IN looked like this in 2010:

food

As per Google Street View, by 2017, it was advertising for a used car lot.  The neon is gone but at least it’s kinda sorta still there in spirit:

Capture

 

This one was in Mishawaka, IN.  By 2017, the store had closed and the sign was gone:

fireext

 

That wraps up the “I”s.  I’m whipping up another post starting with the “K”s next.

dj

 

 

More Recent Sign News

I have officially updated my entire website, all the various sections, as best I can with info gleaned from the most current Google Street View images.  A super tedious task that’s taken every free minute of my life for months. But I take keeping my website current very seriously.  Here then, are the latest “discoveries” picking up where I left off in the “C”s from the previous posts.  I’m afraid it’s mostly bad news as there have been a lot of wonderful signs updated with simply awful backlit plastic letters.

But before we dive in… a bit of good news from the “A”s.  The Tucson Inn (in Tucson, AZ) has been purchased by a local college.  The sign will be restored.  Here’s a photo I took in 2012 (by the way, all the photos in these posts were taken by me — and are not to be lifted for Pinterest, Facebook, or any of that):
dtuci

and here’s an article about the upcoming restoration:
http://www.kvoa.com/story/37354123/pcc-buys-historic-tucson-inn-for-over-1-million

 
CANADA
The Motel Carnaval in L’Ancienne-Lorette, Quebec was demolished last year and the sign is gone now, too:
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COLORADO

The Triangle Liquors building in Arvada, CO has been demolished and the sign is gone:

triangle.jpg

The Hi-Lo Market signs in Commerce City have been adapted for a Save-A-Lot Food Store.  Here they were in 2012 — even without their neon, they were glorious:
cohilo

And now…(from Google StreetView):
Capture

 

Merrill Axle & Wheel in Pueblo, CO has closed and the pole sign and freestanding letters are gone:
merrill2

merrill

The Broadway Motel in Denver was demolished last year and the sign is gone:
broadmo

 

A little good news:  The Lake Steam Baths sign in Denver appears to have been restored and those god-awful clear plastic panels have been removed.  From 2012:
lakesteam

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While on the subject of Denver, if you didn’t know yet, the bulbs on the Satire Lounge sign are chasing again.  The Pete’s Kitchen sign’s pancakes are animated again now, too.  Both businesses are owned by the same guy who got a city variance to get them moving again:
http://www.9news.com/article/news/local/next/restaurants-on-east-colfax-will-get-back-their-flashing-neon-signs/485773244

and here’s a video of the Satire sign:
https://www.facebook.com/SaveTheSignsOnColfax/videos/1629912490402386/

CONNECTICUT

The Battiston’s sign in Avon, CT has been replaced with new panels & backlit plastic letters.  Here’s the sign in 2010:

battison

and by 2015:
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FLORIDA

The fun rockets in Kissimmee, FL were removed in 2016.  A super boring sign there now (I’ll spare you):

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The World Liquors sign in St. Petersburg, FL won’t be around much longer.  The property’s been sold and the sign will be auctioned off.  The owner wants the money to go to a charity.  The biggest price is more important to him than the sign being preserved on view locally or going to a museum (yes, Tod at the American Sign Museum talked to him):

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The Brahman Lounge & Liquors sign in Tampa was repainted around 2016.  Here’s the “before” shot:

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and the “after” — the nice patina is gone, but the neon and bull are still there so…:

Capture

I’ll move on to the “I”s and onward in another post tomorrow night.

dj & the dogs
http://www.RoadsideArchitecture.com

Read ’em & Weep (California)

I’ve gone through all of maps at my California pages in the Signs section at my website and I’m happy to say that most things are still standing or hanging firmly with little human alteration.  All of the photos below were taken by me except for the “after” photos snipped from Google Street View (too depressing for me to reshoot).

This sign in Anaheim has been adapted.  The Ben-Key Pool Center sign has been reworked for a Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles.  Here’s the “before”:

benkey

and the “after” courtesy of Google Street View:

Capture

 

And many losses — the Stardust Motel sign in Bell in 2014.  Replaced with a plastic box reading “Diamond Bell Inn & Suites”:

stardust

 

The Century Bowl in Merced closed in the mid-1990s.  This sign stood tall over the vacant lot until last year.

centuryb

 

These two signs at The Spot in Richmond disappeared last year. The second sign shown below has a twin in San Francisco which is still in place:

thespot

thespot2
Part of the Wheel World sign in Culver City fell to the ground last year and what remained has been removed.  It doesn’t sound like there’s any plan to replace it:

wheel

nwheels

 

The Cockatoo Hotel in Hawthorne was demolished in 2005.  The new hotel let this sign remain until last year.  I assume it was destroyed:

cockatoo

 

The Catalina Pools sign in La Mesa disappeared in 2016:

catalina

 

This sign at the Heel & I in San Francisco disappeared last year:

stshoe

 

The replica Schwab’s Restaurant sign in Los Angeles disappeared last year.  Just the scaffolding left now:

schwabs

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Prepare yourself for a couple of really sad examples repurposing.

Garfano’s Pizza opened in Los Angeles in 1959.  That might have been at a different location since this sign’s design appears older than that.  And this paint job looks a little modern with mismatched fonts:

gpizza

But still, it looked much better than what was to come.  In 2015, it was painted black and adapted for the L.A. Hookah Lounge:

Capture

And then, in 2016, it was made even uglier by L.A. Hot Wings:

Capture

 

*********

Moving on to the sad saga of the Royal Viking Motel, also located in Los Angeles.  There were two legitimately nice signs there:

royvik

royvik2

Then, in 2014, the place was renamed the Pod Inn and the signs were f***ed up:

pod

pod2

Last year, strangely enough, the name was reverted to the Royal Viking Inn.  The Viking helmet and spear are still there are least (for now…):

Capture

But the other sign looks worse than ever:

Capture

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Well, tat’s enough bad news for now.   How about a dash of good news?  MONA (the Museum of Neon Art) has finished restoring their Grauman’s Chinese Theatre dragon.  It’s currently at the Pomona warehouse but I’m sure it will make its way over to the museum in Glendale soon.  It was unveiled this week:
https://www.dailybulletin.com/2018/01/16/graumans-chinese-theatre-dragon-roars-again-in-pomona/

I’m moving on to other states in my website updating.  I just might have another depressing post for you next weekend.  Stay tuned!

Shoot ’em while you can folks,

dj & the dogs

Read ’em & Weep (Part 2)

I’m updating the Signs section at my website now.  It will probably take another couple of months to go through all the pages and StreetView maps.  I’m methodically proceeding alphabetically by state.  Here are some of the tragedies and changes, from Alabama, Arkansas, and Arizona.

The Moon Winx Lodge sign in Tuscaloosa, AL was put up for sale in 2016.  Either the owner changed his mind or he didn’t get a big enough offer.  The sign was repainted this past September.  The neon appears to still be intact. The wording at the bottom of the sign was unfortunately changed and that neon is now lost.  The new paint (evergreen & turquoise) is not as nice as what was on the sign previously.  But glass 3/4 full, right?  Here’s my photo from 2007:

winx

This weblink has a slider bar so that you can compare the old paint/new paint:

http://www.tuscaloosanews.com/news/20171018/then-and-now-moon-winx-lodge-sign
Fortunately, no significant changes otherwise for Alabama.  Moving on to Arkansas.

Sadly, this one-legged man (hillbilly?) in Green Forest, AR disappeared sometime between 2013 and last year:

1legged

 

This Frigidaire sign in Conway, AR was removed last year when the store below it closed:

lrfrig

The White Spot Cafe in Fort Smith, AR opened in the early 1950s.  “Skinny’s” was added to the sign around 2008.  The place closed in 2015.  The Burrito Bowl moved into the space last year and the sign was badly adapted (1st photo taken by me in 2012; 2nd photo below from Google StreetView):

skinnys

bowl

There have been many sign tragedies in Hot Springs, AR in recent years.  Here are a bunch of before and afters (my photos & GSV):

centralane

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This one was repainted but it could have been far worse — 2008:

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From Robby Virus in 2011:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/25229906@N00/7990929063/

Capture

*******

And then a bit of good news — my photo from 2008 below and then from this year (GSV) nicely repainted:

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Capture

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Moving on to Phoenix, AZ.  I just shot this sign in June and now… it’s gone:

mcstudios

 

California losses deserve their own post.  I’m cooking that one up right now.

dj

Read ’em & Weep (Part 1)

I’ve made a lot of progress in my winter website updating.  I’ve scrutinized all of the most recent Google Street View maps for all of the sections to find out what’s been demolished, repainted, restored, etc.  I’ll share some of the updates in the next few blog posts.   I’ll warn you though, most of the news is sad.  But maybe that will be a motivator to get out there and shoot what you can while it’s still around or fight to keep what survives.

All of the photos in these posts were taken by me unless indicated.  So, please don’t lift them for Pinterest, other blogs, or whatever.  Instead, go to my website so you can find more photos of the places along with their histories.  My white keyword search box at the top left of any page makes it super easy to find anything specific or search by city if you’re planning an upcoming trip.  If you are new around here, this is my blog.  My website is way bigger and very organized:
RoadsideArchitecture.com

Let’s start with some mid-century modern building losses.

The Ken Wilson Chevrolet dealership building in Vestal, NY is no more.  It was built in 1964 and featured a phenomenal hyperbolic paraboloid roof (aka “saddle roof”).  It went vacant around 2010 and we all held our breath hoping some cool restaurant or hipster store would move in.  But the wrecking ball had its way in 2016.  My photo from 2010:

vestal

 

The jumbo geodesic dome in Warwick, RI was built in 1962 to shelter airport equipment and vehicles.  It was taken apart in 2016 with the hope that it will be reassembled one day.  I’m doubtful.  My photo from 2010:

ridome

 

The Firestone tire store in Mountain View, CA was built in 1963 and demolished last year.  The store had closed around 2010 and sat vacant after that.  My photo below is from 2014 after the big red and white bowtie pole sign and freestanding rooftop Firestone letters had been removed.

smfirestone
The good news is that there’s still a scalloped roof like this at the Firestone in Costa Mesa, CA.  I believe it’s the only one left.  The neon letters are now backlit plastic but hey…  My photo from 2013:

nbfire
The mcm Firestone in Denver, CO is also still there:

dmcfire3

The St. Louis, MO location with same design (red & white tile, neon letters, & sawtooth canopy) still survives.  If you’re interested in Firestone, Goodyear, and other tire stores from around the country, I’ve got hundreds of them from all eras at my website here:
http://www.roadarch.com/tires/main.html

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Let’s talk theatres for a moment.  One tragic loss was the Strand Theatre on the boardwalk in Ocean City, NJ.  It was built in 1938 and featured this ultra cool round marquee and ticket booth.  In 1989, it was divided into five screens and became the Strand 5.  It closed in 2013 and sat vacant until last year when it was “remodeled” for a pizza place (second photo below courtesy of Google Street View):

strandt

pizza

 

OK — let’s move on to some signs.

Zubler’s Indian Craft Shop in Houghton Lake, MI was one of those fun, touristy, non-PC gift shops with mini teepees and Indian war dance performances.  I’m assuming it had been there since the 1950s or so.  The store closed in 2016 and the totem poles, Indian statues, and this sweet sign are gone now:

zubler

A couple of Texas losses.   This orphaned sign in Mission, TX is gone now.  Any building which could have been a bus station was missing for at least a decade.  This sign stood guard over a parking lot when this photo was taken in 2011:

bussign

 

 

The neon cockroach sign in Austin, TX at Robert’s Termite & Pest disappeared last year.  It was built in 1996 by Evan Voyles (retro neon sign designer for The Neon Jungle).  So, I’m hoping he has it now:

robbug

 

A few Ohio losses.  The Colonial Lanes in Canton, OH closed last year and, shortly after that, this sign disappeared.  In 2001, the sign still had neon and secondary panels:
http://www.roadarch.com/p/colbowl.jpg

colanes

 

The Louie’s Liquors sign in Lima, OH disappeared last year, too:

louies

 

The Young & Bertke Air Systems sign in Cincinnati, OH is gone.  The original sign was built in 1926 and it was rebuilt a few times. Youbert’s mechanical arms and legs moved — as shown in this mini video:

The company moved in 2013 and had promised Tod at the American Sign Museum in town that the sign would eventually be donated.  However, the sign disappeared in 2016 and not even Tod knows what happened to it.  I suspect it was destroyed.

ybertke2

 

Barringer’s Tavern in Indianapolis, IN closed last year and this lovely sign was swiftly removed.  I’m hoping that the owner or a collector has it:

barringers

 

The Culver Ice Arena in Culver City, CA opened in 1962.  This sign was erected then:

cice

The place closed in 2014.  Last year, the sign was adapted for the new tenant, a Harbor Freight store.  The top panel was replicated and the snowflake beneath it and some other building details were spared.  From Google Street View:

culver

As for the skater that was perched on the roof of the ice rink, her location is unknown.  She is supposedly in storage.  The statue was originally installed at an Ice Capades office in Hollywood:

skater

 


Let’s end this post on a positive note.  The Hugo Liquors store in Hugo, CO opened in 1954 with this sign.  This photo is from 2012.  The sign was painstakingly restored last year.

hugo
If you are into more positive sign news, I have been writing the quarterly column (Sign Snippets) for the Society for Commercial Archeology‘s Roadnotes newsletter since 2009.  I usually feature three or four signs that have been restored.  I also have a sidebar with each column that covers all the recent losses, restorations, adaptations, etc. around the country.  For more about the organization and how to join, here’s a link:

https://sca-roadside.org/about-sca/

If you just want a sampling before splurging on a membership, you can pick up a copy or two back issues of the twice-yearly Journal here:

https://sca-roadside.org/shop/sca-products/publications/?orderby=date

 

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I’m working on another blog post about signs and just might have that ready later tonight.

Take care,

dj & the dogs

Happy New Year!

Pardon the diversion from neon signs & all that.  The big news:  there’s a new addition to the family.  Fixie passed away about a year ago and a few months later, I began my quest at Petfinder.com to find a young Jack Russell Terrier.  It was quite an ordeal being rejected by various shelters & Russell Rescue groups for not having a fenced yard or for living out of state, etc.  In frustration, I even hooked up with a reputable breeder which is completely against all my ethics.  She had puppies on the way and I really had a dilemma on my hands.

Then, a couple of weeks ago, I wandered over to the Rat Terrier listings at Petfinder and DANG! there she was.  I was looking for a bold, ball-crazy, water-crazy, monster of a JRT and she is anything but that.  She’s delicate, attentive, sweet.  In other words, perfect!  Well, sort of — the barking, biting, and housebreaking need some work but she’s only five months old, so, we’ll get there.  Here’s the photo from Petfinder that I fell for.  Although she looks almost Border Collie in color/proportions, she’s all of eight pounds and probably won’t get much bigger:

dilly

Just in time for my birthday (turned the big Six-O on Xmas) and I can’t think of a better gift.  I emailed the shelter on Thursday and adopted her on Saturday.  It was a killer drive (12 hours roundtrip) but I did make a few stops.  One stop was to shoot the replacement sign at Gillman’s Frosties in Oakdale, CA.  The sign was blown off the roof earlier this year.  Here’s what it looked like in 2014:

gillmans

And now — I kinda liked the earlier version better but I like the sesame seed bun & lettuce on this one:

oakdi

In context:

oakdi2

The shelter was in Jamestown and while I waited for the place to open, I shot this neat ghost sign downtown:

blog1

The following weekend, I took a little daytrip down to L.A.  The new kid was pretty fearful of cars — both being in them and cars whizzing by on the street.  But after one manic day, she had a big turnaround.  Here’s Griz & puppa Dilly in the back seat — looking pretty cozy (sorry for the blur — this was an over-the-shoulder, in traffic shot).  Yes – she’s ready for the big summer trip already!

blog5

Here are a few roadside photos before the onslaught of doggie photos.  Two from Malibu.  Even thought this is a modern KFC bucket, it’s still fun to see one repurposed:

blog3

This one is pretty hidden — far back from the road and foliage in the way.  Still such a cutie:

blog2

A nice plastic sign in Venice:

blog4

 

I uploaded some other L.A. photos to my Flickr account. I added those & others to my website.  Moving on to more doggie photos taken at the beach this morning — starting with one of the new girl:

emma6

emma1

emma3

emma4

emma9

emma10

emma11

Dilly’s “stay” is not solid enough for long distance shots yet but here’s the master class of stays.  There are two of these smiley faces at one of our fave local beaches (Seaside Wilderness State Park).

emma8

And with that — I wish you all the best for 2018!

dj
sputnik, gremlin, griswold & dilly

P.S. More blog posts coming soon since I’ve been hard at work with the annual combing of my entire website for updates.  I’ve got some partially written posts with the good news/ bad news about what’s been removed, demolished, remodeled, restored.

SoCal Thanksgiving Trip (Days 2&3)

I’ve decided to lump these two days of shooting together since they were fairly low volume.  There were lots of miles between things plus an early drive home on Saturday.

Let’s start off in San Bernardino with this beauty:

blog1

From Lake Elsinore:

blog2
The recently repainted Chappy’s Liquor sign in Garden Grove:

blog1

 

I’ve been wondering what would happen with the Lyndy’s Motel sign in Anaheim since the motel and coffee shop were leveled to build a big car wash.  The car wash is still under construction but the signs are visible through the tarped chain link.  As promised, there’s a new pole sign styled after the Lyndy’s sign and another similar but much smaller one on the southbound approach.  Here’s the original Lyndy’s sign:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/traderlucas/14263024357/

And the new sign — backlit plastic letters (boo hiss) but at least there’s a little neon & the arrow & star resemble the what-was:

blog2
Here’s a heartbreaker.  This lovely neon sign in Buena Park…

covered

…was desecrated a few months ago:

blog3
This place in Whittier is so sweet.  But, sadly, long closed.

blog4

The wood siding, the little bench near the entrance, the freestanding letters on the front of the building…. reflecting a completely different time.  Now the cars whizz by and chain box stores are all around.

blog5

 

From Long Beach.  I think this place has been around since the 1950s so this sign is probably legit (vintage).  And it looks nice at night:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/dcnelson0381/9193723001/

blog6
These signs in San Pedro were repainted recently.  My photo from 2013:

splock

and their current look — yes, I think the block letters were better than this script but at least they left the neon alone:

blog7
From Redondo Beach — swoopy mid-century roof-line & neon:

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From Los Angeles.  I have no idea what business this bell was associated with originally but it’s damned cute.  There’s a church there now:

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And lastly — from Huntington Park.  This sign is at the Modern Mini Mart & Liquor:

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For more photos from this weekend’s trip, head on over to Flickr:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/agilitynut/

More blog-posting soon since I’m in the middle of my winter website updating.  Checking out all those maps in my descriptions for changes (demos, repaints, etc.).  I’ll be sharing the bad news/good news with you real soon.

Happy trails,

dj & the dogs

SoCal Thanksgiving (pt 1 of 3)

With a four-day holiday weekend (and no family members other than the canine variety to encumber me), off to the L.A. area, Orange County, and beyond for three days.

Let’s start off in Panorama City with this sign which I think is enhanced by the rust:

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I thought I’d stop in at Tommy Gelinas’ (Valley Relics Museum) storage place in North Hollywood to see if I could get a peek at one of his latest acquisitions.  I didn’t expect a soul to be there since it was Thanksgiving but I got lucky and a kind woman showed me around.  There it was!  I hadn’t seen the thing since the 1970s.  The hot dog stand originally stood in Hollywood but went into storage in 2005.  Tommy will eventually restore it.  Here’s the scoop:
http://www.laobserved.com/archive/2017/06/tail_o_the_pup_hot_dog_he.php

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He’s also got a couple of shish-kebab-ed burgers.  I don’t know where they came from:

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And an Arby’s hat sign:

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And not one but TWO Helms Bakeries trucks.  Tommy’s sure got a lot of projects!  You bought your bread (and later doughnuts) directly from their trucks since they didn’t sell their stuff in grocery stores.  Here’s what one of these trucks looks like restored:
https://cinemavehicles.com/images/F142555473.jpg

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There were some other goodies there but let’s move back out to the streets.  The top panel of the Kopper Keg Liquors sign in L.A. is obviously adapted but it’s still great:

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I went to inspect the tragedy in Glendora.  Sure enough, the neon is gone and some cheap LED rope tubing had replaced it.  How could they!!!!

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I can only imagine how horrible it looks at night.  For comparison, here’s a photo I took of the sign in 2013:
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And more sorta bad news:  Coates Cyclery in Pomona closed earlier this year and there was talk that the sign would be removed — my photo from a few years ago:
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Turns out that the sign was adapted for the new tenant:

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Back to the rusty/crusty stuff.  The Cask & Keg Liquor store in Pomona.  Missing most of its neon & painted over a bit but still lots of style:

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Last stop of the day was way out in the middle of nowhere in Lake Los Angeles to check out the Four Aces Movie Set (http://4-aces.com/).  I’m assuming that the motel signs were brought here from somewhere else:

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I don’t know if this sign was originally built for a Four Aces Motel.  I suspect it’s just a mix of old and new pieces:

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The diner is very movie set-ish inside and out — surely built on-site to look oldish.

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with a classic, vintage bulb arrow:

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That’s it for tonight.  I’ll try to get Day 2 up tomorrow.

Happy trails,

dj & the still recuperating dogs