Summer Trip – Day 9 / Eastern Oregon & Northern California

Picking up in Klamath Falls, OR where we left off last night:

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At the bottom of the pole:

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This one in Klamath Falls is a mystery to me.  It’s on the roof of Basin Glass.  The fisherman and fish are made out of little bulbs and/or LED tubing.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t lit at night — I tried!

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This one is in Lakeview, OR.  I’m a sucker for mortar & pestle signs:

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There are loads of drive-thru coffee kiosks in Oregon & Washington.  You can’t drive a mile without seeing one.  And on this trip with 100+ temperatures nearly every day, I stopped at a lot of them for iced Cold Brews.  Yes, even the little one-of-kind places are keeping pace with Starbucks — you just have to ask because it’s usually not on their little menu boards.  Anyway.  The dogs LOVE these places because all of them give the dogs biscuits.  I can barely get my coffee ordered and safely back in the van with Gremmie and Nik-y hanging out the window drooling and watching the attendant’s every move.  Well, Nik (the black & white dog) isn’t watching since he can’t see but the second I roll down the window and start talking to somebody, he knows the deal:

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They don’t want the change — they want more of those biscuits, please!

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Crossing over into California now.  The Burney Bowl is, naturally, in Burney:

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These two signs are also in Burney:

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Susanville has a lot of great signs — here are just a few:

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Obviously, there was neon here originally.  I think the bowling ball looks more like an Oreo:

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These two signs are at the same place:

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Here’s what the sign above looked like originally when it had that panel in place:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/timetravelnow/4676608055/

There are two of these pretty much identical bulb arrow add-on signs across the street from each other at different businesses:

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This former A&W building and sign are also in Susanville.  This is the stubbier smaller pilgrim hat variety.  I like this re-use with the little pagoda-esque projections at the corners.  Lots more of these buildings all over the country — photos at my website starting at this page:
http://www.roadarch.com/eateries/aw3.html

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Moving on to Chester, CA:

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Two separate signs for the restaurant & motel:

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Last one for this post — the final stop for the night was in Red Bluff.  Only a few signs were lit.  Love the simulated wood letters:

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One more post to go!

dj

Summer Trip – Day 8 / Eastern & Central Oregon

The day started in Pendleton, OR — so, here are a couple of other signs from there:

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This sign —

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… would have advertised Elgin Watches for a jewelry store originally like this one that I shot in Fort Madison, Iowa.  The customer could buy just the bottom panels with the clock and diamond — or the whole shebang with the blade sign:

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From Baker City — a nice plastic Elks Lodge sign.  These are rarer than the neon variety:

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Some more signs from Baker City:

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The bottom panels of this Coca-Cola sign are gone and those little plastic diamonds are starting to fall down inside:

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A better example of those plastic diamonds — my photo from Livingston, Montana:

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An Elks Lodge sign from John Day, OR:

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The Central Hotel in Burns:

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As you can see, the paint on the sunny side of the sign is nearly gone.  This side gives a better idea of the original Art Deco appearance:

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A few more signs from Burns:

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These arrow clocks were mass-produced in green and yellow.  Maybe there were other colors but I haven’t seen any others.  The examples that remain usually point downward rather than sideways like this one:

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Sorry about that damned tree:

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Running out of daylight in Chemult:

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Hardly any sun left in nearby Beaver Marsh but I’ll include this anyway.

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Cute little A-frame cabins behind that office building and chain link:

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One more shot for this post  — the Ross Ragland Theatre in Klamath Falls which was the final stop for the day:

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Two more posts to go from this trip — coming up in a few hours,

dj

Summer Trip – Day 7 / Eastern Washington & Oregon

After a crazy week at work, I’m back to posting a sampling of photos to this blog and Flickr.  I should be able to get the remaining four posts up today.

Let’s pick up where I left off — in Spokane.  This great bulb arrow is actually in Spokane Valley:

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In Spokane:

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Moving on to Colfax:

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In Pullman.  I don’t know if this sign ever had a back half and handle to simulate a paint can.  Here’s a Dutch Boy sign that I shot in Gastonia, NC to show you what I mean:
http://www.roadarch.com/10/3/rainbo2.jpg

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Moving on for a bit to nearby Idaho.  This sign is in Moscow:

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From Lewiston, ID — a modern, mini version of the Downey, CA sign:

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Here’s one of my photos of the vintage Downey sign.  I believe it was the only one built with this design:

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A vintage sign in Lewiston — actually, there are two identical signs like this (one in the front and one in the back of the building):

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Back in Washington — this rooftop sign is in Clarkston:

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Another sign in Clarkston.  Cropped off in this photo is one of those giant bulb poles.  I assumed the bulbs flashed sequentially:

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One more from Clarkston:

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A couple signs in Pomeroy:

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The neon on this sign was restored by David Webb who has about a dozen, restored vintage signs on display in Pomeroy (some photos of them posted over at my Flickr stream simultaneously with this post):

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I believe Webb owns the former Greyhound station behind this great old moving van which must also be his:

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Moving on to Northeast Oregon — this sign in Pendleton is at the former Pendleton Skate City:

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A few other signs in Pendleton to finish off this post:

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More photos from this day’s trip here:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/agilitynut/

Back soon with another blog post,

dj

 

Summer Trip – Day 6 / Spokane

Last year, it was just before Spokane that I had all kinds of car trouble and ran out of time.  Misfiring which stumped mechanics in Kennewick and Portland.  It even took months for shops back home to figure out.  So, it was a personal triumph to finally get to Spokane on this trip which I hadn’t been to since 2008.  Loads of signs there but very few lit.  Let’s get to it:

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The Boulevard Motel has three signs:

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These two signs are at the Airway Express Inn:

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This sign is at the China Dragon Restaurant:

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There are lots of Bigfoot references in Washington & Oregon.  Mostly wood carvings.  I don’t know how old this sign is.  It’s been here since at least the 1980s:

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A crunched and painted over sign stands next to a gardening place now.  The midsection of the black part must have revolved originally:

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Two signs at B&B Hobbies:

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This pole sign was refurbished in 2011:

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There are two White Elephant surplus stores:  one in Spokane and the other in Spokane Valley.  This sign hangs on the side of the Spokane building:

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This side of the sign hasn’t had neon since at least 2007 but it’s the one that was in the sun, so…

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One of my favorite signs on this trip.  I guess because it’s so simple and memorable — shaped like what they sell:  cement block:

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This one’s in Spokane Valley.  It was built in the 1940s.  The neon was removed in 2013 and the sign was repainted these bright colors.  It was previously a faded blue and white.  The arrow was always yellow:

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There are lots of trains repurposed as restaurants in Oregon and Washington.  This one in Spokane Valley houses Lalo’s Pizza:

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This sign was previously painted red and yellow when it housed the Peking Garden Restaurant.  I believe the changes took place sometime after 2014:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/phydeaux460/3794594390/

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Across the border for a bit into Idaho for a bit.  This sign is in Coeur d’Alene:

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Let’s close out this post with three more signs from Spokane.  The other side of this sign simply reads “Engine” in broken neon and faded paint:

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This one was repainted sometime after 2009:

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This sign had a neon arrow on the hat just a few years ago:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/7248979@N08/3283549822/

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Four more posts from this trip to go.  Maybe I can bang those out this week.  More likely, it’ll be next weekend.  In the meantime, don’t forget about all those other “better” photos waiting for you at my Flickr account from this trip:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/agilitynut/

Take care,

dj & the dogs

 

Summer Trip – Day 5 / Central to Eastern Washington

Let’s start off with a few photos from Wenatchee.  This sign is part of a former gas station that houses a collection of pumps, cars, and other signs.  The station is painted to read “Chuck’s Thrifty Gas”.  This sign and the collection popped up sometime  between 2009 and 2011.  “Gas for Less” was a chain of gas stations but I haven’t seen a sign like this one for the company.  So, I don’t know if these were mass-produced or if this was just an imaginative re-use of another sign:

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A ripple tin paneled oldie with a sort of shaky repainting from around 2008-ish.  It was previously a faded grey.  I don’t know what color the sign was originally:

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This sign is right new door to the Empire Hotel.  The sign panels had neon and were lit until just a couple of years ago.  Up until then, the “House of Booze” panel read “Tavern.”  What a shame.

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Moving on to Ritzville.  The Top Hat Motel has a boring backlit plastic box but there’s this nice neon add-on:

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Also in Ritzville – the Whisperin Palms Restaurant has this nice skeleton sign in the window:

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From Moses Lake — the Sage N Sand Motel had another neon sign which has been replaced with siding and plastic letters (I’ll spare you).  But this one still stands as it did in the 1950s/1960s:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/hollywoodplace/7331600210/

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A few more signs from Moses Lake — the Ripple Tavern:

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and Danny’s Tavern:

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and the Dockside Pub:

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This building in Moses Lake is wacky wonderful.  It houses the Broadway Bar & Grill.  I’d love to know what it looked like originally:

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Moving on to Ephrata.  These two signs at M&H Glass (still in business) are embossed plastic.  The red paint has faded on both of them but I’m glad they haven’t tried/failed repainting that.  Dig that perforated slipcover on the building on the right:

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Also in Ephrata — this motel is gone and the sign is tucked back on the lot behind chain link fencing.  There was a man with a top hat perched on the right of the sign — breaks my heart that he’s gone now:
http://www.thom.org/gallery/decay/hiu/

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From Coulee City — god bless those clouds!  This points at the Ala Cozy Motel which is across the street:

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And, lastly, these two signs are at the Trailwest Motel in Grand Coulee:

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The rooftop sign is apparently lit at night:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/ahhhsucre/9675058931/

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Five more blog posts to go.

dj

Summer Trip – Day 4 / Western & Central Washington

Moving on now to Seattle (briefly since I spent a good chunk of time there last year) and then heading eastward.  The weather was grey and crappy most of the day.  But out of the 10 days, I think this was the only one where I didn’t get full sun (and temps hovering around 100 degrees).

Starting this post with some Seattle things.  These two signs inside Luna Park Cafe  appear to be vintage with modern neon applied.  There are some other signs & lots of other vintage goodies inside as well:

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This former Denny’s has lots of original details — starting with the sign:

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and then there’s the incredible interior:

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Some Seattle vintage neon:

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and a modern neon bowl of noodles at the former Standard Cafe (now Artform, a framing store).

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With the gloomy weather, it was not a good day for shooting.  But I was happy that this time, I finally got to see the roving Pig Food Truck (aka Maximum / Minimus).  They were just about to open so I didn’t have lines of people to interrupt the view.  Just the guy on the roof painting:

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I shot this photo at The Shack last year.  I’ve heard that it was a repurposed sign:
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I’m wondering if this sign that I shot on this trip might be related:

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Moving on — this American Legion Post sign is in Snohomish:

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This former Fotomat is also in Snohomish:

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The dogs & I arrived at dusk in Wenatchee where there are lots of great signs.  However, very few were lit at night.

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More tomorrow,

dj

Summer Trip – Day 3 / Western Oregon

This day was spent mainly in Western Oregon, including Portland, with a tiny bit of Washington.  There will be lots more Oregon in later posts from this trip.

Let’s start with some Portland stuff:

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This former Chevrolet sign is located inside the Super Chevrolet Parts Co.:

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This sign looks pretty much the same as it did originally — just a few color changes:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/hollywoodplace/5360890813/

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This sign appeared around 2012 when the building began housing HD Loft Studios.  I don’t know where this sign came from.  There’s a plastic covering protecting the neon:

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If you’re into the rusty, this one’s for you.  The hotel is being renovated.  I hope they don’t mess with this sign:

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Moving on to The Dalles:

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These two Hotpoint signs are at Pioneer Electric — still in business!:

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A two-fer with the IOOF sign:

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That yellow “corduroy” plastic is sure holding its color!

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A close-up of the diver (= pool, and I believe the motel still has one).  Maybe the tubing holes supported the text “Pool”?  Can’t quite tell from this vintage postcard:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/94207108@N02/15133949852/sizes/l

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Crossing over the Washington border for just a bit.  This is from Goldendale:

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Also in Goldendale.  I saw at least one other sign on this trip with a neon asterisk (?) like this so they must have been mass-produced:

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Back in Oregon.  On the roof of the Pheasant Grill Drive-in in Arlington:

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From Hermiston:  At first glance, the Obie’s Express coffee place looks like a former Mister Donut but there are too many folds in that folded plate roof.  The giant coffee cup is just barely three-dimensional.  I don’t know what the building housed originally.  Google Street View shows that it’s been Obie’s since at least 2007:

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Just down the street, is this now-Rodeway.  It was originally, or at least previously, the Way Inn Motel.  The roof was painted white at that point – with those white rocks making a lot more sense!  Now, they look just delightfully silly:

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Crossing over officially into Washington for a few days now.  This sign is from Selah:

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Last photo for the night — ran out of daylight in Sumner.  One of the smaller, modern versions of the famous Elephant Car Wash signs in Seattle (and Rancho Mirage, CA):

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More soon…

dj

Summer Trip – Day 2 / Western Oregon (Pt 2)

I was thrilled to stumble upon these Little Miss signs in Junction City.  Well, actually just one sign but the two panels displayed inside next to the drive-thru window.  I believe there are only about eight of these still on display across the country.  More about them at my website halfway down this page:
http://www.roadarch.com/eateries/dq5.html

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This sign in Willamina was originally a Sambo’s sign:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/14696209@N02/3729453611

The building is nothing special so it was either demolished or this sign was brought from someplace else:
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The Otis Cafe is, naturally, in Otis:

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This sign is in Cloverdale, OR.  It’s probably modern but still blog-worthy:

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The Pronto Pup in Rockaway Beach opened earlier this year.  I was happy to see that they had vegan corn dogs!

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Rockaway Beach is the birthplace of corn dogs.  They were invented in the late 1930s.  The first Pronto Pup stand opened around 1941 in Portland.  Their website says 1941 but some of their signs say “since 1946” and “since 1947.”  The history gets hazier after that.  At some point, the name might have been used generically.  Today, Pronto Pups are sold at State Fairs across the country.  I believe the present-day company is really just a manufacturer of the batter but I haven’t done my homework yet.  These vintage photos inside the Rockaway Beach store show some neat vintage neon signs that no longer exist:

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This sign is in Astoria:

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This Harvey Marine sign is in Aloha, OR:

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The store is technically closed although the company is still doing on-line business.  Muffler Man fans are worried about what will become of this former Texaco statue with the bunny head which stands in front of the closed store.  More about this statue and its brothers one-third of the way down my page here:
http://www.roadarch.com/giants/ifother2.html

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Let’s wrap up this post with two signs from Portland:

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I was relieved to seen that one of the plastic onion dome panels which was missing last year had been replaced:

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More coming soon,

dj

 

Summer Trip – Day 2 / Western Oregon (Pt 1)

Time out from the signs and buildings.   This quickie post features some photos of my traveling buddies.  This romp was at one of our fave places, Gearhart, OR, where you can drive on the beach.  There’s Nik, Sparkle (423,000 miles young) & Fixie:

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A wonderful place:

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A close-up of Grem with Nik & various toys in the background:

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Griz – the baby of the family (about 3 yrs old):

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The two boys:

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Nik just had $5500 of surgery on his “good eye”.  He’s basically blind but saving that 0.1% vision was worth it:

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Grem — the trouble-making, Einstein of the group:

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Fixie — the old lady kickin’ up sand.  Sort of.  She’s 17 and this might be her last big roadtrip:

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Da family:

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Back soon with another post — on topic, I promise!

dj
Gremlin, Griswold, Fixie, & Sputnik

Summer Trip (CA, WA & OR) – Day 1

I just got home from my big trip of the year.  10 days of racing around Washington & Oregon with my lists and four dogs.   I put 5,111 miles on good ol’ Sparkle and blew $871.41 on gas alone.  There were a couple of mechanical “events.”  A frayed ignition coil wire brought me and my pack to a sudden halt in 100+ temps  just north of Coulee City, WA.  After a few hours, a $160 towing bill and $86 fix got us back going again.  In Spokane, there my catalytic converter needed its third repair of the year.  No one can figure out what’s causing the trouble.  After about 4 hours and $666, we were back on the road.

I’ve got about 1,000 photos from this trip ready to crop & tweak for the website.  It may take me until winter to get them all up.  For now, I’ve got a sampling of photos from each day for this blog and my Flickr account.

After nine hours of driving and coffee, it was Willits for the night.  This sign is much more appealing at night than by day:

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From the patched neon tubing holes, clearly there was different text on the sign panels originally:

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Another sign from Willits:

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An a-Frame coffee kiosk in Fort Bragg.  There was a HUGE line of cars:

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Here are a few signs from Garberville:

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From Fortuna — love the neon gas flame:

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A few signs from Eureka:

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At the AA Bar & Grill:

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Also in Eureka — here’s my photo of the Bob Crivello sign from 2008:

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Around 2014, the sign came down during a windstorm.  The owner has been unable to find a neon shop to fix the sign.  It lays in the back parking lot for now:

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One last photo for this post — also from Eureka.  This nice oldie stands next to the service shop for Northwood Hyundai and Chevrolet:

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I’ll be posting more posts this weekend.  Hopefully, wrap things up in the next week or two.  You might also want to check out other photos from this trip being added simultaneously as I make my way through the batches:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/agilitynut/

Back with more photos very soon,

dj & the well-traveled dogs