Day 18: Sweetwater and Eastward to Fort Worth (Central Texas)

Another challenging cloudy day.  Did what I could, waited when it made sense, otherwise shot & moved on.  Most of the stops weren’t all that remote from I-20.  So, I’ll revisit them again one day.

Let’s start in Sweetwater with these two signs.  According to an on-line source, the “V” sign was originally installed at the Village Shopping Center. The sign was later moved to this shopping center.  Maybe there was neon originally? No idea.

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Clouds AND the wrong time of day.  Oh well — an incredible plastic Masonic sign, nonetheless:

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Moving on to Abilene:

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What brought me to this carpet store was this guy:  one of, I believe, only two remaining Mohawk Carpet Indian signs.  This one’s been repainted and missing the detail but I’m still happy to see he’s still there.  The other one is in Denver — a non-working mechanical sign — at my website here:
http://www.roadarch.com/sca/mechanical.html#Westcraft

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In Dublin at the Dublin Bottling Works.  Note the condensation on the bottle.  The heat was relentless on this trip.  I drank the entire thing in about 60 seconds:

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From Breckenridge.  Oh, for some sun!

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From Granbury:

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The Brazos Motel in Granbury was demolished when the Mesquite Pit was built.  The sign was saved and is now displayed inside the restaurant:

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Last photo for this post — at Last Stop Liquor in Azle:

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On to Fort Worth tomorrow!

dj & the dogs

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Day 17: Hearne to Sweetwater (Central Texas)

The clouds really messed with me today.  But I won’t show you those disappointing photos.  Let’s start in Coleman before the day went to hell.  This one is in Coleman at Owl Drugs:

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I don’t know what this pretty blade sign advertised for originally.  Must have been a nice one.  The plugged tubing holes on the lower right show that it had bull nose tubes:

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I don’t usually shoot painted ghost signs but this one was pretty with all the overlapping text:

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We’re still in Coleman.  This one must have been gorgeous with neon:

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The jewelry shop is closed but the gorgeous vitrolite (glass) tiles are still there:

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and the interior is delightful:

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That immediately recognizable sign frame indicated that this was originally a Mr. Burger:

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Just off the main square in Coleman, this public art project that was done sometime after 2013.  The cow paintings were paid for by local ranchers but I can’t find any more details than that:

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Moving on to San Angelo at Stango’s Coffee Shop.   Oh how I wish I’d gone inside!  Their website shows they have other neon goodies inside:
https://www.stangoscoffeeshop.com/

Google Street View reveals that this sign was not here in 2007 but here by 2012 when Stango’s was there.  Maybe this “Coffee Shop” panel was added by them — note the rectangular cut-out in the panel and the oddly raised letter “C”.  It’s odd how the letters seem to be set into recessed indentations (does that make sense?) in the sign panel.

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Another shot from San Angelo just down the street.  This are new retro signs.  The restaurant hasn’t been here that long.  Their website also shows they have some old signs inside:

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These interesting sputnik features are installed at Johnson Roofing in Robinson.  This one is on top of tractor trailer painted as a billboard.  I love the multi-colored roofing options:

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And this one is on top of the office’s steeple.  I’ve got lots of sputniks at my website but I don’t think any are a match for these.  Check them out here:
http://www.roadarch.com/sca/roto2.html#Montana

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Moving on to Waco.  Breakfast of champions.  Something to munch on while waiting on those evil clouds to part.  Diet Coke cancels out the calories.

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I believe this Jack ‘N Jill location is the only one left with a neon sign (or maybe it was the only one built).  Its rooftop location makes it just about impossible to shoot from either side.

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Also in Waco — gray, gray, go away:

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Last one — from Brownwood:

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That’s it for Day 17.  11 more days and 11 more posts to come.  Hopefully, I can catch up with all of those next weekend and get to work on the website.

Happy trails,
dj & the dogs

Day 16: Last Bit of Austin and North of There

I was so excited to share those pretty photos with you yesterday that I forgot to mention a morning event.  Leaving the tiny town of Giddings, I guess I hit the accelerator too quickly.  A very nice officer gave me a ticket for 12 miles over the speed limit that cost me $255.10.  I was extra careful after that and either stayed close to the limit or in the middle of the pack.

The day started off sunny and promising enough but then the clouds came.  The full-sky type that were too dense to wait out.  Most of the full sun happened when I was driving the distances between stops.  I just had to shoot what I could and move on.  I’ll be back again one day!

A modern sign in Austin at a Catfish Parlour on Research Drive:

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From blue skies to grey… still in Austin not even a half hour later.  A detail from the Quality Seafood sign:

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Is this a Texas thing?  Two tire rim man statues the same day.  This one at Inman’s Ranch House Bar-B-Q in Marble Falls:

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and this one in San Saba at J.C. Smith Co.:

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In, you guessed it, Lllano — would be so much prettier if there had been sun:

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A couple from Killeen, TX:

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And a couple of signs from Temple, TX:

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This sign is inside the Kincl Building in Taylor with a bunch of other antiques & such.  I poked around at Flickr & Google and couldn’t come up with a location for this one.  Paris, TX would seem appropriate but didn’t seen anything.  Apparently, there was a panel covering up Paris for awhile so that might be why nothing comes up. Those tubing holes seem huge to me.

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Let’s close up with a “stumble” (something that wasn’t on my list that brought me much delight):  one of those now-rare spinning disc signs.  This one wasn’t spinning but that’s okay.  It’s at the HRH Garage in Thorndale, TX.

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Here’s a video of what these signs look like where they’re working.  I took this on even gray-er day in New Jersey.  This sign is gone now:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/agilitynut/5541804390/

 

More coming up soon,
dj & the dogs

Day 15: Mostly Austin

This post is going to be a biggie!  A few stops and then we are on to Austin.

This one is at Bastrop’s Fieldhouse BBQ in Bastrop:

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Another one in Bastrop:

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Moving on to San Marcos which is overrun with modern, retro style neon signs.  I’m assuming these were done by Austin artists, the likes of Todd Sanders, Evan Voyles, or their proteges.

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Yup, modern:

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Uh-huh, modern:

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Moving on then to Austin.  Many of you will recognize this guy that was installed above the storefront of Uncommon Objects on South Congress.  The store moved to another location and he’s now inside:

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The Gibson Guitars showroom has lots of vintage neon signs.  Unfortunately, it’s only open by appointment and I rarely have time to make those kinds of arrangements.  I got what I could from the window:

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A nice modern sign at the Catfish Parlor on East Ben White Blvd.:

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In the backyard at Todd Sanders’ Roadhouse Relics.  Some of you may remember a modern Chicken Shack sign posted earlier in this trip.  Well, this is one of the original signs.

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Sweet!

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At the Maudie’s Tex-Mex on South Lamar — modern with apparently an animated arm:

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The Sahara Motel sign that was originally in Abilene, TX now resides at the Sahara Lounge.  There must be another name under that tacked on Sahara panel.  In Abilene:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/wyatt523/5023543728/

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Modern and wonderful sign.  I love grackles — they are noisy and arrogant — making them the perfect bar mascot.  Note the texture on the panel:

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At “El Sol y La Luna” (closed restaurant).  I know this modern sign was created by Todd Sanders:

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I don’t know who did this modern sign but ain’t it great?  The neon goes from the spool on the left to the needle on the far right.  And they also have a neon pole sign:

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Last one for this batch.  I assume this is modern but maybe it could be 1960s-1990s:

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I just uploaded lots of fantastic photos from today over at Flickr as well:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/agilitynut/

More later today,
dj & the dogs

Day 14: Conroe to La Grange (north & west of Houston)

Most of the day was spent at the shop in Conroe.  When the mechanic got a closer look, he realized it wasn’t the exhaust manifold at all that was making the noise.  It was the doughnut (!) gaskets and tie rods.  A big wait to get the parts… and get them installed.. and then paid the $567 bill.   Ouch.  Everything seemed quiet enough (though I commented that I thought it was still a little louder than normal). I got about an hour away in Navasota and then the exhaust was louder than ever.  I was P-I-S-S-E-D!  Drove back to the garage and it was already late afternoon.  I figured I’d be in Conroe again for the night.  But it was fairly simple: a missing bolt and gasket in a different location (near the muffler).  No charge to replace those and I was finally on my way.  No more exhaust noise problems after that.

So, this will be another short post — it’s a miracle I got any shots at all!  And the sun and clouds were gorgeous all day — killing me! From Navasota:

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From Bryan:

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From Brenham:

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Another from Brenham but partly shaded by this time.  Oh well.  Another time, Winkelmann Studio:

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Also in Brenham:

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A former Red & White Super Market sign (the Super Market panels are missing) in Fayetteville.   The porcelain panel letters are embossed.  This sign was not here in 2008 but was in place by 2009:

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Lots more tomorrow,

dj & the dogs

Day 13: Weimar to Conroe (near & north of Houston)

This will be a short post since the day was cut short by:  a) clouds and then b) mechanical woes.  In the afternoon, I pulled into a Midas shop in Conroe because I thought my exhaust was getting louder.  I just had my muffler replaced about a month ago.  So, I had no idea what it could be.  The Midas shop couldn’t even look at it until the morning.  So, I found a Meineke (what did we do before cell phones & Google search? I guess we just asked around).  They looked at it but gave me some bad news:  broken exhaust manifold that would need to be replaced.  They had to make a bunch of calls but  wouldn’t get parts until the morning.  So, I made a date for 7am with them and hoped for the best.   I’ll keep you in suspense like I was until the next post.

Here are some photos from earlier in the day.  This Smokey Bear guy is in Cleveland – at Smokey’s Tire & Brake:

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From Livingston:

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This sign was supposedly previously used for a drive-in in Huntsville before it was adapted for the Long Star Liquor store:

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There are loads of Cavender’s Boot City signs out there around Texas.  Although most (all?) of them are modern, this one is a full-bodied one.  Most of them time, these signs don’t have the legs below the text panels:

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From Conroe.  This one is more vintage.  I don’t know if it ever had neon.  The sign was repainted around 2009.

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Last one from Navasota.  Who can resist a donut sign?  And these are the full height of the building.  Coffee cup is a bonus:

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Another post coming right up,
dj & the dogs

Day 12: More Houston and Thereabouts

This location in Houston has a modern sign based on their original neon sign:

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Harold’s, a men’s clothing store in Houston, was established in the 1950s.  It closed and a restaurant took its place in 2016 using the same name.  The sign was spared but the neon was removed:

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I’m a big fan of giant paint cans.  This one’s now missing its handle.  It was brought along when this store moved in 2013 from a few blocks away.  If you’d like to see more paint cans, here’s my page:
http://www.roadarch.com/mim/paint.html

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Despite the rusted appearance, I believe this sign is modern.  The original Continental Club opened in 1955 in Austin and this location didn’t open until 2000:

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However, this sign is the real deal (vintage) — battered and half concealed in the trees:

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I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a saguaro shish kebab like this:

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This modern law office sign was based on the vintage sign that was located here previously:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/birdwoman09/8026651033/

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This vintage downtown sign is only improved by the crooked letters:

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This one is also downtown but I don’t believe it’s vintage.  I think the place opened in 2013:

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This sign is installed on the tower of the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church:

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There are a bunch of these big Brake Check signs in Texas but most of them are all plastic.  I think a few also have neon checkmarks.  The company was established in 1968 so it’s possible that the original signs might have been all plastic and later, bigger signs went with these neon channel letters:

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A blah plastic box beneath this gorgeous star advertised for “CASH STORE”:

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A boring plastic sign beneath this one advertised for a taco shop.  Those spikes would have held neon tubing originally:

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Last one — moving on from Houston to Richmond, TX.  A few tubing holes here and there indicate that this sign had neon originally:

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Many more posts to come this weekend — we’re not even halfway through this trip.  Don’t forget, lots more different photos from each day of this trip over at Flickr here:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/agilitynut/

Take care,
dj & the dogs

Day 11: Whole Lotta Houston

Finally! The clouds were working for me and not against me.

Surely, this sign was inspired by 7-Eleven signs:

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The new owner was installing and getting ready to paint this Coca-Cola polar bear in front of his soon-to-open take-out daiquiri place.  He said the bear appeared in a Super Bowl commercial:

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Back to the signs:

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A detail from a Taqueria Arandas sign:

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And an Arandas Bakery sign:

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I’m assuming those spikes had ballies or something interesting originally:

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I’m so glad that all those sign-makers used navy porcelain instead of black.  You want the type to show up well, so, they could just as well have used black:

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This sign advertised for Wald Transfer & Storage:

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A very pretty and unusual Masonic sign:

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The building has a nice scalloped canopy, too:

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And lastly, a detail from a Hungry Farmer Bar-B-Q sign:

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That’s it for today!  More coming soon.
Happy 4th of July from dj & the dogs

Day 10: Webster to Orange, TX and some Louisiana

I won’t complain about the clouds but…. it got better as the day went on.  Here’s a bunch of signs from Beaumont:

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This one looked worse a few years back.  The sunny side was the “wrong” side (Texas is backwards):

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More Beaumont:

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From Port Arthur, TX:

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From Orange, TX:

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Moving on to Louisiana.  This one in Lake Charles is one of the modern modern Hokus signs:

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From Crowley, LA:

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From Lafayette, LA:

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Yes, the bread revolves!  I took a little video for ya (sorry about the noise in the background):

 

OK — while I’m at it, I’ll throw in another video of the Alesi’s Pizza sign in Lafayette:

 

A double delight:  a former Taco Bell in Lafayette repurposed as a donut shop WITH a giant donut:

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The donut is very similar to the ones at Mrs. Chapman’s Angel Food Do-Nuts in California — at my website here:
http://www.roadarch.com/sca/donuts.html#Angel

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More posts comin’,
dj & the dogs

Day 9: Seguin to Webster (SE Texas)

Another cloudy morning.  My approach was to wait a little and shoot what I could, then move on even if it means lots of reshooting in the future.  Better to grab and go rather than waste time which would be valuable later in the trip (more on my list than was do-able in a month).  I gave the 5-ish stops planned for Seguin about 45 mins. before I gave up and left.  Here’s the grey background and flat colors.  But, you never know, this one might be gone by the next time I get there:

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As I was stalling in little old Seguin, I got a seat belt ticket.  It was 7:30am and I guess the cop had nothing better to do.  I rarely wear my seat belt (I know, I know…) unless I’m really cooking on the interstates.  NYC cops got me about a half dozen times when I lived there.  Seguin got me for $154, dammit.  I cheered myself up later with this:

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A couple of signs from Victoria, TX which would look far better in sun.  At Devereux Gardens:

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and Rogers Pharmacy:

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While in Victoria, I stopped the The Corral to see if there was anything left of this sign which was destroyed in Hurricane Harvey last year.  This sign featured animated flaming arrows on a wire across the parking lot which erupted into a fireball on the roof.  One of my photos from 2011:

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But all that gone now.  The photos of the sign that I saw after the hurricane showed the Indian panels doubled over and apparently unsalvageable.  The text panel was still there on this trip.  I went inside (it’s now Limon’s BBQ) and asked if there were any pieces of the Indian left.  I was told that he’s being “repaired”.  I wanna believe but…. we shall see.

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The KULP radio station in El Campo:

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Since I’ve concluded that most of my blog followers only want to see signs, I rarely include buildings even though I probably shoot just as many or more buildings for my website as signs.  I’ll throw a few buildings in here that might appeal to some folks.  This ship is now permanently grounded and used as a bait shop (“Hookers Bait Shop,” to be specific) in Freeport, TX.   Gotta love the flags and bright paint job:

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The “Kettle House” in Galveston was built from steel panels in the early 1990s and had been vacant for many years.  In fact, it’s not clear if it ever was occupied.  Here’s a photo I took in 2011:

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I was happy to see on this trip that it’s being cared for.  Looks like new windows, supports, and rust prevention.  Google Street View from 2016 showed it looking like the first photo above.  So, these changes must be recent.  There are a bunch of these heavy wooden posts in front of the building as well.  I’m hoping that when the work is done, this place will still be visible from the highway.

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Last one, also from Galveston.  This sign was built in 2014 in the style of the 1940 sign which was originally installed on this former Sears building (it read “SEARS” on top and “ROEBUCK and CO.” below).
https://www.chron.com/life/health/article/Galveston-Historical-Foundation-s-1940-Sears-9731217.php#photo-11319623

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More posts coming,
dj & the dogs