Day 28: Oklahoma (mostly Tulsa)

Three more days for this trip. Most of this day was spent in Tulsa with glorious all day sun.  Let’s start off with this sign for the Westside Laundry in Tulsa.  The sign was probably a used car lot sign originally:

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This is a modern sign:

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This sign is “new” in that it’s a vintage sign but it installed sometime between 2007 and 2011 above a trendy bar:

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This neon detail is installed above The Colony bar sign:

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The Daylight Donuts sign in Tulsa originally advertised for Shaw’s Drive-in:
https://i.pinimg.com/originals/83/55/fe/8355fec0584dd8d7f59b85343f52b20d.jpg

At some point it was adapted for Daylight Donuts and then fell into really bad shape.  Here’s my photo from 2011:

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In 2012, the neon bits were removed and it was repainted.  Horrible fonts and bizarre color choices.  But, hey, it’s still there, and there’s hope that maybe someday a true restoration might take place.

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This shopping center sign was originally located in Springfield, MO.  It’s now part of the sign collection at the Stokely Event Center in Tulsa.  Here’s my photo when it was still in place in Missouri in 2010:

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and today:

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The Earl M. Jorgensen Co. has about 40 locations across the country. There are at least two other identical signs to this one in Dallas, TX and Lynwood, CA.  They all have neon and composite letters like this.  However, at some point, the neon in the channel letters here were replaced with cheap & crappy LED rope tubing.

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The neon letters on the facade are intact.

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Are per Google StreetView, the Lynwood location also has a nice facade:

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and the Dallas building has a nice mid-century modern vibe:

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But back to Tulsa for some more signs:

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This is one of two of these signs that survive in Tulsa:

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Here’s one of a dwindling population of Arby’s sign around the country. This is one of the smaller version:

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But what’s even better:  a sign company maintaining the bulbs:

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The last one for this post — moving on from Tulsa to Chandler:

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Back with the final day of Oklahoma & some New Mexico in next weekend’s post.

Happy trails,
dj & the dogs

Day 27: Oklahoma (McAlester to Tulsa)

Three days of Oklahoma to share:  here’s post 1 of 3.

Let’s start with this sign in Eufala:

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Another one from Eufala.  Simple but sweet.  Well-preserved corrugated plastic signs are getting very rare:

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Some signs from Muskogee:

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Another one for my Happy Bear collection:
http://www.roadarch.com/signs/bear.html

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In 2011, this sign was prettier and still had its neon:

 
Here’s what it looks like now:

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Gorgeous in this rusty state.  They are trying to raise money to restore it but I kinda hope that doesn’t happen.  Better yet, put a replica on the poles and move this guy into/on top of the building:

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This cutie is in Tahlequah:

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Another one from Tahlequah:

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One of two C-152 Lectras across the street from each other in Chouteau.  This is the unrestored one:
http://www.roadarch.com/sca/roto4.html

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This Daylight Donuts is in Verdigris — neon, bulbs, corrugated panels…

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AND a vacuum form panel under the eaves.  I’m sure these were mass-produced but I’ve never seen another one anywhere:

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Last one for this post — in Claremore.  This sign was restored in the past few years.  Here’s what it looked like in 2016:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/romleys/27263089305/

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Back next weekend (or so) with more.

Happy trails,
dj & the dogs

Day 26: the Last of Arkansas

So, it was a cloudy day and I did what I could.  Someday, I’ll have to swing thru these cities again and reshoot.  But here’s a nice big batch anyway.

From Malvern, AR:

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From Benton, AR (surely, some other Moderne “thing” originally with neon:

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I’ve been anxious to reshoot this sign at the Magic Hills Public Golf course in Hot Springs for years.  Finally, I got a little sun but the fencing and trees have made it next to impossible:

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Lots more from Hot Springs.   This one (Zac’s Pizza) has been missing any trace of paint since at least 2007:

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This old drug store sign is inside an antiques store (store was local I was told).  Pretty beat but still beautiful.  Some neat other stuff there including an old Happy Bear Alignment sign:

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A rusting shopping center sign:

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“Stubby’s” looks like a replacement panel.  We can assume there was another log panel with somebody’s else’s name there:

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There was originally white paint behind the letters.  I guess, at some point, the sign was repainted entirely red and it was deemed too much trouble to deal with the lettering:

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The Bohemia sign is not looking good these days — but at least it’s back.  Sort of.  The restaurant has been closed since at least 2006.  It was still looking nice in my 2010 photo:

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Then, around 2014, the sign was covered up for a new venture: the Park Avenue Bistro — as evidenced at GoogleStreetView:

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When that closed, the sign was uncovered again — missing the “B”and its neon — and bent a bit (during the panel removal process, hit by a truck?):

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One more rusty-crusty from Hot Springs:

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A “fancy” one from Royal, AR:

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Last one for the day from, finally, Oklahoma!  This one is in McAlester:

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I’ll have about three days worth of photos from Oklahoma coming up.  Then finish off this trip with a couple of posts from New Mexico.

Happy trails,
dj & the dogs

Day 25: More Arkansas

So, two more days of Arkansas photos.  And then another four days of Oklahoma and New Mexico after that.  We’re in the home stretch!  I’m on target to wrap things up here and at my website by November 1.

This will be a quick post since I got a late start in the morning due to clouds and, then, the day was cut short by serious rain commencing around 4pm.

This sign with the giant shotgun cartridge on top is located in Stuttgart:

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A few signs from Pine Bluff.  This is the best I could do with this nice sign due to clouds & trees:

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For the “reshoot in sun” list:

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The sign below previously had neon and advertising for Irish Maid Do-Nuts:
https://www.rockcityeats.com/around-arkansas-irish-maid-donuts-in-pine-bluff/

At least the neon Irish Maid sign in Fort Smith still survives.

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These liquor store signs are in Rison. I don’t think I’ve seen a vaccum form Schlitz sign like this in the wild before:

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More liquor store signs — these in El Dorado:

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Another sign from El Dorado.  This place is closed and I would imagine that this modern sign will probably be removed when another tenant moves in:

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The last shot for the day from Magnolia at Wilson-Beardon Drugs.  This looks like either a refurbished or replica sign:

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I’ll be back this weekend with the final Arkansas batch.  More photos from today over at the Flickr stream:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/agilitynut/

Happy trails,
dj & the dogs

Day 24: More Arkansas (Pt 3)

Let’s get back to Arkansas.  I’ve got a nice big batch of photos for you.

This place is in Clarksville:

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From Russellville:

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In Conway:

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Around 2015, this Shipley Do-Nuts in North Little Rock was updated for Paul’s Donuts.  The sign is pretty tacky but at least it’s still there in spirt.  Here’s the “before” that I shot in 2008:

 

and the “after”:

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The building “before”:

and now with the peaked roof addition:

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The Koehler Bakery in North Little Rock is gone but the vitrolite facade remains:

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The “lesser” sign at Argenta Drug in North Little Rock:

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A couple more sign from North Little Rock:

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From Little Rock — the Village Theatre sign remains but the great dome theatre building was demolished in 2015:

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GolfWorld in Little Rock:

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Two more signs from Little Rock — Torrence Flowers:

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The Flying Fish sign is modern but it’s been there since at least 2007:

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Let’s wrap up with this place from West Helena:

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Two more days of Arkansas to go.  Another post next weekend.  In the meantime, don’t forget the prettier signs & interesting buildings from this day and earlier in the trip are over here at Flickr:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/agilitynut/

Happy trails,
dj & the dogs

Day 23: Arkansas (Part 2)

This day I covered ground between Harrison and Russellville.  I’ve got a nice big batch of sign photos for you.  Let’s start with a couple of Ozark-themed signs from Eureka Springs:

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If you’re having trouble making out the plastic characters on the far left, it shows a woman carrying a chicken and the hillbilly guy either passed out or snoozing on the ground.  I shot the building sign in 2010 which shows the people more clearly:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/roadsidenut/4499200368/

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A couple more from Eureka Springs:

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This one is in Bentonville:

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From Gentry:

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This one is installed above the Antique Mall in Springdale:

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This one in Springdale has gotta be modern:

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This razorback hog sign is in Alma.  The University of Arkansas’ mascot is extremely popular all over the state.

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This little strip mall sign is in Van Buren:

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These last three are from Fort Smith:

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This one appears to be modern:

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The Burns Carousel of Flowers store is gone but this sign remains.  Only a tiny speck of neon left.  I’m hoping the rust keeps the collectors at bay:

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Back next weekend with another batch from the “Natural State.”

Happy trails,
dj & the dogs

 

Day 22: Arkansas (Pt. 1 of 5)

All of the Mississippi and Memphis, TN stuff is up at my website now.  Moving on to the Arkansas photos.  I usually shoot around 150-200 photos per day.  As always, this blog only shares about a dozen photos from each day and another dozen, different photos are posted at my Flickr account.

Let’s get started of in Leachville with this plastic mortar & pestle sign:

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This sweet star is on the side of the House of Prayer building in Paragould:

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This Grill District sign in Walnut Ridge appears to be modern:

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In Alicia — the Highway Liquor store building has been demolished but this sign remains:

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This busted Coca-Cola sign is in Hoxie:

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This modern-looking arrow sign is located at the Hartsell’s Liquor Store in Swifton.  I posted this video showing the bulbs’ chasing pattern at Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/p/By78Fg5lzxr/

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This sign is located in Clinton.  It appears to be a reworked vintage sign:

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The remaining GE panel and nifty bulb arrow sign is in Clinton, AR:

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This one is in Cave City.  The neon tubing holes have been patched:

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This one is in Mountain Home:

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The last one for the day as the “golden hour” was starting in Harrison:

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More Arkansas soon.

Happy trails,
dj & the dogs

 

 

Day 21: Mostly Memphis & on to Arkansas

Let’s get back to Memphis.  I’ve got lots of photos for you.  Don’t forget that the subjects that I post here are the “lesser” quality (funkier & far gone signs, etc.).  The sampling of nicer subjects is over at my Flickr account here:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/agilitynut/

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I have seen three or four of these repurposed liquor store signs.  I’m assuming there were more of them originally.  The clock on one side and temp on the other panel must have revolved:

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This one is now missing the spinning disk:

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Another liquor store sign:

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A barber shop sign:

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A close up of the hand with torch:

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I believe this stack of records sign at the Stax Museum of American Soul Music is from around 2003.  The building and marquee were built to simulate the Capitol Theatre which was built on the site in 1931 and demolished in 1989.

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A couple of old signs among the retro modern “stuff” on Beale St.  This actually looks like a replica that’s not aging well.

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This one is probably vintage but really suffering.  I never thought I’d say it, but I think this is a candidate for creating a replica:

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Probably a replica — pristine panels but it must have been done well since the panels have looked this nice since at least 2007.  This cleaners is closed so this sign could disappear (or be repurposed) at any time.

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This place has been around since 1918.  The sign and moderne-ish window trim look 1950s:

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A couple of modern signs — the Flying Fish seafood restaurant.  Yes, airplane wings on the catfish:

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I love any signs with flames.  And dogs.

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An increasingly rare nice plastic sign:

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Raised metal letters:

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I believe this is the only wrecking ball sign I’ve ever seen:

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Moving on to Arkansas.  This star in Trumann is a mystery.  The building was vacant for a long time.  And this is a recent slapdash readerboard.  My guess is that this was a Big Star grocery store like the one in Bolivar, AR.

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Yes, this sign/location was originally part of the Seattle-based Elephant Car Wash chain.  Then, there’s the sign in Rancho Mirage, CA.  I don’t know when or why this one in Jonesboro, AR was built.  Maybe a cousin of the owner or… don’t know.  And this one has been closed for a few years and the trees are moving in.

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A couple more from Jonesboro.  This gorgeous tile floor entrance was originally created for the Eagle Clothes store:

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The now closed Massanelli Cleaners sign:

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Last two photos for this post — both in Blytheville:

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Back with more posts soon enough,

dj & the dogs

Day 20: Moving on to Memphis

So, somehow my numbering got off and I posted two Day 16s.  Ah well.  So, I’m skipping from Day 18 to 20.  This day started off rough:  super dark & cloudy.  I napped and waited.  And waited.  So, it was a low volume day.  However, most of the trip I got very lucky with the sun.

I finished up the Mississippi shots despite the situation.  I’ll just have to go back another time to reshoot and do the subjects justice.  For example, here’s the former Greyhound station in Clarksdale, MS.  Drab as hell but here you go:

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When I finally gave up and got to Memphis in the late morning, it was more of the same (cloudy and looking like rain).  So, I got set up at a Starbucks figuring I’d get a jump stop on the photoshopping for this trip’s photos and call it a day.  But not five minutes later, the sun came out and stayed out.  I raced on outta there and got to work.  The rest of this post’s photos will all be from Memphis.

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Modern but nice:

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I don’t remember it being 100.  But it could have been!

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This one is modern:

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Caged!  (behind chicken wire)

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The Dan West Garden Center gets worse each time I see it.  I don’t mind the rusting panels but the dwindling tubing on top is very sad.  Believe it or not, this is what the sign looked like originally.  Only a couple of tulips and some of the watering farmer’s/gardeners’ torso remain now:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/69308082@N02/6366716803/

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The top of the White Station Tower originally had a sign for the U-P (Union Planers) Bank.  Built in 1965, that UFO on top was a revolving restaurant.  Now, it’s just stationary office space.  The i-bank (Independent Bank) lettering is very recent (but still cool).

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This next sign came from “Skateland” in Memphis  which closed after a fire in 2006.  The big sign with the giant skate is still on the repurposed building.  This sign came from the side of the building.  It’s now installed over the Railgarten stage.  For more about Skateland and other skating signs from around the country, see this page at my website:
http://www.roadarch.com/sca/skating.html

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Let’s wrap up with this sign inside the Young Avenue Deli.  I would drive six hours to shoot one of these rare and special Federal Electric, pre-neon modular signs.  For more about them, see this page at my website:
http://www.roadarch.com/sca/federal.html

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I’ll be back next weekend with another post.

Happy trails,
dj & the dogs

Day 18: Another Day in Mississippi

This was the last full day of Mississippi.  Soon to be followed by Memphis and Arkansas.

Let’s start with a couple in West Point.  A nice ghost sign:

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A fun saguaro sign.  This place has been here since 1993 but the sign might pre-date that.  I looks like neon tubing holes on the cactus:

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This directional sign in Tupelo is from the early 1950s:

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This one in Tupelo has an unusual obelisk shape.  You don’t see the mini pyramid on top of the sign from this angle:

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Let’s take a break from the signs and post some of my other favorite subjects which, if you didn’t know, I document just as thoroughly as signs at my website (2500+ pages of buildings, statues, and, yes, signs):
http://www.roadarch.com/

How about this steer statue at Mi Toro Mexican Restaurant in Booneville.  You’ll find a hundreds of other animal statues in this section:
http://www.roadarch.com/critters/1.html

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These cigar store type Indians are in Tupelo.  Do you like Indian statues?  I’ve got four pages of them here:
http://www.roadarch.com/giants/indians.html
and then there are the so-called “Muffler Men” type here:
http://www.roadarch.com/giants/ifindians.html

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How about a mid-century bank in New Albany?  If you like mid-century buildings, you’ll want to set aside a good chunk of time for this section (the biggest one at my website):
http://www.roadarch.com/modarch/main.html

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This former classic Cities Service gas station is in Aberdeen.  I’ve got over 5,000 photos of gas stations at my website.  Here’s the Mississippi Cities Service section:
http://www.roadarch.com/gas/mscities.html

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A sad walled-up canopy on this classic Sinclair station in Booneville.  There are still hundreds of these scattered around the country.  No state has more of them than Texas:
http://www.roadarch.com/gas/txsinclair.html

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Let’s wrap up with two more signs.  This one in Booneville:

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And this one in Pontotoc.  Unfortunately, the vertical blade portion of this sign has been painted over and the porcelain could use a scrub.  There are only a handful of these mass-produced Elgin Watches jewelry store signs left on display around the country:

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I’ll be back this weekend with more.

Happy trails,
dj & the dogs