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

Day 17: More Mississippi

It was a crappy cloudy day but I shot what I could.  I pulled over and waited for a few rays of sun.  I took a nap when things looked really bad.  So, pardon the blah backgrounds and lack of sun-reflecting panels.

Let’s start in Belzoni — “SHOP” is probably original but “Thrift” most likely not.  Gorgeous shape:

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Some cuteness from Belzoni (Catfish Capitol of the World) with a couple of examples of their Catfish on Parade art project.  In front of the firehouse:

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and a farmer:

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No paint left — this “BILLIARDS” sign from Leland:

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From Greenville.  The streamline building was blocked by a big parked tractor trailer but I got the nice letters on the corner:

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More from Greenville.  The building for this shoe store is gone now but this terrazzo entrance apron remains:

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Check out the grayness behind this Riverbelle Lanes/Gray’s Lanes sign.  Yeah, that was coming my way:

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Moving on to Greenwood.  This sign went up sometime after 2013.  The sign that was there before that had a more boring, vertical shape:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/bradkatie/466786678/

According to one article, the sign has “been in family since the 1930s”.  But this is obviously a recent replica-looking sign.  So, I assume there was a sign like this originally at this location.  And maybe the “family” has the original somewhere?

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Also in Greenwood.  I don’t understand the vertical neon tubing over “Collins.”  There are tubing holes that would have made for bends for each letter originally.  I guess someone went cheap & simple at some point just to get some light on the sign.  I love the two hand-painted shoes on the lower panel:

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One more from Greenwood. I don’t normally include ghost signs but this one is nice with Coca-Cola’s “Sprite Boy” peeking from behind a Coke bottle.  I hope the city never repaints this one which is the current awful trend.  I don’t know if that “5/56” on the lower right is an indicator of when this was originally painted.

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This sign is installed in the parking lot at the Pizza Inn in Winona.  I don’t know if this gas company was originally on this property of the owner is just displaying the sign there and it was installed somewhere else previously:

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The last photo for this post — these stars top the University Motel sign in Starkville:

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I’m off to post the entire day’s worth of dreary photos at my website.  If you haven’t been over to my Flickr account lately, there are more signs from today and earlier in this trip:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/agilitynut/

Happy trails,
dj & the dogs

Day 16: Mucho Mississippi

Since my last post, I got all of the Louisiana photos up at my website.  So, if you’re interested, now might be a good time to check out the mid-century modern, signs, gas stations, theatres, etc. sections.   Moving on to the bulk of the Mississippi photos now.  I think there are about four days worth before I headed on to Memphis & Arkansas.  Day 16 was very prolific — so let’s get to it.

This Barq’s root beer sign is next door to the Alamo Theatre in Jackson:

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This one is in Canton:

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This one is in Carthage.  It’s either modern or a replica:

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This one is in Philadelphia:

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This one is in Decatur.  The store opened in 1959.  But this sign is only about 10 years old or so.  It was not based on a previous sign.  I don’t know if Wheeler was originally a Rexall but, if not, the navy and orange are certainly a nod to that chain:

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Here’s a closed Rexall in Newton.  The interior still has nice dark wood shelving units and such.  Very sad.  Maybe it will find some miraculous restaurant reuse and the interior will be preserved.

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A bunch of signs now from Meridian:

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The Temple Theatre architecture is magnificently preserved… but how I hate it when these theaters mess with their marquees and add that moving digital crap:

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You have to shoot this one from across the street because of the roof and the trees:

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This sign is supposedly from the 1930s or so.  It was taken down in 1999 during the building’s restoration and forgotten about.  It was sold at auction and eventually returned to the restaurant:

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A sad, paintless “globie” (my name for these mass-produced, flashing fiberglass balls).  For examples in better shape, see my website here:
http://www.roadarch.com/sca/roto3.html#Corral

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A couple more from Meridian:

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This former truck stop sign has been banged up in recent years.  It’s mounted so high that I don’t know how that arrow could have been bent like this.  You can see the panel in back with the still intact arrow:

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Let’s close with this one from De Kalb.  I love any and all signs with flames.  I found another one Dowdle sign just like this elsewhere in Mississippi so there might have been more than two of these:

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Back with another post next weekend or maybe sooner.

Happy trails,
dj & the dogs

Day 16: Last of Louisiana and on to Mississippi

We’re at the halfway point in this trip.  My goal is to get all these posts and the thousands of photos up at my website by November.

Let’s start off in Minden, LA.  This sign is on the side of a building.  I’m assuming there was originally a hardware store around front:

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There are two of these signs on this building — one at the two entrances (the downtown has two-one way business streets).

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This one is in Dixie Inn, LA:

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At the long-closed Joy Theatre in Arcadia, LA:

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Moving on to Monroe, LA.  These two are at the former Johnson Bros. Barber Shop:

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Also in Monroe — a former Howard Johnson’s sign:

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This one in Bastrop, LA:

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Seligman’s Furniture was established in 1897.  The store has been operating at this building in Bastrop since 1928.

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This one is in Tallulah, LA:

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Heading on to Mississippi – this is in Vicksburg:

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Stopping for the day in Jackson, MS.  These two are at the main and back entrances.

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I’ll be back next weekend with another post.

Happy Trails,
dj & the dogs

Day 15: Lots of Louisiana

This was a big day of shooting with well over 100 stops.  Let’s start out in Alexandria.  The Hotel Bentley was built from 1907-1908.  I don’t know when the sign was built but the design is late 1940s.  However, to be persnickety, I think the one that’s there now is a replica.  This undated postcard shows the same style sign but looks to be white with dark letters.  True, it might have been artistic liberty (postcard illustrators were not worried too much about accuracy).  As you probably know, most very old hotels changed their names from Hotel X to X Hotel at some point.  Or sometimes used the two interchangeably.

Capture

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I’m always shocked to see that the Happy Trails Lounge sign is still there.  I don’t know if that was the original name.  Looks like there was a cocktail glass in the middle of that black paint.  But that might not be the original layer of paint.

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The Weiss & Goldring’s men’s store sign was originally located downtown (yes, Desoto & 3rd Sts. as shown at the bottom).  It was then moved with the store when they moved to this mall location:

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Moving on to Shreveport.  Mall St. Vincent opened in 1976.  Like many malls around the country, the party is over.  Sears left last year and it looks like the smaller shops are barely getting by.  Anyhow.  Pretty letters on this sign:

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From Haughton — “funky funky but chic”:

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On to Bossier City for awhile.  These two signs are probably not that old but still worthy of sharing.  One pole sign, one building sign:

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Inside the Holiday Lanes: the undulating mid-century roof is visible from the interior as well.  Although there are lots of flashy graphic scoreboards and such, I’m glad for these giant pins.  I was also happy to see the giant place packed with people.  A ceiling “fixture”:

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And these cool guys:

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A former gas station, then later this bar (now closed):

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I’ve got nothing but my imagination (not a damned thing on-line) but I would imagine the letters had neon originally and there must have been plastic balls or something on the tips of the poles.  I wouldn’t be surprised if this sign was designed by Warren Milks (more about him later).  he liked offset letters and poles quite a lot.

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According to the desk person at Party Central, this sign was installed originally installed at Casino Magic in the late 1990s.  The casino closed in 2002 and the sign found its way here sometime after that:

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OK — so who is Warren Milks?  Well, he’s the guy that designed and produced about 234 Roto-Spheres — those crazy, giant, spinning neon “sputniks”.  The history and all the survivors at my website here:
http://www.roadarch.com/sca/roto.html

If you’ve got a few minutes, you won’t want to miss these two little videos that I put together with the Super 8 movies that Warren shot and loaned to me.  Bossier City was “mini Las Vegas” at the time with casinos and booming businesses.  Warren built all the “nice” signs in town.  All of this footage was shot in Bossier:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Leuut7nITdI

The sign on the left advertised for his sign shop “NESCO” on Texas Avenue.  If you study the videos closely, you’ll see a Turn-Star above the “NESCO” panel lit in neon.  The building on the right wasn’t there back in the 1960s:

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Just to the right of that is what was the sign shop.  The big open door is the bigger part of the shop where his employees (two or three) worked on the larger signs.  The smaller door and window led to the office and smaller shop.

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The second video starts off with the the super impressive Rovana Restaurant sign shown below (although now not as impressive without the hanging and moving letters).  Warren’s shop and sign are visible in the distance under the steel sign:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3L6-zyxxFl0

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A couple more signs to close out this post.  The Shotz Lounge has these nice arrows above a boring plastic box panel.  Each arrow would have had a neon outline and I would assume that they flashed, maybe even sequentially:

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Last one — from Shreveport.  Plastic signs don’t get no respect and this is certainly a nice one.  Sign tag at the bottom is for Gulf Industries.  This is an example of a vacuum form sign.  A sheet of plastic was laid on top of a mold and a vacuum pulled the plastic over the mold.  Then the panels were painted.  Much cooler than the flat panels typically produced today.

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That’s a wrap.  I have a lot of photos to prep and add to my website.  I’ll be back a a few days with more goodies from Louisiana and Mississippi.  And… lots more “nicer” signs & stuff uploaded from Day 15 at Flickr earlier today:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/agilitynut/

Happy trails,
dj & the dogs

Day 14: Moving on to Mississippi

It was kind of a cloudy day with lots of miles.  Not a big day for sign shooting but I think I’ve got enough for a reasonable post here.

From Laurel, MS — a combo sign with some corrugated plastic and neon:

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Another one from Laurel.  A modern Shipley Donuts sign which has been adapted with some super tacky plastic.  It looks more like a bagel to me:

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From Hattiesburg — this one is not aging gracefully.  The rust is winning:

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Another one from Hattiesburg.  I waited and waiting but the sun was not cooperating.

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How about a couple of buildings?  This one in Brookhaven:

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This one is in Bude:

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A little trip across the border into Louisiana — these two signs are in St. Francisville:

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Back to Mississippi — in Liberty.  I can never get enough Rexall signs.  If you can’t either, I’ve got loads of them at my website here:
http://www.roadarch.com/signs/rex.html

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I’ll be back with another post in a few days once I get this little batch of about 100 photos up at my website.  More photos from this trip over at Flickr:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/agilitynut/

Happy trails,
dj & the dogs