Day 1: New Jersey

Surprise! I snuck out a day early to get this trip started. I had an errand to run in South NJ so I took the day off from work and got a few hours start on my list. The weather is really horrible, crummy, lousy, awful with unrelenting rain. The forecast is for another three days of the same. A rather depressing and frustrating way to start a trip. Tim Gunn would say, “make it work”. The traffic added an additional challenge today. Still, I got some decent photos for the blog & Flickr.

The dogs were overly hyped and barking constantly. I made a few pit stops so they could run but it was obviously not enough. The van and my pants are already nice and muddy on Day 1. The dogs usually settle into the road routine on the 3rd day. Til then, I’m doing a lot yelling and warning Grem that I’ll pull over and put that collar on her. Gulp, the threat of the citronella barking collar is usually enough to quiet her down. For a couple minutes anyway. MinPins were born to bark.

So let’s move on to the photos – the reason that you’re all here! Since the weather was so crappy, I focused on gathering goodies for the blog rather than the important stuff for the website & Flickr.

First up, a couple side-by-side motel signs in Absecon or Galloway. Google can’t decide which. The Ten Acres (although spelled Tenacres on the sign) has busted neon but it looks like they’re keeping the paint up.

And next door – don’t know the name but I doubt it was really the “Poo Motel” (grin). This wooden sign is pretty much buried in the trees and probably what’s holding it up. The motel itself is long gone. Note you can see the Ten Acres sign in the distance.

A rather eerie mannequin driving this covered wagon at Pistol Pete’s Saloon in Pleasantville:

A nice Chevy bow tie “scaffold sign” on top of an updated showroom in Egg Harbor Township. I’m betting that this one is still lit at night:

Also in Egg Harbor Township – love this guy! The holes suggest he had neon at one time. Or maybe, from their irregularity, he was just the victim of target practice:

From Mays Landing. The Custard Castle is closed for the season or maybe just sensibly closed on Fridays when it rains. Love the roof detail:

A gardening cowboy from Hogbin’s Nursery in Williamstown. I don’t know if he’s old or new. But it doesn’t matter since he’s fantastic. A metal sign, gaining a bit more rust today. That’s Sparkle waving “hi” from the right.

Also in Williamstown, I went to check out this “mini Pebble Palace”. It really was mini — just this one little clump of stone sculptures. But still kinda cool. I imagine it has or had some fountain action.

I have tried unsuccessfully three times over the years, including today, to find that other, larger Pebble Palace in Deptford. All my sources say on Rte. 47, just a few feet off the road. I’ve scrutinized the recent photos with the white house and drive up and back far, far in both directions. Still can’t find it. Can anyone provide a cross street or address for this place?

I’ve been wanting to see the “Nipper Building” in Camden for a long time now.  Although the stained glass windows in the tower are recent replacements, they’re still very neat.  This RCA building was one of several here – the others were demolished. The building now houses the Victor Lofts.  Here’s some more about it:
I’ve also got some Nipper statues over at my website if you’re interested:

Quite a paint job on this bowling alley in Brooklawn!  Something tells me, not the original colors.  Although the sign is missing both bulbs and neon, it still looks pretty cheery in lemon yellow.

I’d love to know the history of this motel in Brooklawn and see photos of it before the Red Carpet Inn bland-ified the rooms.  There were hints of little turrets on the buildings around the big courtyard layout.  I also can’t figure out what the screens on this sign tower are about.  Postcards anyone?

One more sign before I go – the Pennant East rock club in Bellmawr. The sign is evidently from 1992 – I would’ve guessed older. The club was originally Dick Lee’s from 1956-1992. What did we do before Google!

So here’s the plan for the next few days. Tomorrow, I’ll be starting on MD. Probably about 3 days in MD and VA and then on to NC for about 3 days. I’ve been to these states many times before but stuff has piled up on my “To See/Shoot” list. Also, lots of ancient & ugly photos at my website for these states that really need reshooting and I’ll try to get to a lot of that, too.  Do a sundance for me, will ya?

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