Day 9: Smooth Sailing in Southern Michigan

Perfect sun all day — and, even better, no warning lights or power outages.   Sparkle ran like a champ all day!  I don’t know how this miraculous healing seems to have taken place but what a relief that it apparently has.  Maybe that fuel filter really did help resolve things after all?  But fuses were still blowing at the garage and on the mechanic’s test drives after that was replaced.  So it all makes no sense.  I kept waiting for that light to come on.  And I was ready to crank the steering wheel HARD if I needed to get us out of harm’s way.  But nothing — all good!

Last night was my test drive of sorts when I left the mechanics around 6pm.  I only had time to shoot a dozen or so photos before the sun went down.   Here are a few signs shot for the blog.

Love these hand-painted signs at Marv’s Meats in Brighton:


See those perfect blue skies that we missed all day sitting at the Firestone?  It made me want to weep.  This sign  is also in Brighton — since 1949 — and this sign is probably from then:

A couple from Howell at dusk:

Moving on to today’s photos.   A couple from Pontiac:

A couple from Lake Orion:

At the Bald Mountain State Park Recreation Area.  There are four little mid-century buildings right on the beach — which the dogs and I had completely to ourselves this morning — woo hoo!   The dogs got lots of water time today.  I had to make it up to them for yesterday’s imprisonment in that Firestone waiting room.

Red Knapp’s in Rochester — for all you vitrolite lovers:

There are two horseshoe counters inside — did what I could shooting through the window:

From Shelby Township:

From Utica.  It appears this sign and facade were spared when the other stores in the strip were “updated”:

Even the small towns have swell mid-century buildings — this post office is in Emmett:

From Port Huron — this is the other sign for the Brass Rail Bar (see my Flickr account tonight for the other):

From Flint — although Bob Perani auctioned off most of his Dort Mall collection in 2009, there is still enough stuff there worth checking out.  Some of the signs:

and a Fisk Tire Boy statue:

Also in Flint.  This hardware sign might have had opal glass letters — if not, then some other translucent material to be lit from inside.  There appeared to be plastic for the letters now:

And lastly for the night — had to stock the pantry given the chance that we could break down without warning in the middle of nowhere.  But I’m hoping those days are over.  Still a good excuse to support the Dawn Donuts in Flint.  The guy at the counter told me the bags cost 10 cents each to print.  I posted the neon sign for this place over at Flickr tonight.

So tomorrow, if all goes well, I’m hoping to bang through Lansing, Grand Rapids and more.  My itinerary only allowed for four more days in Michigan — but it’ll probably take more like six.  I’ll have to decide much later in the trip if parts of Minnesota get whacked by region — or if I do some skimming of the entire state.  Keep those prayers & superstitious behaviors coming for our trip leader & dearly loved Sparkle.

2 thoughts on “Day 9: Smooth Sailing in Southern Michigan

  1. Yay! GO SPARKLE, GO!

    Hope that the weird stuff is finished & you can take full advantage of any blue skies out there.
    Some more neat shots.Always like any neon (too bad the pipe isn’t lit), & Brass Rail too.
    Talmer Bank kinda growing on me.
    St. Andrew Catholic Church: Outside, I thought, WTF??
    But INSIDE:pretty neat.
    Yay DONUTS! I don’t agree that that bag costs 10 cents each to print. 2 colors, no tight registration,etc. ????? B.S.
    Hoping the donuts are good but not photo worthy since NO PHOTOS.
    Plus, if Marv’s Bakery & Meats were open when you shot those I would have hoped you’d pick up a pastry or somethin’. You KNOW I would have.

    OK, enough talk. Glad you had a good day .Keep Dee busy. Love to see more.

    • Another neat thing about the Talmer Bank is it connects via a space age sky walk to the bldg at the left. You can barely see it in the photo I gave ya. Many more of course for the site eventually. There’s also a similar style small storage building across the street in an employee parking lot. I have a feeling there are more treasures in Port Huron I missed that I’ll have to go back for since there’s a great doggie swimming spot I’ve been to a couple times now. The locals call it “chemical alley” I’m told but my dogs have not gotten sick or lost any hair from swimming there. The donuts were neither photo-worthy nor especially delicious. But we’ve got a long way to go for more food shots. If Marv’s had been open, I would have tried to get the two guys to pose for me. That would’ve been great! It would be fun to do a whole nother blog with just painted people and their real life counterparts.

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