L.A. Area Trip / Day 1

Howdy!  I took a little trip out to the L.A. and Orange County area to shoot some things this weekend.  It was hotter than heck — mid 90s and more.  Happy to report that Sparkle took good care of the dogs and I with running the A/C for about 12 hours per day.  When I let the dogs out for brief pee breaks, they would stand stock still in disbelief at how hot it was outside.

I know you want to get to the sign photos — but here are a couple of other things to start with.

This giant pirate kitty stands in front of a house in Topanga.  I know it was at a local antiques shop for a number of years.  That’s all I know of its history.  I don’t know if the pirate get-up is a temporary or permanent thing.  It was dressed this way at the antiques shop:



Wrong time of day to shoot this and that stoplight is annoying — but here it is.  A topiary Poodle in North Hills.  It’s been there for at least 20 years:



Also from North Hills — love the building, name, font:



The Bear Pit in Mission Hills has been here since 1954.  I love the little neon bits on the right.  Are they hearts or arrows?



This one’s from Burbank.  This one has probably been retexted over the years.  But no matter.  You don’t see many pink-painted signs.   The company has a long list of motion picture credentials:



Most people shoot this one in Commerce from the passenger window of a moving car.  But I’m not so good at focusing out the passenger window while doing 70 mph on the interstate.  And my passengers don’t have hands to help me out.  So, you’re missing the “Co.” here since I was too wimpy to stand in the lane of the I-5 at midday:



What a surprise!  This sign in Bell just got a makeover.  Here’s what it looked like earlier this year:



Time out to plug the cause.  Please, please don’t buy puppies at pet stores or from breeders.  Lovely, wonderful, dogs & cats & other critters are waiting at shelters for homes.  Found on the streets or turned in for no good reason to shelters.  About five million dogs & cats are euthanized at shelters every year.  Sure, it’s a long-term commitment — plan on 20 years.  But 20 years of fun, adventures, love, learning — what better way to spend your time?  Much better company than people, if you ask me.  If you want to fall in love in a flash, your new BFF is right there waiting at Petfinder (where I found three of my dogs):

Also, Overstock.com recently started promoting pet adoptions as well:



Back to your regularly scheduled programming.  The main reason for this weekend’s trip was to finally see some of the goodies in the MONA (Museum of Neon Art) collection and meet Kim Koga (the museum’s Director).  Every second Saturday night, there’s an Art Walk in Pomona — and the museum’s collection at the Pomona Packing Plant is open to visitors.  The museum will officially open in Glendale at the beginning of next year — but for now, this is the next best thing.

Here’s one of my favorites.  An animated horse racing sign with ripple tin panels.  Kim didn’t know where it came from — does anyone recognize it?



Part of Hollywood’s Grauman’s Chinese Theatre dragon sign which the museum will be restoring:



A real “killer” of a sign.  This one came from Paramount Pest Control in Los Angeles.  The Doc Kilzum character was trademarked in 1938.  This sign is from the 1940s.  The museum will be restoring this sign as well.  “Doc” originally had striped pants and the mice were sequentially animated.  The painted over, missing mouse near Doc’s right shoe was lying on his back.  Paramount Pest Control still exists and uses this character:



This sign, currently missing the neon bells, was originally installed in Oakland.  This was just the top part of the enormous sign:



The museum has two of these signs.  I have not seen them anywhere else although it would seem they must have been mass-produced:



A new arrival — this Bear Manufacturing sign came from Santa Ana.  More about these “Happy Bear” signs one-third of the way down my page here:

That shipping container behind the upper panel should give you a sense of scale:


Here’s a photo I took of the sign last year when it was still in place.  The text under “Guero’s” read “Vodie’s Wheel Alignment” in 2008:



Lastly, another happy save.  The museum recently acquired the Green Frog Market sign from Bakersfield.  Unfortunately, the neon was broken just before the museum received the sign.  It will be recreated:


Here’s a photo I took of the sign when it was still in Bakersfield.  And, if you’re interested, more about the sign at my page about halfway down:



Sunday’s post coming up shortly.


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