Adaptive Reuse & Demolitions (more virtual discoveries)

I’m still banging away at adding maps to my website.   I’m currently working on some building sections before I dive into the abyss of neon signs.  I’ve got some good and bad news from the Car Showrooms section to share with you.  I’m not getting a lot of feedback about these posts but maybe there are one or two of you that are quietly enjoying them.  For the rest of you, hang in there!  I’ll be taking a few roadtrips soon and will get you some pretty neon sign photos.

This wonderful dealership in Grinnell, IA was built around 1930.  Later, it housed a hardware store.  When I took these photos in 2010, the building was occupied by Main Street Furniture & Appliances.


Those spoked wheels with wings are the give-away that this was a car dealership.  However, I have not been able to find out what the original name of the company was or what make of car was sold here:


This Google Street View 2013 photo reveals that the building has a new tenant.  In 2013, McNally’s Foods moved into the building.



These buildings in Carroll, IA were built in 1913 for the Swaney Auto Company.  The building in the middle still bore the red Wittrock Motor Company letters when I took this photo in 2006:

The 2012 Google Street View map reveals a major change.  In 2009, the buildings were adapted for the Santa Maria Vineyard Restaurant & Tasting Room.  The Wittrock Motor Works letters are gone now.  The parking area between the buildings were walled off and is now used as a dining area.  I wish it wasn’t such a fortress now.  Maybe they could have using cast iron fencing or something lower.  But, hey, at least the buildings weren’t leveled and this damage could be undone later.




This building in Chicago wasn’t so lucky.  This Perillo Lincoln Mercury Saab location started life as a Pontiac dealership.  Looks to be late 1940s to me.  I took this photo in 2005.  There was a service bay or two on the right.   Love those big windows to show off the cars:

Well, by 2014, Perillo had moved and the building was replaced with a brand spanking new Mini Cooper dealership.  Sigh.



This building in Chicago was spared.  This Grossinger Cadillac building was built in 1911.  Tower Oldsmobile was located here before Grossinger.  I don’t know what was here originally.  I took these photos in 2009:


Google Street View revealed a transformation.  By 2014, Grossinger had moved to a new location and Plum Market was the building’s new occupant.  The service bays have been glassed up but all the nifty details are still there:



From Galesburg, IL.  When I noticed that the name Lakis Ford Dodge had changed to Yemm Ford, I thought it best to make a call to find out if this “Dodge Dome” was still there.  The name change took place last year.  The woman on the phone told me that the building was being demolished right then!  Crap.  Here’s a couple of photos from my website to show you what you missed:

lakis lakis2

Steve Lakis Dodge was built in 1973 for . These “Dodge Domes” were built elsewhere.  I’ve never figured out how many.  But the only other one that I know of — and now apparently the only survivor — is the one in Marietta, GA.  It was still painted the company colors (white with red trim) when I took this photo of the vacant Marietta Dodge Jeep showroom in 2009:


This showroom was built in the late 1960s.   It sat vacant for years and I figured it would eventually be demolished.  Dealerships are pretty ruthless about constantly upgrading their buildings and signs.  However, thanks to Google Street View, I see that as of 2014, the building was housing Georgia Luxury Cars:



Back to work.  I’m only halfway thru the Showrooms section.  I’ll probably do a similar post soon when I tackle the “Eateries” section.


Random Roadside – More “Virtual” Finds

Hey there — I’ve been banging away at adding maps to my website and I’ve got some more virtual roadtrip discoveries to share with you.

This lighthouse-ish building had been part of the Galley Restaurant in Valdosta, GA.  Maybe “Galley” wasn’t the restaurant’s first name and maybe this is some Islamic or Mideast lookout tower reference that I’m unfamiliar.  Anyway, it looked like it had been empty for a while when I took this photo in 2010:



Well, Google Street View reveals that the building was transformed into the Mongo restaurant by 2012:



Things were looking pretty bleak for this riverboat-shaped building in Clarksdale, MS when I took this photo in 2007:


It was originally built as the Cream Boat ice cream shop.  I think that was in the 1970s.  The building later housed a recording studio and record store.  Restoration started in 2009 but then the project seemed to be abandoned.  Then, lo and behold:  all done in 2013.  This year, it reopened as the Dreamboat:  a ribs & tamale place.  It doesn’t look like there’s anything that I could eat there but you carnivores might want to support them if you’re ever nearby:

Here’s what the building looks like now — photo courtesy of Kelly Ludwig:

Jerry's Dreamboat


I’ve managed to get all the maps added for nearly all the statues of People, Animals & Things at my website.  I just have the Dinosaur section to go.  It’s been a relief to see how many things are still there.  But devastating to find out what’s gone.  Here’s one heartbreaker.  There were three of these fox statues posed on the roofs at Fox Chevrolet dealerships in the Baltimore area.  The name came from the original owner’s name, Lou Fox.  In 2013, the three dealerships became AutoNation Chevrolets with those hideously modern and mass-produced facades.   All three statues were destroyed during the remodeling of the showroom buildings.  Here was the one in Timonium:


And one from Baltimore to show you the scale of these guys:



Some happier news.  In Albuquerque, the spray foam, cowboy statue in front of Aesop’s Gables was repainted in 2014.  The upper torso statue is about 10 feet tall.  I was sure it would just disappear one day.  Here’s what it looked like when I shot him in 2012:


And here’s what he looks like now — from Google Street View:



The past couple of years have been rough for female statues.  In July of last year, the “Big Girl” at the Colonial Family Restaurant in Flint, MI was removed.  The statue was gracefully removed with a crane but no one knows where it went.  The owner of the restaurant said he wanted to “protect it from vandals.”  Which makes no sense since the 13 foot tall statue was installed WAY up in the air on top of the sign and there were never any reports of damage to it.  She had been there since 1978.  The skeptic in me makes me wonder if somebody offered a LOT of money for her:



And now, I’ve just learned, that Fran’s Hamburgers in Austin, TX closed in 2013.  Google Street View shows the building was still vacant in 2014 and the eight foot tall statue is gone.  She was built in 1997.   I can’t find anything on-line about where she went:


If you’d like to see more female statues, I’ve got a couple of pages of them at my site here:
And there are also the Miss Uniroyal statues here:


After I finish with the Dinosaurs, I’ll be moving on to the Mini Golf section.  Then, I’ll start on the Signs section.  That’ll probably keep me busy until next year.  Seriously.  I’m sure I’ll have lots of good & bad news during that part of this project.  When the weather warms up a bit in the desert, I’ll take a couple of weekend trips & post some photos from the road.  But for now, I’m hard at work updating descriptions a bit as I add the maps.


Random Roadside – “Virtual “Finds

I was all set to do a little San Francisco & Bay Area trip for this four-day Thanksgiving weekend.  But then I checked the weather forecast — not good.  Rain and clouds seemed pretty definite.  So, rather than wasting time and money sitting around being miserable instead of shooting, I’m staying home instead.  And I’ll keep on keeping on with the ridiculously humongous website task that I’ve been working on.

I’ve started adding Google Street View map links to the descriptions for each “thing” at my 2400+ pages.  It might take a few years, seriously.  But once this mega project is done, you and I will be able to instantly check to see if something’s been remodeled, repainted, or removed.  It’ll also be handy for you to find out where things are located.  I’ve only gone through a few small sections so far but it’s been gratifying to find out what’s still there — and exciting/depressing to find out changes that have taken place.  Here are some examples of these discoveries.


The Bondurant’s Pharmacy building in Lexington, KY was constructed in 1975 .  It’s one of those rare mimetic buildings — built in the shape of a mortar & pestle.  The store closed in 2011 and roadside folks like us worried about what would happen.  Then, in 2012, Imperial Liquor moved in.  It’s a wonder that the building survived (maybe it’s landmarked in some way?) but I gotta say the new paint job is kinda shocking.  Here’s a photo I took in 2001:


And what it looks like now — photo courtesy of JLK productions:



This 20 foot tall milk bottle was installed on the roof of the Reed Bros. Dairy building in Memphis in the 1940s.  After years and year of neglect, and the impending 2012 demolition of the building, it seemed this wonderful thing would be a goner.  Here’s my photo from 2007:


But miracles do happen.  Instead of being scrapped, it was donated to the Children’s Museum of Memphis.  It was restored and has been installed there.  I can’t find any photos of it in its new home — but here’s the refurbished bottle ready for the install.  Photo courtesy of the Commercial Appeal.



I have three bits of news concerning Frostop Root Beer stands.  Around 2011, the stand in Greenville, MS relocated.  I tracked down the new address and not seeing the giant mug pole sign at Google, I feared the worst (that it was at a landfill someplace).  Here’s my photo from 2007:


But then I came across this photo from tinkerbrad.  What a relief!  It’s been installed in the parking lot at the new location:



A bit of bad Frostop news.  The stand in the Algiers neighborhood in New Orleans, which had been boarded up for many years, was demolished in 2013.  A big empty lot there now at Google Street View.  Here’s my photo from 2010:



The Frostop mug in Valparaiso, IN was a local icon.  After the stand closed, a bank was built on the site in 2005.  Instead of trashing the sign, the bank refurbished it, neon and all, and kept the mug spinning.  They even named the location the “Frostop branch.”   Here’s my photo from 2006:


Well, I don’t know what happened, and I guess the city had no say or interest in it since I can’t find any news articles about the sign.  No “about to be relocated” or “where did it go” stories.  But after a quick call to the bank, I tracked down the sign’s new whereabouts.   Last year, it was sold to the Westpoint Lounge in Westville, IN where its been repainted to resembled a mug of beer.  Such a shame.  Photo from Google Street View:



One more Frostop mug story — this one from Tucson, AZ.  This mug is much smaller than the others described above but the building that’s next to it is clearly the unique Frostop design.  I’m guessing this mug was a replacement.  In any case, when I first saw the mug in 2008, it was dressed up appropriately for the Mexican restaurant that it accompanied:


Then, by my 2012 visit, it had been repainted for Three and a Half Brothers:


By the following year, here it is back as a beer mug — courtesy Google Street View:




The Greyhound station in Tuscaloosa, AL has been on my to-shoot list for many years.   Now, it’s too late.  Here’s a photo from 2007 by M.M.:


And from Google — here’s what the 2013 remodel looks like.  Granted, they did keep the building’s shape and repurposed the sign:



While we’re talking bus stations, the Ann Arbor, MI Greyhound station is undergoing some big changes.  There are lots of on-line articles about it.  But the short story is, they’re demolishing the building but keeping the 1940 facade and sign.  Here are my photos from 2011:



And here’s what was left this summer (don’t worry, the sign’s in storage) — photo courtesy of Ross:


And here’s what the six-story hotel behind it will look like.  Sigh.  OK, yes, at least the facade was saved even if it’s dwarfed and out of place now.  It makes me worry that, if this became a trend, more financially-non-viable small buildings might be “saved” and/or replaced with Disney-fied, false fronts under the guise of being “historically sensitive.”  Anyhow — I’ll spare you a long digression.  Illustration courtesy of MLive:



I was very sad to find out that Cherokee Music in Cumming, GA closed in 2011.  The store had a wonderful collection of giant fiberglass statues.  I don’t know where they went but at least a couple of the Pink Panther statues found a good home at Flack’s Flooring in town.  There were three other baby Pink Panthers, too — whereabouts unknown.   Here are the two big ones at their new home, photo courtesy Marie, Let’s Eat!:



The giant peanut in Pearsall, TX was looking pretty shabby when I last saw it in 2008:


I figured it would just disappear one day.  The giant goober was built in 1973 and I imagined that the locals would be happy to see the eyesore removed.   But, incredibly, thanks to the Texas Peanut Producers Board and the H.E.B. supermarket chain had the thing restored in 2011.  My goodness, they’re even lighting it at night!  Photo courtesy of SMF:



Here’s a wonderful newbie fiberglass sculpture in Mackinaw City, MI.  This place, Wienerlicious, just opened this year.  The hot dog is 60 feet long and is installed on top of a former gas station.  A friend of mine, Mark Comstock, sent me this photo:



This blog post has rambled on uncontrollably — better stop now.  Can you tell that I’m excited to be updating descriptions and making these discoveries?  Adding these maps is not as much fun as a mega-roadtrip, but I’m enjoying it as tedious as it is.

Some other quick stuff.  

For those of you that are really into details, I’ve created a sitemap for my website which is supposed to make the search engines happy (improves rankings and makes things come up higher in the results when you do Google searches).  It was not fun to make and it’s scary and ugly as hell, but some of you might like it as a navigation tool, etc.

Some of you may already know that I write the articles about signs for the SCA (Society for Commercial Archeology) Journals and newsletters (“Road Notes”).  I just turned in an article about mechanical signs (signs with moving parts).  I really only write about signs (for the articles and my website) that still exist rather than signs that are gone.  But in poking around for historic examples, I came across this wondrous sign that was installed in the 1950s in Times Square.  Not a damn thing has been written about it.  Even Tod at the American Sign Museum knows anything about it and couldn’t pull anything from his archives.  Not even my bud Thomas E. Rinaldi, author of New York Neon, has any info.

Nevertheless, I present to you:  the Johnnie Walker sign.  Perhaps the most mesmerizing mechanical sign ever built.  Okay, maybe a tie with Vegas Vic and his two clones. All I know is the “Striding Man” apparently had two iterations:  huge and huger.  The huger was by my estimate about 50 feet tall.  And his gigantic legs and arm moved.   The sign was moved a couple blocks at some point.  And according to one report, there was a similar sign in the 1950s in Miami.  If anyone knows anything else, please contact me.  I’m currently in love with this sign.  Big time.

Check out Johnnie walking in this video at the 6:24 (six minute, twenty four second) mark.  [you can use the scrollbar at the bottom of the video window to get to that point — or you can just sit back & enjoy the whole video]

Here’s Johnnie on the left (click on any photos at my blog for larger versions):



And here’s a still from the video:




I’m hoping there will be better weather at Xmas (my b’day) so I can get up to the Bay Area for some shooting.

Until then — happy holidays!

dj & the roadtrip-ready dogs

more random roadside good news

Are you ready for another installment of good news?  I thought of a few more things on the drive to work today so I threw this one together during lunch.


Here’s another thing that seemed doomed until very recently:  the World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock.  It was built from 1962-1974 for the Alpine-Alpa Cheese House in Wilmot, OH.  The clock is about 24 feet wide.   Here’s a vintage postcard of it:


And a close-up of the dancing figures on the left of the clock which I shot in 2005 when the place was known as Grandma’s Alpine Homestead & Swiss Village:


Grandma’s closed in 2008 and the clock quickly began to deteriorate.  It was finally sold and us fans-of-big-things assumed that we’d never see it again.  But, lo and behold, it was restored for about $20,000 and is now on prominent and permanent display in downtown Sugarcreek, OH (aka the Little Switzerland of Ohio).  Here’s a video of the mega-clock in all its glory — the animated figures are spell-binding:

If you want the longer story & photos of the move, there’s this link:



Not exactly news — but news to me.  I love igloos and fake ice themed buildings.  Therefore, I was captivated by this vintage (1950s/60s?) postcard of Adam’s Igloo & Wildlife Museum:


So, off to Google Street View I went.  Miraculously enough, after a long virtual drive on the Yellowhead Highway in British Columbia, I found it!  And there’s still a sign (though updated) for Adam’s Igloo & Wildlife Museum there.  Although online descriptions make the place sound like more of a taxidermy business.  In any case, here’s the Igloo present-day:


So, if you ever find yourself near Smithers, BC — you can find this place here.



By the way, speaking of Google Street View maps, some of you may have noticed little “[map]” hyperlinks beginning to appear at the ends of descriptions at my website.  It’s a painful task that might take me years.  And right when I might be finished, Google will probably change its name or its url format and all those links will be dead (ugh!).   But what the hell, gradually, I hope to add these links throughout my website.  I like it better than just adding a physical address since it’s the next best thing to being there.  I can see immediately if something has changed or been demolished.  You can move around to see different angles of something and then switch from Street View to Map View to get the true address.  For now, it’s just a random project, but if you want to check it out, here’s one page that’s done (since we’re on the subject of igloos):



A bit of happy sign news.  The Wigwam in Waldorf, MD was built in the late 1940s as a restaurant and gambling joint.  There was a full-scale fake teepee on one corner of the building which functioned as a BBQ pit inside the restaurant.  Much later, the building housed Walls Bakery.   When the bakery moved in 2005, the building sat empty until 2010 when it was destroyed.   (More about the place here if you’re interested.)

Fortunately, the Wigwam’s neon Indian sign from the 1950s was saved and has been repurposed.  Here’s my dreary weather photo of the sign from 2010 just before the dozers arrived:


And here’s the sign now — moved earlier this year about three miles south to White Plains, MD and now used to indicate the entrance to the hiking trail.  OK — it looks like the neon is still broken — but this will do for now:
[photo from this blog:  ]


Here’s an article about the sign’s salvation:



OK — that’s enough for now.  If you haven’t had enough of me and these sorts of subjects, I’ll be back to my normal format Saturday night.  Come on along as the kids & I go down to L.A. to play for the weekend.

random good news

I know I’ve been saying that I’m going to start using this blog for more than just roadtrips.  I’m just not in the habit yet. Well, here’s one post to get the ball rolling.

I’ve been making a lot of updates to my website lately since I’ve temporarily caught up on adding photos.  I’ve been keeping a list of notes for years now and am just now finally getting to it.  In the process, I’ve discovered lots of changes around the country — both positive and negative.  Many things are gone now — but some things have miraculously taken a turn for the better.  Here are a few.

Cap’n Cain Golf, a mini golf in Myrtle Beach, SC, was closed for many years.  I’d heard that the course and statue would be demolished in 2007.  However, apparently not!  It reopened last year and the Cap’n has been given a new paint job & some TLC.  I am SO happy about that.  With all the continuous new development there, I’d assumed it had been leveled for another Spring Break bar.  Here’s the Cap’n in 2004 (sorry about my really crappy photo).  He appears to be concrete — but there could be fiberglass under there.  I have always been suspicious that he started out as an International Fiberglass Pioneer statue:


and thanks to Google Street View (the only current photo that I could find of him) — here’s what he looks like now — woo hoo!




Here’s another happy mini golf story from Ortley Beach, NJ.  Barnacle Bill’s Golf was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy in 2012 — but it’s been completely rebuilt.  The Muffler Man and the whale and apparently a few other statues survived.  A great little video about the rebuilding is here:


And speaking of videos and Muffler Men — here’s my chance to plug my pal Joel Baker’s “American Giants” video series and blog.  He’s been documenting Muffler Men and speaking with their owners every chance he gets for the past couple of years.  Here’s his latest video episode — links to the earlier ones over on the right of the page:

and his blog is here:

[SIDENOTE:  It looks like I will finally get to meet Joel this weekend since he’s got a stopover at LAX.   I’ll be shooting down in L.A. and Orange County this weekend.  You can tag along here and at Flickr for a sampling of the photos.]



One more mini golf happy ending story — the Cool Crest course in San Antonio, TX which opened in 1929.  It closed in 2007 and was looking miserable for years.  It seemed absolutely doomed.  Here’s my photo of the sign from 2011:



Miraculously, a family adopted it and has cleaned up the place.  It reopened last summer.  Here’s what the sign looks like now:

and a video about the reopening:

Cool Crest’s website:



OK — one more cool statue story:  the Carpet Viking statue in Chincoteague, VA.  He looked like hell when I shot him in 2005 (sorry, another lousy photo shot in bad weather):


And then along came Hurricane Sandy last year, knocking him on his ass.  He was on the ground in a heap for awhile and we all assumed he’d be carted off to the landfill.  A real shame because there are only a few of these statues left.  But no!  He was miraculously restored.  Here’s an article about that with a video of him being carefully reinstalled:



How about a happy sign story?  I’m always prowling the internet for sign stories for my SCA (Society for Commercial Archeology) Signs Snippets columns.  I’ll probably feature this sign in the next issue.

The Vic Suhling Gas for Less sign in Litchfield, IL has been standing on a vacant lot, abandoned and missing its neon & bulbs for decades.  Here’s my photo from 2010:




And here’s the story of its restoration and relighting this past weekend:


OK — that’s enough yakking for now.  Less yakking and more photos Saturday night.

Til then — wishing you much to celebrate roadside & otherwise,

dj & the dogs


a quick commercial break

Hi there — I’m safely back home — actually at work.  I’ll get a sampling Sunday’s photos to you soon (tonight?)

In the meantime, I thought some of you might be interested in a little neon restoration project that some friends are working on over at MONA (Museum of Neon Art, to reopen eventually in Glendale, CA).  Throw them a couple bucks if you’ve got any.  Or spread the word to your deep-pocketed friends.

The former Grauman’s Chinese Theatre neon dragon sign in Hollywood:



Here’s the link to a video about the sign and a little revenue-raising campaign:


Four Dogs and a Photobooth

One of the things that has been on my “to do” list for years is to get photos of moi and the dogs at a photobooth place.  So, when I found this neat website and saw that there was a great old camera store less than a mile from me, I couldn’t drive there fast enough.

So, in the new spontaneous spirit of this blog, I’ll show you the results.  Best $12 I’ve spent in awhile.  Difficult though trying to get everybody posed and impossible to get them to look at the camera.  No way to get all four dogs in the same shot.  Some of the shots of me are ghastly unflattering — but what the hell.  As always, clicking on the photo makes it bigger.  And double clicking makes it even more amusing (and unflattering):


To find a photobooth near you — here’s the site — go to the “Browse” box:

The pack and I will be heading off next weekend for some L.A. & Orange County shooting.  I’ll be posting some photos here on Saturday night.

Til then, here’s to spontaneity and checking things off your “always wanted to” list.  The weekend is young!

P.S.  I’ve added a new little “slideshow” feature to my website’s Home Page.  Hope you like it:




I should have also taken the opportunity to promote Dexter’s Cameras where I had the photobooth photos taken today.  I didn’t have my camera with me — but there are some photos at Flickr.  The place is AWESOME — you camera lovers would love it inside:

If you want more dogs & photobooth photos, there’s a book for that:

Or if people are more your thing, there’s a photobooth book for that:

Blog Makeover

The kids and I will be taking a little roadtrip this weekend (San Bernardino area) and I’ll be posting some photos here and at Ipernity — but that’s not why I’m writing you all here today.  I’ve been pondering just what to do with this blog since I won’t be taking any of those megatrips in the near future.  Unless somebody who really values what I do and throws a million dollars my way.  I’m always trolling the internet and finding interesting websites and news that I think would be good to share.  I could just plunk links in a Facebook account or twitter feed – but I think this ol’ blog is a better way to communicate.  So, I hope you enjoy the new additions.  It’s going to be a very random thing — with not that much effort spent on research or writing.

Let’s start with a building which I “discovered” online in the past few days.   I’ve been digging around for info about the nifty Streamline Moderne building on Sepulveda in Culver City, CA where Allied Model Trains is located today.  Even after speaking with the owner of the building, I didn’t get very far.  All I can say is late 1940s.  I posted this photo of it recently at this blog or at Ipernity:



Although Allied Model Trains was established in 1946, it has only been in this streamline-y building since 2007.   The store was originally located on Pico Blvd.   Then in 1989, it moved to the building just south of where it is today.  Which brings us to the building that I wanted to share with you today.

It was built from 1988-1989.   The model train store’s owner, Allen Drucker, had it built as a mini version of Union Station in Los Angeles.  Here’s a link to a Flickr photo to show the resemblance:


[photo credit Allen Drucker]

Oh, and I should mention that since Allied Model Trains moved into the streamline building, Samy’s Cameras has moved into this building.

But what’s maybe more interesting than the train-station building itself is the back-story of what can happen when a person pursues an idea and makes it into a reality.  And how beautiful buildings can still be built.  Anyhow — here’s a link to the story:

I hope you enjoyed this first installment — back atcha this weekend.

dj & the dogs

Day 28: West and South of Phoenix

Lots of highway driving today (actually yesterday since I’m still a day behind).  Which felt good after the crazy city driving — traffic and lights, crazy parking on sidewalks, etc.   The heat continues.  In the mid-afternoon, I turned on the A/C and all was well.  But then — I noticed on the highway that at about 55 mph, the A/C all but stops working.  So I called up the Firestone in Albuquerque where it was worked about a week ago.  And I stopped at a Firestone in Yuma.  One said it was most likely a blower motor — the other said it was probably a vacuum canister.   Either way, a big project.  But since the temps have dropped from 105 to a mere 95 — and I’m back to driving in stop and go traffic (small towns and Tucson), the A/C is working well.  I’ll just take this A/C thing a day at a time and see if I can limp home & get it repaired there.  I just dread the thought of sitting and losing a day’s worth of shooting.  Folks took cross-country roadtrips without A/C — so I should just suck it up and keep driving.  But if I see my companions tongues out for an extended period of time, I’ll have to stop and deal.

Let’s get to the photos because I’m falling asleep as I’m typing and I haven’t even started working on today’s photos.  These two are from Wickenburg:




Up into the mountains to Prescott.  I got pulled over for speeding on the only 50 foot straightaway there in the middle of nowhere.  Complete speed trap.  But got off with only a warning.  No tickets yet!  I hate this mountain driving thing — takes for-ev-er and I worry about getting stranded.  But sometimes, it’s the only possible route.

This one is from Prescott.  I’m stumped as to the when/what of this one.  The shape and height are very 1920s.  But then there’s that modern plastic.  And I love that hole that functions as the period — very mid-century.  And the who-knows-when of the tacked on message board.  The whole thing could’ve been done in the 1960s I suppose — they must have had “retro” signs then.



Also Prescott.  This one appears to be new — or a complete replica of an older sign.  I’ve been seeing a lot of these A-1 beer signs — which is evidently an Arizona brand:



Still Prescott.  This shape looked familiar to me.   I went inside to inquire — and yes, the place was originally a laundromat — the sign was adapted.  Checking my photos and others at Flickr though — the shape is not quite right.  This sign has a much shorter bottom and no top — but maybe Launderama had other signs I haven’t seen or there was another company with a similar design:



One more from Prescott.  It appears to be an updated and cleaned up vintage sign:



From Aguila — the Coyote Flats Cafe.  Maybe not the original name:



Also Aguila — more saguaro pride:



From Wenden:



From Harcuvar .  Those squares read “motel” originally:



And on to Yuma:



A vacant department store downtown with some neat details.  I couldn’t find a name — or a pedestrian anywhere to ask what this place was:




A former Denny’s sign sleeve.  There must have been thousands of these things — now super rare:



From Gila Bend.  The lower part of the sign must have been tacked on later — and an interesting solution to wrap-around that balcony:



And on to Casa Grande for the night:


Alright — now I’m going to try to catch up with today’s photos — or maybe not.  1:30 am here.  How did that happen?