Sunday, February 4, 2007

Weekend Kitsch & Stuff

Let's try to lighten things up a bit here...It's been a pleasant weekend with temps actually getting into the 50's! The first weekend in 7 weeks without snow. Ya gotta love it.

This weekend I agreed to drive my daughter into work and as a consequence I was up at 6 am both Saturday and Sunday. That's awful early for a weekend but it's also a great time for pursuing my quest for weirdness. Not many people on the road at that hour and sometimes weirdness is found in less than desirable neighborhoods so early in the morning can be a good thing.

This morning after dropping my daughter off at work I went to a local McDonald's to grab some breakfast, read the paper and plot a course for my weirdness hunt of the day. If you read some earlier posts you'll see that I'm a fan of "roadside Americana", the kitschy things that were used as roadside advertising gimmicks in the 1950's and 60's. I've extended this interest a bit to include classic neon advertising signs. I picked this particular McDonald's because I knew there was an old motel with a great sign right next door and I wanted to see if the sign would be lit up.

Well as you can see from the picture, the neon itself was not in operation but the sign was lit by a small spotlight. What a great sign...."Steam Heat"!

After sunrise, I decided to take one major street that at one time was a major business thoroughfare and follow it south to north through the entire metro area. I probably drove more than 30 miles but was able to "bag" one definite weirdness and several signs.

The weirdness is at the top of this post and is an advertising gimmick for an old RV park. This giant cowboy is listed on the Roadside America website so this is not a "discovery" by me.

Here's another classic sign from a bowling alley on the same street with the cowboy.

Next week once again takes me to Chicagoland and it's my intention to seek out a couple of more Muffler Men while I'm there....Wish me luck.

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