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From ancient petroglyphs to modern jumbotrons, man has felt compelled to leave a sign of his passing upon the landscape. While I usually focus heavily on neon, I also love ghost signs, graffiti and just about any other artistic mark that humans leave upon their environment, especially where it concerns commerce.
Here are a few more from our trip through Arizona and New Mexico. photo a sign blog1.jpg
Try as I might, I just can’t get away from those damn banjos!! photo a blog sign3.jpg
It is actually “Barn” Again, (In a barn) next to the Burger Boy photo a blog sigtn2.jpg
Just great vintage neon photo a blog sign6.jpg
I don’t think this development ever really got off the ground- (alongside an abandoned stretch of old Route 66) photo a blog sign5.jpg
**** note the strange little box in the right hand corner*** photo a blog sign 8.jpg
Left over from an old windmill- wish I could have brought it home photo a blog sign10.jpg
Let’s get Fluffy right over!! photo a blog sign 4.jpg
This is some great graffiti on an abandoned water tank photo a blog sign 9.jpg
I think this about says it all


 photo a blog west header_1.jpgHowdy Friends! Long time no see, you might say! Yes, I have been on a bit of a hiatus for the past year,as my life has experienced many changes, but I am happy to say, all for the best. So I hope to get back in the groove and continue to post images that strike my fancy, or elicit an emotional response, or make a statement, or just plain look beautiful or interesting. As the title of this blog states, this is about that vanishing bit of Americana that I love so well, the neon landscape of this wacky and grand country of ours. So for my return to blogging, I present this bit of dreamscape from a recent trip to Arizona and New Mexico, a brief roadtrip down the “Mother road”, Route 66, and a bit of the vanishing commercial artistry of the local neon signage. photo a blog west12.jpg
We stayed here at the Monterey, clean, friendly, and a bit of time travel back to 1976! photo a blog west9.jpg photo a blog west8.jpg photo a blog west 11.jpg
The late, lamented Aztec Motel- now gone, with only this iconic neon remaining photo a blog west7.jpg
I’m getting a message from Sputnik here! photo a blog west6.jpg
The Dog House, in Albuquerque, New Mexico- great place for a hot dog & milk shake! Look for the sign of the happy, wagging tail!  photo a blog west5.jpg photo a blog west 4.jpg photo a blog west3.jpg photo a blog west2.jpg
The El Don- some of the best neon we saw, but the motel has been sadly neglected photo a blog westv10.jpg
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“AIR CONDITIONED by REFRIGERATION!” What could be better?


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On our recent visit in a southerly direction, through Winchester, Harrisonburg and Staunton, Virginia, we happened upon various reminders of these town’s genteel and charming pasts. While the usual strip malls, big box stores and detestable chain eateries were very much in evidence, churning out their oh, so regimented and reliably bland totems to mass consumerism, we also encountered the quaint and polite charm of a by-gone era, along with the reminders of the individual American spirit that is so often overlooked today. photo ablogold9.jpg
The Scales of Justice, Harrisonburg, VA. photo ablogold7.jpg
The DIXIE Theater, Staunton, VA. photo ablogold1.jpg
Home after a hard day’s work, Winchester, VA. photo ablogold5.jpg
George’s, Harrisonburg, VA. photo ablogold2.jpg
Cleaning up in Winchester, VA. photo ablogold3.jpg
The skies the limit in Staunton, VA. photo ablogold4.jpg
When a car dealership really meant something, in Harrisonburg, VA. photo ablogold6.jpg
Now this is a home worth coming home to!


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Out along the Lincoln Highway, about a half an hour’s drive from Ames, is the little crossroads community of Colo, Iowa. On our recent cross country odyssey, in route to Bozeman, Montana, we had the good fortune to stop in at the Colo Motel and Niland’s Cafe. A lovingly restored gas station, bus stop, motor court and Cafe, this oasis stands as a beacon among the corn fields and silos, within earshot of the cross country freights that sing their lonesome songs late into the night. The owners and workers here are friendly, outgoing and treat you with all the care and love that is normally reserved for long lost family. If you’re ever driving across Iowa, pull in, have a milkshake and give yourself a rest before hitting the highway again. You’ll be glad you did!
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This beautiful city has long been known for its fine dining and proximity to some of the finest vineyards in the world. The gorgeous hotels, bed & breakfasts and luxury accommodations make any Michelin reviewer sit up and take notice. On my recent visit, I set out every morning to walk this fair city, and discover for myself, from street level, the many joys that the City by the Bay had to offer in the way of potent comestibles and comfortable lodging. ….and away we go! From the Castro to the Haight, North Beach to the Tenderloin, a gentle walk on the wild side of SF.
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Back on the road, this time to beautiful San Francisco! Thousands of images to sort through, but while we wait, let’s match the Bay area greasy spoon to the breakfast standard of bacon & eggs, with a hot cup of Joe!
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The Java House, The Pinecrest Restaurant and It’s Tops! All Tops in my book!


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Once again, the intrepid traveler and neon explorer has loaded up the trusty Retromobile and set a southwesterly course through Kentucky and on to Tennessee before making my yearly pilgrimage to Princeton and Penningtonfest! As planned, it was a long drive, but one teeming with roadside treasures and surprises galore. My trusty and loyal crew and I were rewarded with new adventures and plenty of bizarre and interesting bits of vanishing small town Americana. …and, of course, plenty of neon, lost commercial ephemera from bygone eras and interesting architecture that the 21st Century has bid a not so fond farewell to in favor of a landscape of homogenized conformity.
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What would a trip to Memphis be without a stop to Graceland. Sorry, no published pictures allowed! Elvis, Elvis!
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Historic Elmwood Cemetery in Memphis- Beautiful!
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Some cool neon in Memphis
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I just LOVED this house- Was formerly a Doctor’s office, now up for sale, but too far from anything to make it practical
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Old small town movie theaters
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Several generations of wildly diverse roadside architecture in the South
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Who knew that rural Tennessee was home to such great Deco design?