Saturday, October 18, 2008

Portland, Oregon to Tulsa, Oklahoma - Day 5

Howdy, Folks! We've hitched up the Vintage Roadside wagon in Amarillo, Texas for the night after a fun day along the New Mexico stretch of Route 66.

We decided early this morning that we would deem today "Neon Sign Saturday" and thought you might enjoy seeing a few of the gems New Mexico has to offer.

Neon signs and road trips go hand in hand, but it's not easy (or inexpensive) to keep these important pieces of our roadside history in working condition. We thought we'd take this opportunity to share a batch of New Mexico signs that have all benefited from grants intended to ensure that these works of art will continue to shine.

Each of the signs featured in the batch below have been repaired and restored with the help of grant monies from one or more of the following preservation organizations: the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the New Mexico State Historic Preservation Division, the New Mexico Route 66 Association, and the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program.

We timed our visit to the Blue Swallow to arrive as the sign was being lit for the night. We thought the two photos showed what an impact a neon sign can make for a business.

Blue Swallow_Tucumcari, NM - Before

Blue Swallow_Tucumcari, NM - After

Westward Ho_Albuquerque, NM

Roto-Sphere_Moriarty, NM

Grants Cafe_Grants, NM

El Rancho Hotel_Gallup, NM

Nob Hill Motel_Albuquerque, NM

Premier Motel_Albuquerque, NM

El Rey Theatre_Albuquerque, NM

Aztec Motel_Albuquerque, NM

Here are a few more photos from the road that illustrate the creativity and artistry of neon sign design. The heyday of roadside signs was a time when every business owner could express their unique vision in neon. Neon signs were also a way for businesses to distinguish themselves from the place across the street offering the very same service. While we were always told not to judge a book by its cover, the sign maker was hoping we would do that very thing after seeing these neon works of art. We'll admit to visiting many businesses simply because they still have their original neon signs.

El Vado Motel_Albuquerque, NM

West Theatre_Grants, NM

Virgie's_Gallup, NM

Blue Spruce Lodge_Gallup, NM

A few miscellaneous photos from the road:

West of Tucumcari
In addition to signage, it's hard not to stop every mile or two as the sun sets on any road trip. We've found that the "golden hour" pretty much means we'll need an extra hour to get where we're going.

Our Vintage Roadside mascot and the amazing Roto-Sphere.

The "Cowboy" version of the Muffler Man Family. The 1960s era creation of International Fiberglass. International Fiberglass also created the 4 figures in the A & W Burger Family: Papa Burger, Mama Burger, Teen Burger, and Baby Burger.

We'll see you again tomorrow night as we end the day in Tulsa. Then it's on to the conference!


Debra Jane Seltzer (aka agilitynut) said...

I'm sure you'll sleep well in Tulsa. You guys have been haulin! I've been following daily though I haven't been saying much. Are you taking a different route home or are just putting the pedal on the floorboard & going all interstate?

DMcDonagh said...

Thanks so much for sharing your trip. I'm jealous that I'll be flying to Tulsa and NOT driving! Can't wait to meet you @ the conference.

Vintage Roadside said...

Hi Debra Jane - We've arrived here in Tulsa and are looking forward to a night's sleep! We're still working out the route home but want to get in as much 2 lane highway as possible. Thanks for following along - you're a great inspiration!

Vintage Roadside said...

dolores - You're very welcome! We're glad you've enjoyed the trip. We're also looking forward to seeing you soon.