Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Ghosts of the south side

As I have mentioned before on this blog, there are several general categories of signs one may find on any given street. Of course, there is active neon. That can be divided further into "new", "old", "classic"..whatever. A generic red and blue OPEN sign is quite different from say, the Ho Toy or 40 Motel sign. Any neon is better than none though, right?! There is also dark neon, neon which is still physically intact but for whatever reasons is no longer lit up on a regular basis. And there is another category, ghost neon. Ghost neon may be hard to spot at first, and admittedly, it is often difficult to determine whether a sign is ghost neon. The south side abounds with dark and ghost neon, especially along S. High Street and Parsons Avenue. Last weekend I hit the road with my camera on a sunny but cold day and looked around for some of the ghosts and "bodies" of neon past. Seeing these makes one realize how much we have gotten away from neon as art, and "progressed" to boring plastic incadescent signs, and how the streets and storefronts of the 50s and 60s must have been much brighter than those today. All pics were taken on Saturday and Sunday, 1/24-1/25.

Old used car dealership on Parsons Avenue near Whittier. Status: ghost (neon tubing remains but holes in sign show how the installation was housed onto the sign itself)

Nail salon on Parsons Avenue near the car dealership. Status: ghost

A masterpiece of a sign. A small tire shop on S. High near state route 104. What this must have looked like lit up decades ago! Amazing! Isn't a plastic backlit sign that just says "tire shop" SO much more interesting??? NOT! Very sad, but looks like it could be restorable? Status: dark (but definitely dying).

Dan's Diner, on S. High Street. The diner and sign have been here for years, but is no longer a neon sign, sadly. Status: ghost

German Village Beer and Wine. Again, the business is still open, but the sign hasn't glowed with neon in a while.
Status: ghost

Caskey, a supply company, located on S. Front Street south of Greenlawn Avenue. It's former life as a neon sign is obvious with the numerous holes. Status: ghost

R&R Bait, on S. Front Street near Columbus Street. With a "live bait" vending machine in front of the building, this may be the only large city not near the ocean where one can buy worms through a machine in the middle of the city. Awesome old sign. Too bad it's "gone". Status: ghost

Old elongated sign on Parsons Avenue. Status: ghost

Along Parsons Avenue, a cool old tavern sign. Status: ghost

Many signs are indeterminable if they are neon, were neon, ghost. If anyone can help me out, please contact me. The following signs I just can't tell from looking at them:

1 comment:

Rosie said...

The Dave's furniture sign has always been a light up sign with light bulbs. At least for the last 20 years...