Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Oranjestad, Aruba

Today, Oranjestad is a cruise port. The street sign tells you that the shops here are an easy walk from the ship. For centuries, however, the harbor brought horse traders because the island was a breeding ground for caballos. The only ones left are Caribbean blue. Any questions? Just ask Rosalinda. [2017]

Monday, January 15, 2018

Washington, DC, USA

Got the day off? Thank Martin Luther King, Jr. And, while you're at it, remember how he challenged us to live up to our values. These folks, backed up by the Lincoln Memorial (both literally and figuratively), just finished a day of celebrating MLK's life on the 50th anniversary of his march on Washington. [2013]

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Chester, Virginia, USA

Museums aren't the only places where you can find the Holiday Inn Great Sign. Here's one in a cemetery. It may only be a replica, but it's going to outlast the real ones. It's made of granite, the rock of ages. Do you think the man buried here may have owned or managed a Holiday Inn? [2007]

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

At least one Holiday Inn Great Sign survived. It's front and center at the American Sign Museum, along with a lot of other roadside relics of the 1950s and 60s. The first Holiday Inn opened in 1952, and the art deco sign made an appearance almost immediately. The Holiday Inn brand is now part of the third largest hotel chain in the world. [2017]

Friday, January 12, 2018

Hampton, Virginia, USA

In 1982, the Holiday Inn 'Great Signs' began coming down. By 1987, the wave hit Hampton. The new signs were shaped like a credit card and hoisted high above the Interstates so 'motorists' could see them from afar. The font stayed the same, but that, too, would soon succumb to the vagaries of style. Where are all those Great Signs now? [1987]

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Clemson, South Carolina, USA

Let's hope the sign was acquired by a museum somewhere, because Campus Camera closed in 2008. You can say of the sign what you can say of the camera that used film: "They just don't make 'em that way anymore." Yet another element of 20th century culture migrates from Main Street to the museum. [2005]

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Twin Falls, Idaho, USA

Futurist Alvin Toffler points out the downside: "Overchoice takes place when the advantages of diversity and individualization are canceled by the complexity of the buyer's decision-making process." Psychologist Henry David Thoreau offers a remedy: "Our life is frittered away by detail. . . simplify, simplify." Yes, psychologist. [2003]