25 April 2012

A sign of the times

Whew!  It's been a busy two weeks.  I've been trying to sit down and bang out a few words, but nothing seemed to stick.  So, just for the sake of brevity, I will hit the highlights over the past week or so.

I'm back to juggling cats again.  Since we last chatted, I've been fighting with the taxman (lost cause), conducted two supplier audits (local), working to wrap up several key (but late) projects before our year end (this week), attended a scotch tasting extravaganza, went camping at a local state park with the wife, two dogs and some amorous alligators, been looking at a new set of wheels, working on getting quotes for a new driveway, planing a day trip to the hill country for some bluebonnet shots, almost got another dog, was making plans to attend an old swap meet in North Texas that I haven't been to in 10+ years.  Hmmm.  And I thought that, when the kid left, things would slow down.  I could expound upon each of these ad nauseum, but I'll let y'all tell me which story you'd rather hear about.         

In the meanwhile, I'll regale you with a minor thought of mine that's been on the tip of my tongue.  If you drive a lot (and I know some of you do), you see lots of things on the road that draw your attention.  Wrecks, traffic jams, moving/rolling billboards, flying advertisements, political signs, roadrageous acts, thunderstorms, stupid drivers, etc.  Things that tend to make the trip interesting.  Of course, some signs we take for granted.  You see them day after day, year after year, on your normal commute.  They become part of the background, a landmark you use to mentally mark your trip.  I tend to use these like orienteering markers in my travels so I don't have to refer to the map (or the Garmin).  Houston's has had it's fair share of cultural icons/landmarks.  The Astrodome (now rotting away), Astroworld (now gone), the Galleria, Transco Tower, Herman Park, the Beer Can House, Johnson Space Center, the Orange Show, all tend to lend to the character of the city.  It sadden me to read the other day that one of our cultural icons is gone.  For many years, there was a company sign posted on a small building overlooking the southwest freeway.  Billboard sized, at 25 feet long, it was one of those overly large, tacky neon jobs that advertised the company's business.  It stood out day and night as a beacon in the sky on a spot on the freeway that, in my mind, marked the point where the uptown area started.  We've grown used to seeing it as we passed by at 70+ MPH on our way into the city.  A few years ago, the sign was taken down as part of a company name change and renovation.  The company had said it was going to refurb it and put it back up, but, alas, that was not to be.  I just heard a few weeks ago that the sign, which has been sitting in a warehouse for a few years, was sold off for scrap and dismantled.  To some, it was an ugly, tacky sign that cluttered up the landscape.  To a few of us, it was part of the unique, sometimes weird background that the city interesting.
Tacky or Chic?


Rock Chef said...

Fabulous! I can see it sitting between a burger bar and a motel! :-)

ShadowRun300 said...

Definitely chic! I can't believe they scrapped it! The American Pickers guys woulda paid hundreds of dollars for it I'm sure, and it woulda gone to someone who appreciates it.
Over the past few years, our town has taken down some of the original run-down houses and businesses and it's always sad to see a part of the town's history come crashing down. I often wish we had the money to buy and restore them... but alas... we're lucky enough to be able to afford our own house.
At least you have a picture of your beloved landmark! :)

meleah rebeccah said...

Well hot damn, you've certainly been busy!

And I like that sign. Sorry it's been torn down.

Abby said...

I like it, it has personality! Sad that it was scrapped :(

Another dog??

agg79 said...

RC - yea, I'd pay to see that sign up in a local ice house

SR300 - I was thinking just the same thing. Coulda made some sweet money on that sign. I've been an American Pickers fan for some time now. Must be that old codger in me.

Mel - why, yes I have. I'm all bummed that the sign did not get saved. Big fan of neon, no matter how tacky.

Abby - nice catch, but, NO, we did NOT get another dog, but I was tagged to assist in the relocation of one from the animal shelter.

terri said...

That's an awesome sign! I'd be willing to bet there's not another one like it anywhere. Too bad it never made it back up.