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Year of the Sign: 2011

January 18, 2011

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The Year of the Sign: 2011

Once upon time there were a couple of crazy kids fresh transplants from New York City. They found full time access to a car exotic and Mesa a far off undiscovered land. A road trip was planned, lunches packed, film camera and tripod check…. So off we went into the outback in search of the elusive neon sign. Woweee did we strike a mother load of vintage signs, a flower shop, the Hambone, amazing hotel neons, and an unexpected treat the Buckhorn Baths.

Buckhorn Baths, Mesa AZ sign designed by Glenn Guyett

Kon Tiki, Phoenix, AZ Sign designed by Glen Guyett
Recently amidst discussions of building, signs have seeped into the mix. The Valley used to be full of these. The herds have been thinned to almost the point of extinction. What used to line many streets; such as Van Buren are now only a pale comparison to what they where. Back when the Kon Tiki still stood. Bill Johnson’s Big Apple is a hold out from that era. Marshall Shore: Retro Spectacular had the honor of hosting Glen Guyett, and unsung hero in the creation of the valley’s fabric. Read the Phoenix New Times Review of the event.

During a recent road trip saw that Mr Luck’s is for sale, building and sign. A little further north was the Crystal Motel.

Which is now barren land. The My Florist sign could be in jeopardy.

Many road trips I have been on seem to involve signs on the trip, while in Albuquerque noticed that many signs still stand even though the building is gone. In Las Vegas the Bone Yard or the Neon Museum is a must stop and see. The Vegas signs where leased from the sign company, not built outright like most other places. They have an amazing collection of signs. Some are being refurbished and displayed around town.

After the Marshall Shore: Retro Spectacular with Glen, there was a flurry about signage across the state. So expect over the next year sign to be a hot topic and keep reemerging. In fact, next week will feature the Mesa, AZ diving lady and the efforts to save her. What were some of your favorite signs standing or not?

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