Category: Sights from the Road

Ghost Ad in Chenoa, Illinois: Selz Royal Blue Shoes

Ghost Ad in Chenoa, Illinois: Selz Royal Blue Shoes

Pontiac, Ill – Illinois State Police motorcycle patrol exhibit

While riding Historic Route 66 in Illinois, I tried to take a turn through the towns that seemed to pop up like an oasis after a stretch of nothin’ much. Often my ride would be like road, road, road, TOWN, road, road road…

These places that punctuate the route seemed to hold the most lovely treasures, if you’re the Americana-lovin’ sort. This Selz Royal Blue Shoes ad is in the town of Chenoa, Illinois.

Before the trip, I’d never heard of Selz Royal Blue Shoes. But like so many other things, once my eyes were opened to it and I began looking for information I had myself another rabbit hole to fall down. There are many lovely Selz ads across the midwest.

Lichtenstein’s Tokyo Brushstroke I & II

Lichtenstein’s Tokyo Brushstroke I & II

Monkey tadpole elevator ears. If you aren’t interested in art, the title of this post must look like word salad.

While on my way home from Montauk, I passed the Parrish Art Museum in Watermill, New York. I didn’t go inside for a look-see but I did stop to admire the Roy Lichtenstein pieces that are installed at the entry: Tokyo Brushstroke I & II. He happens to be one of my favorite artists so seeing his sculptural work was a treat.

Aren’t they wonderful?

Passing Through Lincoln, Illinois

Passing Through Lincoln, Illinois

During my ride through Illinois in the fall of 2015, I followed Route 66 north from Springfield and passed through the town of Lincoln, Illinois. Prior to leaving home, I did almost no research about the areas I might ride through. I was just sort of floating on the wind and letting the ride unfold on it’s own in between a few punctation marks. And so, as I passed through Lincoln I wasn’t really looking to see anything in particular.

My knowledge of Route 66 is pretty limited in the grand scheme of things. I think that worked in my favor. When you don’t know what to expect, everything is a surprise and quite often, exciting.

When I pulled in to Lincoln, it felt like the type of America you see on tv. That may sound funny to you if you’re from an area that looks like Lincoln. But to people who exist in the bland, homogenized suburbs of a major city like New York, places like these look special.

In the middle of town there’s a square with green grass and a grand courthouse. Also a firehouse with a telephone booth on the roof. Brick buildings line the streets that spider away from the square. The whole place felt like it was covered in lovely nostalgia dust.

Figuring I may never pass that way again, I took a turn around the town, riding up and down the side streets around the town square. Along Pulaski Street, I spied a lovely ghost ad.

“Smoke Greenback Tobacco – Purest and Best(?)”

The ad is for Greenback Smoking Tobacco, a brand I’d never heard of before. A quick Google turned up this article: ‘Ghost’ turns up in Lincoln alley from The Lincoln Courier discussing the mural. The article from 2009 mentions the hope of findinf out about its history but my Google searches haven’t turned up anything more posted since then.

Greenback Smoking Tobacco Ghost Ad
Side of 414 Pulaski Street
Lincoln, Illinois
Google Streetview

Before continuing on, I snapped a shot in front of the big penny mural. A perfect way to say goodbye to Lincoln.

Will Ride for Bacon, Apparently

Will Ride for Bacon, Apparently

Life is so mysterious. You can be going along, minding your own business and never see any type of vehicle styled like a pig and then WHAMMO! You’re at the pig-car nexus of the universe. I don’t know how or why, but it’s science. I think.

While I was on my way to Newport, Pennsylvania a few weekends ago, I saw another pig bus. At first I rode right by it with a chuckle and a head shake. But about 300 yards down the road I came to my senses and went back to snap a picture. I mean, pig buses don’t happen everyday. Or… do they once you fall into the porcine wormhole?

This was the first pig-bus I saw. It was on Route 60 in West Virginia in the fall of 2015. I basically tripped over it while looking for a pink giraffe with green spots. Yes, I realize how ridiculous that sounds but, well, you know.

I never asked to see a pig vehicle. Never once looked one up on the web. It’s like they found me. After seeing that pig bus on Route 60, I saw this pig Beetle the very next day in Metropolis, Illinois.

At the rate I’m going, tomorrow morning when I walk out to my car in the driveway there will probably be some hog-shaped car parked across the street revving it’s engine, taunting me. Vroooooom… Vroooooommmm… and then when I glance over to get a good look at who is behind the wheel?! They’ll put the pedal to the medal and squeal out. (Oh, yes. I said it.)

I believe my work here is done.


The Uncovered Mail Pouch Ad of Carnegie, Pa.

The Uncovered Mail Pouch Ad of Carnegie, Pa.

This afternoon while cleaning up some of the bookmarks on my computer, I re-read a story from 2008 that I’d saved from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Demolition uncovers Mail Pouch ad. When I looked at the image in the article, I immediately thought, “heyyyyyy, I know that mural.”

image from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The first time that I read the post I must’ve tucked the address in my GPS for safe keeping. That’s my assumption anyway because I visited the ad while on a ramble around Pennsylvania during the summer of 2015. It’s nice to know that someone cared enough about the ad to allow it to remain. I hope they have enough love in ’em to give it a once over every few years.

Isn’t it funny how you can become intimately familiar with something like these ads, barns or muffler men? You get to the point where you know where some of them are by sight or in the case of the muffler man, you might know their “name.” I guess this all goes back to that weird hierarchy of importance we assign to things. Why can’t I use this power for something useful like… making money? 😕

Carnegie, Pa. –  Mail Pouch Mural – Google Streetview

Other Posts about Mail Pouch Tobacco Barns

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