Category: Sights from the Road

Better Hurry – These Newburgh Ghost Signs Won’t Last Forever!

Better Hurry – These Newburgh Ghost Signs Won’t Last Forever!

Hunting for Newburg Ghost Ads

The town of Newburgh, New York isn’t exactly what you’d call a motorcycle destination. At least not for pleasure riding, anyway. It’s a once-grand city that languished for decades in decline and now has an ember of resurrection starting to glow.

Cities like Newburgh, whose heyday has long since passed, are great places to hunt for ghost signs. That’s why I found myself riding through its streets.

One of the upsides of using a motorcycle for these trips is that motorcycle is easy to park, quick to get in and out of and around traffic and can present itself as non-threatening. Especially in the case of the Bonneville. That bike is downright polite.

Large Scale Uneeda Biscuit Sign

Over the past couple of years, I’ve seen quite a few Uneeda Biscuit ghost signs, in several different states. Whenever I do, I’ll think to myself, “yeah, I kinda do need a biscuit.” It’s kind of like an inside joke I tell myself. Perhaps the inside-est of all jokes.

Fuzzygalore Uneeda Biscuit Ghost Ad Newburgh, NY

The King of Wheat Foods
Uneeda Biscuit
5¢ Sold only in Packages 5¢
National Biscuit Company

Maxwell House Coffee – Gold Medal Flour

This two-fer is a bit hard to make out – one layer is a Gold Medal Flour ad, and the other a Maxwell House coffee ad. Gold Medal Flour is another popular sight, but I’ve only ever seen one other Maxwell House coffee ad.

“Good to the last drop…” Did you sing the jingle? I did. I’m showing my age.

Fuzzygalore Maxwell House Coffee Ghost Ad Newburgh, NY

Another Uneeda Biscuit Ghost Sign

The National Soda Cracker

Fuzzygalore Uneeda Biscuit Ghost Ad Newburgh, NY

Gold Medal Flour – Jap-A-Lac

Jap-A-Lac is new to me. Apparently, it was varnish, stain, and enamel made by the Glidden Varnish Company. You learn something new every day.

Though I couldn’t get a very good view of this ghost, we can see it is Jap-A-Lac and Gold Medal Flour.

Gold Medal Flour Ghost Sign

Jap-A-Lac – Gold Medal Flour

Another Jap-A-Lac and Gold Medal Flour two-fer. I was able to make out most of the writing, but the top and third lines in yellow on the upper right escape me.

Jap-A-Lac Gold Medal Flour Ghost Sign

Jap-A-Lac
In the Green Can
10 Enamel Colors


Newburgh Ghost Signs are Plentiful

This handful of signs were all on Liberty Street, save for the Maxwell House. There are probably more just waiting to be seen. I hope to get back to look around some more!

Google Maps Streetview


Do you have any tips?

Do you know of a town or city with a lot of ghost signs? I’d love to hear about it. Please comment below!

HOW TO: Meet Tall, Handsome Men While Riding Your Motorcycle

HOW TO: Meet Tall, Handsome Men While Riding Your Motorcycle

Don’t forget to bring a friend for some extra excitement!

My How To guide for meeting tall, handsome men while riding your motorcycle.

Step One: Have a Motorcycle

OMG, seriously? You already have a motorcycle? Well then, you’re already part of the way there! Go you.

fuzzygalore yamaha FZ07

Step Two: Navigate to RoadsideAmerica.com

Tall, Handsome Men Galore Dating Service

Or, if you’re the extra fancy type, they have an iOS app for your phone. I find it particularly helpful while on the go. But, by all means – don’t listen to me. It’s not like I know a dang thing about finding weird stuff out there on the highways and byways.

While on the site or app, search for, drumroll, please… Muffler Men! Find one that’s close enough for you to ride to.

In the last couple of years, several of them have been on the move, from one state to another. It’s best to consult the oracle so you don’t get stood up on your date.

Now, don’t forget to write down directions, pin on a map, or stick a waypoint in your GPS for your newly found friend.

The Farnham Colossi – Unger, West Virginia

Step Three: Ride your Motorcycle to the Muffler Man

This very well could be the best part of your whole experience. They say it’s the journey, not the destination. I say, why can’t it be both?!

Hot dog wielding Muffler Man in Atlanta Illinois. Great journey, great destination.

Step Four: Bask in the greatness of the Muffler Man

Some people might think, if you’ve seen one muffler man, you’ve seen ’em all. Some people are also idiots.

Though they were cast from the same mold, over time Muffler Men they’ve been repainted and repaired, customized and modified in ways that set them apart from their original look. I’ve seen some big guys with eyelashes, chest hair, unique clothing, or holding different objects. Like people, they’re the same but different.

Each time I visit a muffler man, it makes me happy. I have seen quite a few in many different states. Every visit is unique, be it from the journey I had to take to bask in the glory of the muffler man, or just the big guy himself. It’s always worth the trip.

Fuzzygalore gemini giant muffler man wilmington illinois
My Holy Grail: The Gemini Giant – Route 66 – Wilmington, Illinois

Step Five: Share pictures of your date with the tall, handsome man

If you brought a friend, have them take your picture in classic muffler man stance with your new fiberglass buddy. Flying solo? Who doesn’t love seeing your motorcycle parked next to cool stuff?

Pictures or it didn’t happen, people.

Hey, buddy! – Wilson, North Carolina

Step Six: Be awesome and tell me about it!

Have you visited a muffler man? Did you have a fun time getting there? Tell me about it. Have a blog link, an Instagram link, or something else to share about a muffler man? Leave a comment below!

Miles and smiles, my friends.

Mother Goose in Hazard, Kentucky

Mother Goose in Hazard, Kentucky

Sometimes people ask me how I find funky stuff while out on the road. One of my favorite ways is by chance. While satisfying an itch by navigating to something has its own reward, seeing something unexpectedly adds to it the delicious element of surprise.

In October of 2018, I rode through Hazard, Kentucky after stopping in Dwarf. Hazard was one of those town names I’d often seen on a map and thought, I should pass through there. No doubt this inclination was fueled by my childhood crush on John Schneider as Bo Duke on the Dukes of Hazzard. (Don’t judge me!)

After having a look-see around the town, I continued east towards I have no idea where. Suddenly I found myself looking at a giant Goose building on the side of the road. Yeeeehaw!

Keep exploring, my friends.

Mother Goose House
2906 N Main St
Hazard, KY 41701

Ghost Sign: Pepsi-Cola – Richmond, Virginia

Ghost Sign: Pepsi-Cola – Richmond, Virginia

In the fall of October 2018, I rode through the city of Richmond, Virginia on a Sunday morning. City riding isn’t so great, generally. But being on a motorcycle gives you the opportunity to pull over, squeeze into tight spots for a few minutes and to park and snap pictures in a way that you couldn’t possibly do in a car. Being on a low, slim bike like the Bonneville makes that even easier.

I was in town spotting ghosts. An old city like Richmond, has plenty.

This Pepsi-Cola ad is just hanging on for dear life. Topped off with “Watkins Barber Shop” the bottle cap is but a whisper. A quick search around the web and you can find images of this wall that were much more vibrant. Hang in there, lovely. We still see you.

richmond fuzzygalore pepsi ghost sign

Without any knowledge of the company’s history, I have no idea if they ever engaged in widespread campaigns like Coca-Cola. In my travels, I haven’t had the opportunity to see many Pepsi ghost signs. Off the top of my head, I can only think of one other. It was in Galena, Kansas:

fuzzygalore galena ansas pepsi ghost sign

Now that my antenna is up, maybe I’ll start seeing them.

[edit] How could I possibly forget the gorgeous Pepsi ad on the old post office in Burke’s Garden?

Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park – Wilson, NC

Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park – Wilson, NC

After visiting the White’s Tire Muffler Man on Hines Street in Wilson, North Carolina, I navigated my over to visit Vollis Simpson’s Whirligig Park.

As I turned the corner the park came into view. It was a riotous explosion of color and motion set against the backdrop of old buildings and a gorgeous blue sky. I kid you not, I said “oh my god,” out loud as everything came in to view. It was like being a kid and catching a glimpse of a carnival that came to town.

I must preface these photos by saying that they in no way deliver anything close to the experience of seeing these whirligigs in person. Really, I found them hard to photograph at all. There was too much going on that I had no idea how to do them justice.

Being there was a full sensory experience of sight, sound, and motion. The scale of these works creates a presence that is captivating. As you move around them your eyes pass over each piece picking out the details of castaway items turned in to something greater than themselves. All the while your ears pick up a symphony of whirring, clangs, clicks, and squeaks.

If you are anywhere near Wilson, North Carolina, do yourself a favor and visit. You’ll be glad you did.

Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park
301 Goldsboro St S,
Wilson, NC 27893
GMaps

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