Tag: ghost sign

Giant Chicken Army – Liberty, New York Edition

Giant Chicken Army – Liberty, New York Edition

Throughout the fall, winter and the cold parts of spring, I spent a lot more time driving than I did riding. Putting the heat vents on your feet, wearing gloves and a hat make driving with the top down on the convertible really lovely. Even down into the 40 degree temps.

Though it was dreary and rainy and the top remained decidedly up, one of my spring day trips in the car was around the Catskills where I’ve ridden many motorcycle miles. Sometimes the heart just wants to wander and so off you go.

We cruised up along the Delaware River, along Route 97 passing through Hawks Nest. Hooking a right on 55, we made our way through the town of Liberty where… what is this now?!

Well, well, well! If it isn’t a card carrying member of the Giant Chicken Army! Serendipity strikes again.

giant chicken army - fiberglass rooster - liberty new york

Do my eyes deceive me or do you too see the paint worn away in what can only be explained as people have clearly been sitting on this fine gentleman?

I myself did not attempt anything of the sort. With my luck I would’ve gotten unceremoniously wedged in the saddle and some bewildered passer by would have had to call the fire department to pry me loose.

“9-1-1, what’s your emergency?”

[distant hysteria on the line]

“What’s this now, ma’am? Ma’am, please. Ok. Ok, ma’am. Please, I can’t understand you if you keep laughing. Slow down. Pink hair…? Giant… chicken? Seven feet tall, you say?! Stuck? We’re dispatching the jaws of life.”

The corner of Main and Darbee hosts some lovely retrolicious sights. We’re treated to a “drugs” ghost sign, color-blocking and neon, a restored Gold Medal Flour mural, vintage signage and metal cladding hugging olde tyme display windows and decidedly fab swoopy handled doors.

gold medal flour mural - liberty new york

Liberty exudes the smoldering ember vibe that I love. Towns like this always have vintage treasures hiding in plain sight if you just slow down and take a look. Fading Americana.

krugs stationery neon sign liberty new rok
town & country neon sign liberty new york
Reminiscing with the Mothman

Reminiscing with the Mothman

Winter has settled in with its icy temperatures here on Long Island. There hasn’t been any riding for me in many, many weeks now. For the most part, I haven’t missed it. I suppose the love for it is a state of mind more than anything else. I’ve been keeping myself occupied with other things instead.

While I haven’t done much exploring lately, I do have a million photos and 10’s of thousands of miles in exploration to fall back on. I figure maybe it’s time to blow the dust off of some of them.

Mothman Statue in Point Pleasant West Virginia

This afternoon, I found myself watching The Mothman Prophecies for the millionth time. It was never well received critically, but I love the movie. There is some conceptual thread that runs through it, that makes me unable to turn away when I come across it.

Maybe it’s the idea of a harbinger of news; that there is something that “knows” more that we do. But when it comes down to it, would I want to know the future? If it were only the good stuff? Maybe.

John Klein: “What do you look like?”
Indrid Cold: “It depends who’s looking.”

Seeing the Mothman would likely make me shit my pants.

Alexander Leek:
“The nocturnal butterfly. In ancient cultures, the moth represents a form of the psyche, or the soul immortally trapped in the hellish death realms”. Mothman. Well, that’s what the Ukrainians called him. Rough translation of course. There were a hundred sightings in Chernobyl when the nuclear pump went down. Galveston, nineteen sixty-nine, just before the hurricane. They saw it. But seeing isn’t always believing.

In the last decade I found myself in the town of Point Pleasant, West Virginia – the real life town on which the move was centered – a couple of times. In the 1960s, there were many sightings on the Mothman in the area preceding the collapse of the Silver Bridge.

Point Pleasant has embraced their most popular cryptid with not only a museum and statue, but also a festival celebrating all thing Mothman.

Mothman Statue Plaque - Point Pleasant West Virginia
Mothman Museum sign in Point Pleasant West Virginia
Hanging Mothman at the Mothman Museum Point Pleasant West Virginia
ghost sign and triumph bonneville in point pleasant west virginia
mothman statue in point pleasant west virginia
downtown point pleasant west virginia
Avalon Motor Inn from the movie Mothman Prophecies - 1 Avalon Cir, Eighty Four, PA 15330
Avalon Motor Inn – 1 Avalon Cir, Eighty Four, PA 15330
lai pouch tobacco ghost sign in point pleasant west virginia

Being able to explore on a motorcycle has been such a blessing in my life. Finding myself in small town, taking in unusual sights and sipping at a cup of Americana has been an incredible education about people and life.

Motorcycle Drive-by: Ghost Signs

Motorcycle Drive-by: Ghost Signs

When I am out exploring the world on my motorcycle, Ghost Signs are some of my favorite sights. Their nostalgic nod to a bygone era fills me with a sense of innocence and direct simplicity. They stir up feelings of missing a place and time that I never even knew.

Enjoy these blog posts about Ghost Signs


Hunting Ghosts: Uneeda Biscuit and Gold Medal Flour

On a July day in 2017, I spent the afternoon riding around Troy, New York looking for ghosts. What I discovered was that I needed a biscuit. And some… flour?

uneeda biscuit ghost sign and triumph bonneville in troy new york
Uneeda Biscuit …and a Bonnevlle in Troy, New York

2017 in Review: Photos of Great Ghost Signs Seen in My Travels

In 2017, I did a fair bit of bumming around on the bike. I found myself in places like West Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Each state is home to some terrific ghost signs.

mail pouch tobacco ghost sign point pleasant west virginia
Mail Pouch Tobacco ghost ad in Point Pleasant, West Virginia – Home of the Mothman!

Roadside Snaps: Mail Pouch Tobacco Barns and Signs

A handful of Mail Pouch Tobacco and Block Brothers snaps seen in 2015.

Mail Pouch Tobacco Ghost Sign from Carnegie Pennsylvania
Block Brothers ghost ad uncovered in Carnegie, Pennsylvania

Motorcycle Drive-by: In Case You Missed It Series

Sometimes blog posts get buried with time. This post is part of a throwback series to introduce or reintroduce you to things you might have missed.

Thanks for reading!

Photo: Coca-Cola Ghost Sign – Richmond, Virginia

Photo: Coca-Cola Ghost Sign – Richmond, Virginia

While traveling through the city of Richmond, Virginia I saw this beautiful multi-layered Coca-Cola ghost sign.

Coca-Cola ghost sign on E. Main Street in Richmond, Virginia

The city of Richmond, Virginia is one of America’s oldest cities. It is the home to an incredibly large variety of modern street art. There are dozens of beautiful murals peppered around the city, thanks to the Richmond Mural Project.

And as an old city that has been densely populated and rich in industrial history, it is also ripe with advertising ghost signs of yesteryear. You will find them graces the facades of, in some cases, centuries-old buildings.

You could spend ages exploring and documenting what the city of Richmond has to offer.

Alas, in the early autumn of 2018, I was just riding through town on my way south. I didn’t have very much time to spend looking around. But, I did manage to snap a few photos like this one – a lovely Coca-Cola ghost sign paired with a modern portrait mural. Good old serendipity struck again. Lucky me.

There is something particularly sweet about stumbling across things that you love versus seeking them out. It’s like uncovering a treasure.

Coca-Cola Advertisements

Coca-Cola began using the slogan “Delicious and Refreshing” as part of their first advertisement in 1886. You can see that slogan featured here on this ghost.

Also visible are the phrases “Relieves Fatigue”,”5¢”, “Sold Everywhere” and “Drink Coca-Cola.”

The slogans in Coca-Cola ads can sometimes help to zero in on the age of the piece. For example, the word “Drink” being placed above the logo came into use in the mid-1920’s. In addition the Spencerian script of the logo can also be a clue to assessing age.

Visit this Coca-Cola Ghost Sign

Coca-Cola Ghost Ad Location:
2100 E Main St, Richmond, VA 23223
(on the side of Whisk Bakery)
Google Maps

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?

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