Tag: Mail pouch

2016 Rearview: A Few of My Favorite Things So Far

2016 Rearview: A Few of My Favorite Things So Far

With month number six of 2016 drawing to a close, I’ve seen some pretty terrific roadside-y things in my travels so far. Wanna take a peek?

Mighty Joe – Shamong, NJ

Super-terrific hot dog guy at the super-tiny diner Winsted Diner – Winsted, CT

Flyin’ Pig – Miller Place, NY

Patriotic tire-Minions with braces – Somewhere in CT

Hippie Bunyan Muffler Man on Yasgur’s Farm – Bethel, NY

Purple Dragon – Duncannon, PA

Nifty Shed – Somewhere in CT

Giant Mr. Potato Head – Hasbro – Pawtucket, RI

Just Love Everybody Peace House – Somewhere in CT

A great sign! 🙂

Roy Lichtenstein’s Tokyo Brushstroke I & II – Watermill, NY

Picasso Garage – Somewhere in CT

Hotdog Johnny’s – Buttzville, NJ

Alexander Calder’s Stegorsaurus – Hartford, CT

Pig Bus – Somwewhere in PA

Rainbow – Hartford, CT

Welcome to Hackettstown Mural – Hackettstown, NJ

Monkey Mural – Bridgeport, CT

Hope for Peace barn – Somewhere in CT

Mail Pouch Tobacco House – Lock Haven, PA

Big Bronze Crows – Kent, CT

Here’s to continued whimsy-spotting throughout the year ::cheers::

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

Road Tripping: The Dreaded Sting of Flatness

Road Tripping: The Dreaded Sting of Flatness

It was just about dinner time and we’d been out riding all day. Kenny and I were just finishing up our last pitstop, taking a picture of a Mail Pouch barn at the edge of the town of Romney, West Virginia. As I pulled out onto the roadway after Kenny I noticed his rear tire looked soft. I buzzed in on the Sena and said the dreaded words – ‘looks like you’re going flat.’

mail pouch barn route 50 near romney west virginia

We pulled over on the side of the road near the mouth of someone’s driveway. Kenny put his Tiger up on the center stand and spun the rear wheel ’round. A nail. Damn.

Out came the Tire Plugger and the Slime compressor. Those 2 items are worth their weight in gold. They’re quick and easy and can get you back on your way in 10 minutes. When I think about all of the years I rode around without them, I realize just how lucky I was to not have needed them. Really lucky.

kenny finishes plugging his tire

I’m not shilling for anyone, just passing along what we keep on hand in our sidebags. They’ve served us well:

As an aside – if there is someone obviously doing repairs on the side of the road and there is no oncoming traffic, it’s okay to give them a little space and move your car towards the center line. :-p

Road Tripping: West Virginia Mail Pouch Barns

Road Tripping: West Virginia Mail Pouch Barns

While we were in West Virginia, you can bet your boots that I had jotted down a few Mail Pouch barns that were in the general vicinity. West Virginia is the home of Mail Pouch Tobacco after all. As a matter of fact there were several barns right on Route 50, which is the main artery into where we were staying in Romney.

Knowing my penchant for the ole barn paintings, Kathy even incorporated a stop at one into our ride:

mail pouch tobacco barn

I know that these paintings are often on “work” buildings.  And so, I can’t expect farmers to invest a lot in to the care of the murals but all the same, I feel sad when a sign is at the tail end of its life.

This little shed was along Route 50 about 10 miles east of the Koolwink Motel. I don’t recall ever seeing the phrase “Regular or Sweet” painted on any of the barns I’ve visited before. It’s usually “Treat Yourself to the Best.”
mail pouch barn route 50 west virginia

A nice 2 sided barn, also on Route 50 east of Romney:

mail pouch barn east of romney

This was one of those situations where I felt weird about walking on to someone’s property. It’s tempting but I generally keep my distance.

mail pouch barn route 50

Following Route 50 about 10 miles west of Romney there were 2 more barns. The first one, nearly falling down, was in a precarious spot that didn’t allow me any space to pull off to take a picture so I just kept going. The second one, a mile further on was a nice 3-sided number in a lovely farm setting:
3 sided mail pouch barn near romney

Seeing the barn tucked in amongst the farm gates, rustic fencing and a dirt road leading up into a rolling hill was the perfect end to a great day of riding.

Fading Americana: Ceresota Flour Barn – Lehigh County, PA

Fading Americana: Ceresota Flour Barn – Lehigh County, PA

Fifty years from now, what will my generation have left behind that tugs at the heartstrings of people who like to play the “Remember when…” game? What will our contribution to fading Americana be?

Painted Barns

If you’ve read this blog for any amount of time then you probably know that I am completely enamored by Mail Pouch Tobacco barns and advertising. But, I’m certainly not one to turn up my nose at any of the other lovely painted barns that decorate the landscape of rural America.

There is something perfect and sweet about the life that I imagine being attached to such places. In my mind they represent an ideal, a kind of life that is fading from the fabric of America as sanitized suburbia creeps further and further.

Ceresota Flour Barn Lehigh County Pennsylvania

This Ceresota Flour barn on the Limeport Pike near Coopersburg, PA has to be one of the most lovely painted barns I’ve seen. And as it turns out, this mural replaced a fading Mail Pouch ad. I thought that the blue trim around the barn edges was reminiscent of Mail Pouch.

Ceresota painted barn pennsylvania

It makes me happy to know that there are people out there in the world who are working to hang on to the shadows of our popular culture.

See it on the ole Roadside Map.

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