Tag: roadside

OG Slick in the Home of the Smiley Face – Worcester, Massachusetts

OG Slick in the Home of the Smiley Face – Worcester, Massachusetts

OG Slick Smiley Face Mural Worcester Massachusetts
Have a Rice Day 2018 – OG Slick

Worcester, Massachusetts is a city which has jumped in with both feet when it comes to public murals and art. Under the stewardship of the POW! WOW! Worcester program, dozens of murals grace the walls of the city.

This mural ‘Have a Rice Day’ was painted in 2018 by artist OG Slick and tips it’s hat to the city itself which boast being the home of the smiley face since the early 1960’s. Created by Harvey Ball, the enduring smiley icon began it’s life in Worcester.

While the smiley face icon seems permanently etched into the collective consciousness, this mural may not have the same lifespan. Though they may hang around for years, POW! WOW! Worcester does not suggest that any of the art pieces are “permanent.” In other words – don’t put off seeing the cool stuff. Life, art, beauty… it’s all fleeting. Enjoy it now. Maybe grab yourself a hot dog at George’s Coney Island Lunch and go see the sights 🙂

Visit OG Slick’s Mural

261 Main St.
Worcester MA 01608

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Smiley Notes

  • https://www.worcesterhistory.org/sidebar-exhibitions/smiley-face/
  • https://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/who-really-invented-the-smiley-face-2058483/
Shell Oil Spectacular Vintage Sign – Cambridge, Massachusetts

Shell Oil Spectacular Vintage Sign – Cambridge, Massachusetts

Shell oil spectacular vintage sign - boston  cambridge Massachusetts
built in 1933 by Donnelly Electric Manufacturing Company

The day that we dropped our daughter off for her first year of college in Boston, we drove passed this aptly named Shell Spectacular sign for the first time. And this sign is exactly that – spectacular. From that day forward, each time I’ve been to Boston I’ve said to myself “I need to snap a picture of the sign this time!” It only took me 4 years to make good on that.

Shell Oil Spectacular sign boston

While visiting Boston a few weeks ago, we made a little detour during our Blue Bike ride and I was able to see this gorgeous baby up close, and while stationary. A real looker, huh?

Visit the Shell Spectacular Sign

187 Magazine Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Sunday Afternoon in the Shadow of the Tunkhannock Viaduct

Sunday Afternoon in the Shadow of the Tunkhannock Viaduct

Exactly one year ago today, I set off from Long Island on Sunday morning with a bug in my ear to see a concrete railroad bridge in northeastern Pennsylvania. It’s called the Tunkhannock Viaduct or the Nicholson Bridge.

At the time it was built in the 19-teens it was the worlds largest concrete structure. Today, almost 100 years later it is still an impressive sight. I dare say it is arresting when you head north along US 11 and it comes in to view.

Why would I ride over 200 miles each way to stand in front of some concrete bridge? The answer is simple. I don’t know.

What is it that you get from being in the presence of something inanimate versus simply looking at pictures of it online or in a book? Again, I don’t know. But… there is something.

Sometimes it seems like my trips to things sprinkled around the country answer questions that I don’t realize that I’m asking. Standing in their shadow makes me feel something. I guess maybe that’s what I’m after – to feel something. To know something with the cells of my body before my mind has time to scramble it up.

It’s nice to see a place that is proud of the hallmarks of their community. Something about it gives me a lovesick envy.

And away we go.

Route 66 Pit Stop: Ed Galloway’s Totem Pole Park

Route 66 Pit Stop: Ed Galloway’s Totem Pole Park

After getting to know the Blue Whale of Catoosa for a bit, it was time to turn around and head back towards the east. Following Route 66 I passed through the town of Foyil, Oklahoma.

My GPS favorites screen showed an entry for a Totem Pole. It was just a few miles that-a-way. Since I didn’t know if I’d ever pass that way again, I decided it was a good idea to stop and have a look.

A good idea, it was. I found myself at Ed Galloway’s Totem Pole Park, where the man himself had begun working on his creations in 1937. Though he passed on in the early 60’s, his legacy is now cared for by the Rogers County Historical Society.


At 60 feet tall, this is the world’s largest concrete totem pole.


Turtlescent.


Fiddle House.
Sadly I arrived before the gift shop was open. I was hoping to buy a postcard or maybe a sticker or something.


A nice place for a roadside snack.


Arrowhead


🙂

If you should find yourself in the neighborhood of Foyil, Oklahoma one day – don’t skip a visit to the Totem Pole park. It’s definitely worth the stop. Seeing such wonderful works of art which were crafted “just because” does the heart good.

The world’s largest concrete totem pole was pretty nifty 😃

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Bull Durham Ghost Ads and a Pink Elephant

Bull Durham Ghost Ads and a Pink Elephant

Like a dumbbell, I brought my (3rd partially broken) point-n-shoot camera with its nifty 30x zoom with me… but failed to charge the battery. One day I’ll get this all right, but this? This was not that day. And so I was left to take pictures with my iPhone and my GoPro which on the whole isn’t really so bad. But, the zoom situation can be a little less than optimal. I hope you can manage to suffer through these photos.

“I come in peace.”

Tucked within the recesses of my GPS’ favorites was something called “BDS-32-54-04.” Though I wasn’t sure exactly what I would find when I pulled up, just by looking at the name I knew I’d saved a “Bull Durham Sign” from the Mail Pouch Barnstormers site. That’s their naming convention.

Wow, would you look at that? A tobacco ad that is loved, cared for and has been restored. Does that warm the ole ticker or what?

The kicker to my whole interest in tobacco advertising is that I find smoking and chew to be disgusting. I have memories of being trapped in the backseat of my parents car as a kid while they both puffed away in a blue-gray fog and it makes me want to gag. Apparently secondhand smoke wasn’t much of a concern back then.

This one wasn’t a GPS favorite or anything. I just happened to see it when I parked at the Bull Durham sign in Waverly, NY. I pulled around to the backside of the parking lot to get a better look. There is so much overlap, so much fade that I’m not able to discern what’s going on here. But the location came up on Barnstormers as having a Mail Pouch ad. I think I can see the word “pouch” on the upper left in yellow.

[edit] After googling soap ghost ads, I think that one of the layers may be for Ivory Soap. I found a soap add on Pinterest that tipped me off.

Towns like Waverly, NY that reach back a few hundred years and have a railroad line running through them seem to have the best shot at seeing ghost ads. Thinking back to other places I’ve been, Waverly had that look much like Renovo, PA and East Liverpool, OH did.


Pressing east…

I stopped to have a drink and a granola bar alongside a pink Elephant in Owego, NY. I mean, it really was as good a place to stop and take a breather as any, right? Maybe even better than most. It isn’t every day that you get to bask in the glory of such a fine beast.

The cockpit of my faithful companion. I don’t know if I took this picture on purpose or by accident, as I’m wont to do. Either way – the KTM is an excellent dance partner.

A lovely old sign in Owego provided me with some shade as I sipped and snacked.

Another Bull Durham sign perfectly perched above the olde tyme Harris Diner in Owego.

I didn’t really explore or dilly-dally around Owego as I was running out of time to get back to meet Kenny. So I snapped a quick photo of a You Are Here mural while sitting at a traffic light and made my way out of town. If I’m ever in the area again, something tells me I should have a closer look around. There are probably more roadsidey gems sprinkled through town.