Roadside Art Online: Signs - 6
Highlights from a drive up through the deep South

Click a picture to see a larger view.

It's kind of obvious, but the Jew sign has been this way for months on Marco Island, Florida. Farm stands, like this one on U.S. 27 in Williston, Florida, are a reliable venue for roadside funkiness. Lil' Champ is hardly funky, but you gotta love any business with "Lil" in its name. Tri-County Transmission in Chiefland is part of the vast genre that features lovingly rendered automotive parts, while Sinco is a remnant of a departed filling station.

A Auto Repair took a minimalist approach to auto parts, but the big winner on this stretch of Florida highway has got to be D.J. Auto Sales in Old Town.

The former Sunn-Sand in Perry, Florida, is a shadow of its former self, but the classic sign and kicky architectural detailing still survive as of May 2006. Nearby is Wilson's Bait & Tackle. Decency Motors is across the state line on U.S. 319 in Thomasville, Georgia. Not much of a picture, but a great business name.

A formidable woman and others in Cusseta, Georgia. The words along the top of the sign are fairly inexplicable. Meanwhile, in Phenix City, Alabama, it's Mr. Check Casher to you. And if I were in Newnan, Georgia, I'd prefer living in a big R.

The warped pig and fish are in Whitesburg, Georgia. I love the sort of squared-off precision of the video and grocery store in Cedartown. The french fries from the 14th Street Snack Shop in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, could constitute an abstract painting if isolated from the sign. The Walnut Street Barber Shop is also in Hopkinsville.

Kleen Rite Cleaners, the Motel 7 and the Hand Car Wash contribute to making Hopkinsville, Kentucky, a haven for roadside art. Perhaps it's the preservationist spirit that puts the pristine plastic sign atop the wreck of the old 7. Melody Lanes is in Madisonville, Kentucky, while the snow cone shop is in Henderson.

Dempewolf Auto Express is in Henderson, Kentucky. The Big Peach with its Trilon and Perisphere motif is on U.S. 41 in Bruceville, Indiana. Rhodes Burford is in downtown Danville, Illinois. It's significance: An episode of the Dick Van Dyke Show was built around brother Jerry Van Dyke's character calling people Burford when we was sleep walking. One imagines that the inexplicable name could have something to do with the Van Dykes' Danville roots.

The Albany, Georgia, Gallery

Signs and meaning

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