Old motel signs


I photographed many old motel signs on our Southwest trip. This one was near Grand Canyon. I’ve always had a thing for metal tins, and I guess that has transferred to old metal signs. If you really look for them, these signs are ubiquitous, although I’m sure not like they used to be. You do have to drive through all the little towns. And I mean through them. You can’t really stay on the bypass or interstate and see these gems of design and typography and neon. That’s why a vacation is the perfect time to take the extra half hour to photograph these. And most of my pictures were taken from the car, so don’t think I’m a photography purist and felt the need to do a real set-up. I’m not that crazy, which is a sad thing because these signs are going away. They’re exposed to the elements, and you don’t see people out preserving them.

There used to a really fantastic neon sign on the Strip in Branson, where I live. It had a cowboy shooting a pistol and the bullet sped across the sign. I think the motel was called J.R.’s Motor Inn, but it’s long gone. I wonder where that sign wound up. Sad to think it’s probably corroding away in a landfill somewhere.

I would love to own about twenty acres to have a drive-through vintage neon sign park.


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