Monday, July 14, 2014

Looking For Signs

It all started in London Semester, 1999.

England, you see, is filled with these wonderful little places called pubs. And pubs have unique signs, often pictoral, because back in the day, most of the population was illiterate, and having a sign with a picture of an eagle carrying a baby would help them understand they were at the Eagle and Child pub. Fascinating, and, of course, it inspired Young Meg to snap a pic.

Taken before digital--I scanned it years later to add to my sign collection.
P.S. This is in Oxford
Soon, I was noticing signs everywhere, but it wouldn't be 'til about 2004 (incidentally, when I was back in England, this time as a teacher), that the habit would really take off.

Glenbeigh, Ireland

Spring Break in Normandy


Dear Burnham

Still one of my favorite sign pictures ever. No one ever
believes me when I tell them about this one.


In Burnham

Well, this one HAD to be taken.
Since then, I've accumulated a whopping 1,619 pictures...and that number will grow.

Of these, 61 are pictures that friends have sent me ("A great sign! I thought of you!!"), or pics that Mom and Dad have taken on their various travels. These days, if we're out on a day trip, Dad will offer to slow the car down and/or pull over so I can get a sign pic.

From Dad

Apparently Mom nudged Dad with her elbow and said, "Doug!! Get a pic
of that for Meg!!" 

From Maayan, when I had my sweet Harley Dude.

A great one taken by my Facebook friend Kate.

From Nicki

From Sarah (this is so English and awesome).

From Sherry, a fellow Keane fan.

From Lindsay.

From my blogger friend Suzanne.

From another Facebook friend, Alyssa. 
I even got Richard of Keane in on this.

I don't have any particular criteria for my sign pics. If I see one that makes me laugh, I snap a pic. If I see a really great vintage sign, out comes the camera (I love those gaudy old neon signs, they're grand). Anything with Cooper...

Just this weekend!

Near Monterey

Davis, CA

Monterey--Coopers made barrels.

First thing I saw when stepping off the train in Scotland in 1999. I nearly

I actually live kinda near this.

Nevada City or Grass of the two.

Just found this one on Saturday, in Martinez, across the street from the
Wells Fargo where I stopped to get cash for a bridge toll.

I've got a lot of favorites. I started going through, folder by folder, and I could have had about 500 on this post. I do love my signs. Here's a random sample of signs that made me laugh, made me stop in my tracks, or just caught my fancy.

"Someone stole the last sign.

An original, from Edinburgh, 1999.

Along Interstate 80.

Oh, Berkeley.

Don't drive down this one.

Always gives me chills.

Thank you, Disneyland and Brawny. Good advice.

Fort Bragg, CA. 

Fantastic old sign.

Twin Falls, Idaho

My Large Suburban High School

I happened to find this when going to a Sac Choral rehearsal.

I love puns.

Can't tell you how many times I drove past this one,
halfway between Folsom & Chico, in my uni years.

So much pride when I reached the summit of Mt. Diablo.

Hey, my own company!

Newport Beach, CA. This just screams, "seaside."

Rough and Ready, California. Yep. A real place.

The famous Hollywood sign, taken from a moving bus.
My biggest folders are my Sacramento (105 pictures), San Francisco (209) and Stockton (106) folders. Those are parts of California I've spent a lot of time since taking up this little hobby.

And there you have it. Sixteen hundred sign pictures, and always growing. I suppose there are weirder things to collect, and at least these don't need to be dusted.

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