Historic sign proves too much for removal from Fresno building. So, what happens now?


Workers attach crane cables to the G sign on top of the Guaratee Bank building, owned by the State Center Community College District, before attempting to lift it off its supports in downtown Fresno on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2024. The operation was halted due to issues with removing the 60-year-old sign from its supports and will be attempted again in a few weeks, SCCC officials said. CRAIG KOHLRUSS ckohlruss@fresnobee.com

From The Fresno Bee: A historic piece of the downtown Fresno skyline got a reprieve from becoming a museum piece.

The Guarantee Savings sign was slated to be removed Saturday from its spot atop the State Center Community College District offices on Fulton and Fresno Streets and relocated to the Fresno Fairgrounds as part of the permanent collection of vintage signs there.

A new LED version would be recreated in its place.

Bringing the sign down from the 12-story building was no small task. It took months of planning and a day of street closures to make way for the needed equipment. A viewing area was set up along Fulton Street so people could watch the spectacle.

And then, it didn’t happen.

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Tempe History Museum’s ‘Tempe Signs’ recalls the city’s bygone eras


The old Minder Binder wagon is part of the “Tempe Signs” exhibit. Joshua Roffler

From the Phoenix New Times: The Valley National Bank sign hanging in the Tempe History Museum’s “Tempe Signs” exhibit was literally just a shell of its former self when the museum got a hold of it.

“We had that one in our collection, but we just had the plastic shell that had been attached to the front of it,” says Joshua Roffler, the museum’s senior curator. Displaying it properly required rebuilding the thick metal octagon frame behind the face, a tricky task that also involved replicating the extended wings of the sign’s iconic eagle with the Arizona-shaped torso, originally designed by local neon god Glen Guyette (whose sign creds include Mr. Lucky’s, Bill Johnson’s Big Apple, Courtesy Chevrolet and My Florist).

“We had to work with a contractor to build the mount for it and light it the way it originally was,” Roffler says, although modern LEDs now replace the original neon tubes. “Most of these signs have had something done to them to get them up and working.”

That includes the exhibit’s centerpiece, the familiar Minder Binders water wagon that for 41 years served as signage for the big red barn on McClintock Drive just north of University Drive that housed the eclectic watering hole (now the site of Social Hall).

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No More Pork Stores When Ridgewood loses Morscher’s next month, yet another neighborhood staple will be gone for good


Herbert “Herbie” Morscher’s father, Herbert Morscher, takes care of an order in front of the Sauerbraten sign. Founder Pepi Morscher stands between the scales, and his father, Joseph Morscher, wearing a cap, can be seen behind several customers. Photo taken circa 1963. Photo: Morscher’s Pork Store

From New York magazine: Across the country, butcher shops have been on the cutting board. Back in 2015, CBS News reported on the diminishing number of stores, noting that “thousands of butchers” were nearing retirement. In New York, this has meant the end of decades-old shops. Last April, Carroll Gardens’ century-old G. Esposito & Sons’ Jersey Pork Store closed because, the owners toldthe New York Post, they’d gotten too old and couldn’t find the right people to take over. Staubitz Market, up the street from Esposito’s, started a GoFundMe to avoid bankruptcy. Greenwich Village’s 88-year-old Florence Prime Meat was also set to close, until then-owner Benny Pizzuco came to an agreement with butcher Aristeo Quiñonez, who now runs the business with his family. It’s much the same in New Jersey.

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Order up! Yankees’ Double-A affiliate unveils Jersey Diners alternate identity


From MLB.com: Rise and shine. On Tuesday morning, the Somerset Patriots visited a New Jersey diner to announce that they’re serving up a new alternate identity as The Jersey Diners.

New Jersey — the Diner Capital of the World — is home to over 500 diners, more than any other state. The central New Jersey-based Patriots, who have served as the Yankees’ Double-A affiliate since 2021, are located in the middle of this gleaming, pre-fabricated and neon-drenched culinary wonderland. The idea to create a Jersey Diners alternate identity, which they will assume for three home games this coming season, came about following a larger brainstorm regarding Garden State-based food monikers. Pizza was one of the regionally beloved foodstuffs to be initially considered, but the conversation soon went in a different direction.

Who hid the Clown? 40-year-old sign covered at old-time Fort Worth-area burger grill


A new facade hid the 40-year-old Clown Burger wall sign, but the Haltom City restaurant remains open and owners want to put up a replacement. Willis Odell, Bud Kennedy Courtesy photo, bud@star-telegram.com

From the Fort Worth Star-Telegram: A 12-foot giant clown was hidden by facade work on a side wall at Clown Burger, a huge surprise to faithful Haltom City customers and also to new Clown co-owner Willis Odell.

“I thought the people remodeling our building were going to leave it alone, but for some reason they painted over it,” Odell said after weekend crews covered the 40-year-old exterior sign painted on the burger grill at 5020 Stanley Keller Road.

The Clown’s landmark historic pole sign, a giant 65-year-old clown that originally stood on East Belknap Street, is untouched and remains in place at the driveway entrance on Haltom Road.

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The Neon Jungle


This Pittsburgh Paints sign had a few special details that made it interesting to Evan, but this is one of the few mass-produced signs in his collection; he prefers to stay away from the Ford and Coca-Cola signs of the world.

From brenebrown.com: “Squat ‘n’ Gobble.” Those words — aglow in bright-orange neon and backdropped by an equally luminescent outline of the shape of Texas — hang large in Brené’s podcast studio, a fitting representation of the vibrancy of the nearly 180 conversations that have been recorded in that space to date.

The 6-foot-by-6-foot piece is the work of Evan Voyles, an Austin-based, Yale-educated artist whose vintage sign finds and custom neon pieces have become fixtures across the city.

Back in the late 1980s, though, Evan was just an everyday antiques dealer. But finding a broken neon sign for $20 on a back road in New Mexico would change all that (“That’s when all hell broke loose,” he says with a laugh). After that first find, Evan transformed into a full-blown neon-sign artist and vintage-sign collector. From his company, the aptly named Neon Jungle, he’s made at least 500 signs over the past almost 40 years and has another 400 vintage signs in his collection, which he hopes to house in a neon museum, a project he has been dreaming about for years.

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