The Day the Sun Rose Twice: A Tour of Atomic New Mexico


The outdoor exhibits at the White Sands Missile Range Museum feature a range of rockets, aircraft and nuclear missiles. Prisma Bildagentur/Universal Images Group, via Getty Images

From The New York Times: They say the sun rose twice over a corner of southern New Mexico on July 16, 1945. The first sunrise was produced by the detonation of a new weapon its makers had nicknamed “the gadget.” The actual sun rose 10 minutes later, dawning on a new era in human history.

The world’s first atomic bomb exploded that morning, launching the nuclear age, and foreshadowing the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki within the month.

Though the creation of the bomb was dubbed the Manhattan Project, much of its development took place in New Mexico, making it the nation’s premier nuclear state, with, today, weapons labs, a cache of nuclear weapons, a nuclear command center and atomic history around every butte. Some of the sites are off limits to the public, but it is possible to tour atomic New Mexico without getting irradiated or arrested.

It’s a Mixed Bag of Nuts at Monty’s Log Cabin


Monty McKissock presides over the 86-year-old California dive where all are welcome—even its ghosts. Photo: Clara Mokri

From Punch: On a typical afternoon, saddled horses are tethered to the hitching post outside of Monty’s Log Cabin, waiting patiently alongside a clutch of parked Harley-Davidsons. Inside, at happy hour or on the weekend, any number of the characters who call Felton, California, home are elbow to elbow in the two-room roadside tavern.

The 86-year-old dive sits on the shoulder of rural Highway 9, which continues 8 winding miles down the mountain to Santa Cruz. The post-and-beam cabin is festooned with fairy lights and two vintage neon signs alerting passersby that there are drinks to be had within, should anyone mistake the place for the trading post it once was.

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Route 66 Preservation Grant awarded for Henning Motel Sign Restoration


Martin Brent

From The HD Post: NEWBERRY SPRINGS – The National Park Service (NPS) announced the Henning Motel sign as one of its 2022 cost-share grant award recipients for restoration. The sign will be restored to operating condition as an important part of the Route 66 cultural landscape.

The Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program provides funding for the revitalization and commemoration of Route 66 through grants for eligible projects. As one of the most famous highways covering 2,448 miles from Chicago to Santa Monica, it was decommissioned due to disrepair.

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Kellie Talbot’s Venerable Decay


From The Stranger: Kellie Talbot is an oil painter whose photo-realistic style depicts vintage signage, typography, and other symbols of human craftsmanship, perseverance, and unexpected beauty. She splits her time between the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle and New Orleans. She shares her studio space in both cities with a cat and a duck. Currently, she is represented by Patricia Rovzar Gallery in Seattle and Cole Pratt Gallery in New Orleans. In our interview, we discuss road-tripping, typography, and the thrill of the hunt.

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The eagle flies again! Highway 64 Budweiser billboard lit up after more than a year in the dark


From Fox2now: ST. LOUIS — Anheuser-Busch lit up the “Flying Eagle” sign on I-64 near Grand Avenue Thursday afternoon at 5 p.m., after more than a year out of service. The sign has been in St. Louis since 1962, and the brewer recently restored the landmark.

“It gave a sense of pride and cultural pride for St. Louis,” said Virgil Rowell, a St. Louis resident.

After decades of wear and tear and a pandemic delaying supplies to fix it, local workers updated the 60-year-old, 32-foot-high eagle with new LED lights. The renovation took over a year to complete. Local builders, craftsmen, dedicated A-B teams, government liaisons, real estate experts, and more were on the team. They helped to ensure the sign will continue to shine brightly for years to come.

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The iconic Cudahy Arby’s hat sign has been saved from the scrapyard


Joe Rieland, who operates Redefined & Co. which makes furniture and, more recently, restores vintage signs, purchased the chopped up Arby’s ten-gallon hat sign from a scrapyard. The sign is in pieces and sadly some are missing.

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: The famous ten-gallon Arby’s hat sign in Cudahy was chopped up, placed in a dumpster and sent to a scrapyard after the longtime business closed on Halloween.

Before the beloved monument of the restaurant that “has the meats” was ground up like beef, the owner of the scrapyard decided to save the sign.

Joe Rieland of West Allis helps to save lives in his day job as a clinical and technical advisor for Organ Recovery Systems, a transplant medicine company that specializes in the profusion of livers and kidneys between organ donors and recipients.

This time he was saving local history.

“The sign is saved,” Rieland said. “It’s not going to get scrapped.”

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