Neon Museum features signs and properties in Las Vegas influenced by hispanic culture


Credit: Neon Museum

From KTNV: LAS VEGAS — The Neon Museum is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, with the addition of special Gallery Talks. The 15-minute talks highlight the history behind specific signs and properties that are relevant to the Hispanic community, including The Flamingo, The El Cortez, and La Concha.

Currently the oldest property on The Strip, opening in 1946, signage from the Flamingo in the Neon Boneyard dates to 1976 and was designed by Raul Rodriguez. An award-winning designer of floats for the Tournament of Roses parade in Pasadena, California, Rodriguez designed more than 500 floats, including his first float when he was just 14 years old. While he worked for Heath and Company, Rodriguez visited Las Vegas and met with Barron Hilton, who had just bought the Flamingo hotel. Rodriguez would go on to design the iconic feathered Flamingo sign, noting that signs and floats are similar in design: “both are only granted a few seconds from viewers to catch their attention.”

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‘Save Our Caboose’ Campaign Raises $32K To Repair Railcar In Mahwah

Mahwah_Caboose_New Jersey

A campaign was launched to finance repairs for and a pavilion to shelter a 1929 railroad caboose in Mahwah. (Mahwah Historic Preservation Commission )

From Patch: MAHWAH, NJ — Mahwah is home to one of the most valuable pieces of America’s railroad history — the Erie Railroad caboose 04940, a rear end of a freight spur that was commissioned in 1929, the local museum on Franklin Turnpike said.

Significantly damaged by exposure to the weather over the years, the caboose is in need of repairs to siding and windows, and a shelter to protect it from rain or snow; therefore, the museum, along with the Mahwah Historic Preservation Commission, launched a “Save Our Caboose” campaign to fund the repairs and a pavilion.

As of Thursday, the campaign has raised $32,500 toward a $50,000 goal amount that will be matched by the DeSilva family and the Liberty Family of Dealerships, the commission said in a Facebook post. Both the museum and commission are asking for more help to reach that goal.

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Blue Whale at 50: Here’s the origin story and peek at plans for quirky Route 66 attraction


he Blue Whale, built in 1972, was purchased by the City of Catoosa in 2020 and is celebrating a 50th birthday in 2022. Mike Simons, Tulsa World

From the Tulsa World: CATOOSA — Young female campers were treated to an unexpected bit of drama decades ago when Hugh Davis was handling rattlesnakes during an educational demonstration.

One of the rattlers struck and bit Davis.

His wife, Zelta, responded by plunging a knife into the wound and administering first aid.

Hugh recovered (deaths from rattlesnake bites are rare; by 1960, he had been fanged four times) and built his wife a gift that keeps on giving.

It’s a whale of a gift. Really.

The Blue Whale, a popular Route 66 roadside attraction in Catoosa, was constructed by Hugh and presented to Zelta as a 34th anniversary present in 1972, which means the gift is 50 years old.

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How Holiday Inn revolutionized 20th century travel


Kemmons Wilson, Holiday Inn founder, is pictured in 1960 outside a Memphis, Tennessee Holiday Inn. The Commercial Appeal

From CNN: Kemmons Wilson was ferrying his family from New York to Washington by car when the idea first came to him.

The Wilsons needed to stop for the night, but it was the summer of 1951, and American roadside facilities weren’t what they are today. Motels were luck of the draw, and often expensive given the lack of amenities.

“Rooms were never quite as advertised, so [my father] would get a key and go take a look at the room before we signed up for it,” recalls Kemmons’ oldest child, Spence Wilson, today.

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The melancholy of an empty American diner – in pictures


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2019 Leah Frances

From The Guardian: From Edward Hopper via David Lynch to The Sopranos, the diner is a much-mythologised fixture of American culture. Canadian photographer Leah Frances, now based in Pennsylvania, was struck by the nostalgia evoked by these places. When many diners were left deserted after the pandemic, she started to photograph the empty booths and counters.

“We’re no longer gathering in the way we once did,” she says. “America is a polarised nation. Highlighting the emptiness at a table, in a quintessentially American space, can serve as a metaphor for the current divisions among the people in this country.”

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