Thursday, August 13, 2009
the pretty good sign
A follow up to my musings on the Great Sign that was and forever will be the Holiday Inn, I decided to take a moment to reflect on the first runner-up in the World O' Jeff Neon Signage Hall of Fame. This contender has a less superb sign but a fantastic cupola and wins the award for most effective use of orange in roadside architecture. While we preferred the other chain for lodging, this one was a favorite in a different category.
Yes, it's Howard Johnson's, my father's highway luncheon stop of choice, no doubt boosted in my esteem by the twenty-eight flavors and the Ho Jo Cola. Holiday Inn restaurants were the one area that lacked consistency, but the orange roof was as predictable as a blowout on a Firestone 500. I'll have the Fried Clams, Ma'am.
I remember being atop Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga, TN in 1968, the site that advertised "See Seven States". The first thing I picked out from my lofty vantage point was a Ho Jo's. From then on it was "See Seven States and a Howard Johnson's" to us.
Here, in it's glory, the pretty good Ho Jo's sign (and note the Ultra-Fabulous Holiday Inn Great Sign in the Background.)
And here's s terrific tribute to the pretty darn good Orange Roofed Inns