Bill & Tony's Two Day Sign Safari and a painting
Last week Tony and I drove around the Valley and Los Angles on a trip he mapped out looking for fifties style signage to photograph. Starting at the old Van De Camps in Arcadia, we hit bowling alleys, restaurants, Liquor stores and the like.
At this Diary that is still in operation. In the greenery on the right was a mystery man in the shadows at a bench provide by the diary, a wholesome spot for the kids to drink their milk fresh from the Dairy. Times have changed as Tony was lucky enough to get a frenzied tongue overture that left no uncertainty to who's milk the mystery man wanted to drink. We tried to hit him with Tony's truck later, but he was to quick for us.
We came across drive- in signs that were missing their drive- in screens and " twofer" restaurants where the new Asian owners didn't feel like tearing down the old signs.
I found this Meth whore ranting to herself in a empty old used car lot. She was kind enough to offer me some potato chips from her blackened fingers, but I wasn't hungry so I declined. She explained that she wasn't a drug addict or a whore, I'm sure her teeth were falling out because of her advanced age of 30. Note the blackened doorway were the locals tried to burn them out the night before. What a lovely world!
We had the worst most overpriced "Martini" at this bowling alley on Washinton Blvd. then went to a local bar called the Embers (as the the fires of Hell.) No Martinis, but great service, the prices were fair and the Liquior not watered down.The artist who painted the murals behind the bar was was and alcoholic set designer who paid for his bar tab at the Buccaneer in my home town of Sierra Madre in the same fashion, only with Pirates instead of devils boys.
We hit some of the same spots of the way back for 'Nocturne" versions of the shots. No fuss during the day at this Liquor store, but this time the middle eastern owners spotted us and started giving Tony the third degree. I came running over to them waving my business card yelling:" My friends, we love your Liquor store, were not middle eastern terrorists who want to blow upon your place, we love Liquor and drink it often! I may make your store into art, into a painting." "You should pay me then" said one of the owners said half seriously. I said: : That is only fair. I will purchase a bag of M and M's from your store!
Next time of to Inglewood... Fired Chicken, Angry Indian women defend their shitty Motels with scolding finger and the brothers tell me where to go.
Here is a little PA painting of a Church in Sierra Madre that has nogthing to do with the trip. Oil on board 9x12