Saturday, June 28, 2014

Signs of the Times

If you're driving through Cincinnati, Ohio, and you pass an old parachute factory with a giant genie beckoning out front, stop. It's the American Sign Museum, chock full of flashing neon beacons that will sear your retinas. Vintage drive-in marquees, the Frisch’s Big Boy and Charo's Vegas billboard ("The Can-Can goes Cuchi Cuchi") are among the cache of nostalgic novelties. 
The museum was born from one man's passion and collection of salvaged signs. A neon-making shop onsite guarantees a future for the industry.

Friday, June 27, 2014

The King's Last Stand

I've written about Indianapolis' offbeat attractions before: the rejection letters at the Kurt Vonnegut Library and brains in jars at the Indiana Medical History Museum. Add the Elvis marker to the list.

Elvis Presley played his last-ever concert in Indy. It happened 37 years ago almost to the day, on June 26, 1977. The city put up a plaque to mark the spot, and buried the King's scarf underneath in tribute. The neckwear was part of his outfit for that final show, along with a gold and white jumpsuit.

Alas, critics panned Elvis' performance as sloppy and lethargic. Seven weeks later, on August 16, he was found dead on his bathroom floor.