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Great Signs at Balton Sign Co!

In Midtown by Rebecca PhillipsLeave a Comment

  “And we’ve got a sign out here now that was Graceland Liquor Store that was an old-type neon sign across the street from Graceland. And it’s just sitting on the shop out here.” Jeff Balton, of Balton Sign Co., so kindly presented me a tour of their great sign shop which holds a fascinating history, as it is the …

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Behold the Sputnik

In Midtown by Rebecca PhillipsLeave a Comment

Video via www.agilitynut.com/sca/roto.html There are only few functional Roto-Spheres (or Sputniks) on this planet and Memphis holds one of them. Take a viewing of this dazzling footage by the inventor Warren Milks, compiled by Debra Jane Seltzer of RoadsideArchitecture.com. In this video there are Roto-Spheres as well as their “siblings,” Turn-Stars and Roto-Rings. Debra Jane has compiled extensive info on …

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Looking for a Miss Universal

In Downtown by Caitlin L. HortonLeave a Comment

In poring through the Universal Life Insurance Company’s commemorative books, I’ve realized there were quite a lot of beauty queens who were crowned and represented the company. I would love to interview any Miss Universals out there to learn more about how these queens were crowned and what your role was like. If you once wore a ULICO crown or …

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What’s In His Bag?

In Midtown by Rebecca Phillips2 Comments

You may have recently seen creepy Peter Pan at the Children’s Museum but did you know he was once employed by Peter Pan’s Pantry as their sign boy? The lad seems pretty happy wherever he goes. I think he likes Memphis. Now who can recall where the location of Peter Pan’s Pantry was?

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This Wasn’t Always Casey’s Motel

In South Memphis by Rebecca Phillips7 Comments

At different art shows I’ve had people come up to me and ask if this painting is of Casey’s Motel on Elvis Presley Blvd or Bellevue. And the answer is both! Drive far enough south on S. Bellevue and you’ll discover at some point Elvis Presley Blvd occupies the street name, though there was a time when the road was …

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Charlie Musselwhite & Leahy’s Inspirations

In Northeast by Caitlin L. HortonLeave a Comment

Leahy’s was inspirational for a lot of writers, artists, and musicians like Charlie Musselwhite. He wrote in the liner notes of his 2002 album One Night in America… Where I grew up, if I went out the back gate I was in Leahy’s Trailer Court. I had a lot of friends there and hung out there a lot. Itinerant-type people …

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Leahy’s Postcard

In Northeast by Rebecca Phillips2 Comments

This is a postcard of Leahy’s Motel & Trailer Park on Summer Avenue in it’s earlier years. Leahy’s began as a campsite for people who were fine with staying in a tent. Later on, the location matured into an RV and motel “campsite,” with a three-story house of which, people say, once served as a bordello visited by the great …