Friday, July 21, 2006

These rank among my favorite vintage neon signs in the Dallas area. I've been wanting to photograph both for yonks, but I finally got around to it yesterday.

The Good Luck Modern Trailer Court is a place where people park their RVs when they are traveling, and there may be some live-in trailer homes permanently parked there, too. Anyway, the whole point is that it's a totally groovy sign. And SO modern. I love it.
This place is on I-35 on the East side just North of I-20, between Wheatland and Camp Wisdom exits. I'd put this sign at about 25 feet tall.

O'Malley's is on the West side of I-35 just before the US Highway 67 split. It appears to be a dive sort of bar between the highway and the stony end of Zang Blvd in Dallas. It's probably one of those places where people wait for the doors to open at 7AM to get their first drink of the day. I've driven by it a million times and always the sign gets my attention from the highway. I stopped by to take this photo at about 11:00 yesterday (Wednesday) morning, and the cars were lined up in the lot, and a big-haired bar-floozie was peeling out in her Ford pickup with the aluminum topper. She looked like a tough old gal - the sort that wears pantyhose under her polyester pants- the sort that could go bear-hunting with a switch. Being the only one I've seen, she is for me the embodiment of the O'Malley's customer. This sign is cobbled onto some sort of smoke stack about 30 feet tall - maybe there was a brazier or some sort of cooking station in this building, originally. They may yet have a grill.

Now that I have a whizz-bang camera, I'll be posting more of this stuff to show you what I like so much about living in Dallas. You don't have to like it or agree with me, even though I'm totally right about everything. It's just that for me, this has a certain mid-century American charm, a kind of air that is quickly vanishing, but will ever be a part of the fabric of how I view the world. Extremely modern and design-forward when they were made, these little charmers have become a time capsule.


Heather B said...

I love that idea! One day I will display all that Omaha has to offer ... which is surprisingly more then just cows :)

The Mistress said...

This neon sign slut thanks you.

phlegmfatale said...

oh my goodness! We are among the anointed, folks! So, did the older lady you went with match my description of the bar floozie? Now, which song did you karaoke at O'Malley's??? The world needs to know. Was it like a time capsule inside? Details, darling! So, we may extrapolate the O'Malley's clientele occasionally drag hot young women half their age there with them? Cool. I'm glad you admitted it, babe! Admitting is the first step...

heather b - By the way- your avatar photo is beautiful - very pretty girl, I've always thought so! Yes, Great pictures of Omaha would be great! I could tell there were some gems tucked away in that town in the opening shots of About Schmidt!

mj - from one to another, you are welcome, darlin! Maybe I'll get out and snap some pics of these on long exposure at night sometime.

Z said...

We could do with some of those neon signs over here to liven up the place. A chalk board with some scribble on it just doesn't have the same effect.

Anonymous said...

I find that there are generally two camps of people: Those who love post-WW2 neons and signs, and those who think they should be razed and replaced with something Practical or Artistic. I'm in the first camp, of course.

There are quite a few good examples in Austin, and among my favorites are the Austin Motel sign, the Horseshoe Lounge sign, and the old Bluebonnet Motor Court sign on Guadalupe. The Poodle Dog Lounge sign is great, too, but it's not a neon.

Anonymous said...

It sounds like O'Malleys has my kind of people. But I would have to skip the karaoke.

Anonymous said...

I just want to see if I can pass the eye test at this point.

You do seem to be right about everything.

It's a mysterious talent.

Ooh good, it's a short one.

phlegmfatale said...

turboslut - well, hon, we had to build our own excitement since no one left castles and henges laying about the place.

James - True - there's some amazing signage in Austin. Love that place! Anyone who wants to get rid of those is an idiot!

pure evyl - I'll bet it IS your kind of place. But I'll bet you'd do a mean karaoke anyway.

nein - you sure are taking lots of eye tests lately. That's not my only mysterious talent.

Tam said...

You would absolutely love this place then. :)

shpprgrl said...

The retro signs with the word modern always crack me up. There is a retro sign at a hole in the wall hotel in Southern OK that I love. It't a cowboys & indian scene, and I just know someday it will be gone. Can't wait to see new pics you post!

phlegmfatale said...

ben heller - wow - I never considered what a rarity neon was over there, even though I've been there about 5 times - never really thought to miss the neon, but I would if I lived there, I suppose. We do revel in our tacky decadent splendour.

ohmygoodness, Tam, add one more tick to my places-I-HAVE-to-see list. You're so right. I do love roadside America, and I've thought about submitting some little forgotten gems I've stumbled across. Maybe I'll take some pics when I go through Hot Springs next week - lots of mid-century modern there. OH - did you get my email?

shpprgrl - EXACTLY - that's almost always what I mean - tongue-in-cheek- when I use the word "modern." Where is this hotel - on 45 or 75? Southern Oklahoma is a short drive and a good picture is so worth it. Is it on the way to OK City or Tulsa? Let me know and I'll tool up there soon and take some snaps.

nongirlfriend - *L* It's nothing to be ashamed of - I think it's fascinating to visit dive bars where there's a broad mix of people, agewise, etc. Actually, that's one thing I like about England - in pubs you'll see whole families together with neighbors and friends and you can get food there - it feels much more like being part of a community than slinking off to have an illicit drink in a blackened room in the middle of the day.

I still like nein.

Anonymous said...



quack quack quack quack quack

Go see if you still like me after I posted the shit at the bath house about the rabbit.

Swear, woke up this morning and decided to go there after I bought some plastic green tea at the seven eleven and they were closed and I was compelled to go back after twelve.

phlegmfatale said...

I love how you made me sound more retarded than usual - no small feat!

Anonymous said...

I'm still trying to figure out why flash mangles up the wave files, but it is kind of neat.

Swear, I won't abuse it, but Jesus you did fill up a bottle with potential.

It's that evolving shit, just learning how.

And NEON, wow.

You can bet that's going into play, booger.

okay, I won't pass this test

I can't see the difference between a r and an N


well, failed that one

phlegmfatale said...

*L* I'm SO glad you're enjoying capitalizing on my silliness. Use it with my blessing. Yeah, I'm going through Hot Springs next weekend and they've got hella neon there, so hopefully I'll have some good crap to post afterward. no worries - no one wins every time.