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Carol Perkins: Signs

Carol wants to think of signs which will do for Edmonton, KY, what Wall Drug signs have done for Wall, SD. Edmonton had it's share of one of a kind signs, from Jack Shirley's to Ms. Lillie Hughes' restaurant sign
The next earlier Carol Perkins column, Throwing Dishes

By Carol Perkins

I find signs fascinating and have a habit of reading them to the left and to the right of the highway, especially when I am not driving. I prefer not to be driving and sign reading! One hinders the other.

When our children were young, the only place we vacationed was Florida.

We went to several locations, but Daytona was the hot bed of tourism during the 70's. After driving and driving and riding and riding, the excitement escalated as billboards lined the fields near the interstate, advertising motels, restaurants, and tourist attractions just a few miles ahead.

I also read signs along country roads. Not too many years ago, I came across one that was worth sending to Jay Leno. It was so good that I made a picture. At the driveway of a country church, a sign stated, "No Trespassing." I'm sure there was a good reason for keeping people off the church grounds, but I did find that signs to be ironic.

At a cemetery on the way to another town, a sign caught my eye. A circular driveway ran in front of the beautiful grounds and at the end of the road was a sign that stated, "No Outlet. Do Not Enter." No one has to keep me away!

Jack Shirley, Ms. Lillie Hughes signs were famous

Although I don't remember it, I have been told that Jack Shirley, father of Susan Chambers, posted a sign in his hardware store, "High Prices and Poor Service."

In Ms. Hughes restaurant, which was located next to the Marcum home near the old school, was famous for a sign that stated, "Eat with us if it kills you. We need the money."

Most of the local service stations once advertised, "Free Air." I have wondered if service stations give away air today or charge for it? I took a load of swimming pools and slides to a service station to be blown up and the air and service were free!

See Rock City signs most famous in these parts

The most famous sign in "these parts" was once the SEE ROCK CITY signs. Driving along the countryside and seeing the roof of a barn with huge SEE ROCK CITY painted across the top or the sides was common. Rock City is located atop Lookout Mountain near Chattanooga. Although I have never been, I hear it is actually a very fun place to take the family. By far the most entertaining signs/billboards are those advertising Wall Drugs in Wall, South Dakota. "FREE ICE WATER" is their claim to fame for travelers.Before we left for our trip out West, Susan and Harold Chambers told us about Wall.

"You'll see the signs." Boy, were they right.

I have learned since my visit that Wall Drug has been featured in Time magazine as one of the largest tourist attractions in the north. They have over 500 miles of billboards on Interstate 90, stretching from Minnesota to Billings, Montana.

Just out of curiosity alone, travelers wander off the interstate just to see what is so special about Wall Drug Store. What they will find is a huge building where everything from a pharmacy to a wedding chapel is under one roof. Free ice water is still their calling card.

Our visit to Wall was especially fun for Guy because he discovered a barn of antique cars, being displayed by a local collector. I believe that we travelers seldom know the hidden treasures of America unless we veer off the interstate.

Need catchy ones to lure travelers off parkway to drop off in Edmonton

Reading road signs is a good way to pass long hours down endless miles of interstate. I especially enjoy those that lead me to surprises. Perhaps we can create some catchy ones to lure travelers along the parkway to drop off in Edmonton.

That may be my next project as soon as I finish the one to inspire Oprah to visit Edmonton.

(Copies of Carol's newest book, Let's Keep Talking About... are available at the Herald Office, Uptown Designs, Wall Works, Metcalfe Drugs, Nunn Drugs, and the Lighthouse)

This story was posted on 2010-12-12 17:36:18
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Favorite Old Photo: Lillie Kinnaird Hughes

2010-12-16 - Photo by Geniece Leftwich Marcum. Columbia, KY
Geniece Marcum writes: "This is is photo of the late Lillian Cooksey Kinnaird, "Aunt Lillie," Hughes as a little girl. Her parents were Willie and Virgie Kinnaird. Lillie Hughes was one of the most famous Metcalfe Countians and is still remembered for the Hughes' Restaurant she ran on Rogers ST just off North Main ST in Edmonton, KY, and its sign, "Eat with Us if It Kills You, We Need the Money," painted by the late Pete Janes.
Clicking on ReadMore accesses an article by Carol Perkins on "Signs," which mentions the Hughes Restaurant sign.

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