As I was writing the blog about my summers in Bethany Beach Delaware, I remembered the seemingly endless three-hour drive from Washington D.C. to our destination. The struggle to cope with the traffic which notoriously backed up at the Bay Bridge was legendary. One could sometimes wait hours there at the toll booths, and especially on long holiday weekends.
Once over the bridge, my favorite place in route to the beach was a small town in southern Delaware called Bridgetown. It was off route 13 and reputed to be the oldest community in western Sussex County. I remember a short main street with interesting little houses lined up along the roadside. As you entered the town, there was a sign that posted the town’s motto. I have never forgotten it. “If you lived here, you would be home now.” Every time I saw that sign, whether on the way to the beach or on my way home, I smiled and thought, “how true”.
Another iconic sign from my childhood memories was found on the old route #1 between Washington DC. and Baltimore in Elkridge Maryland. When my family visited my grandmother in Wilmington, Delaware, we would drive past this sign every time, and we played the family game of who could spot it first. (I always won). It was a massive structure, an actual factory built in the 1930s and was, at the time, considered to be one of America’s great roadside attractions. The building was shaped like a huge dog and it was touted to be the world’s largest “dog house”. In actuality, it was a very creative and effective advertisement for One Spot Flea Killer.
When my husband and I lived in Boston in the late 1980s, we always looked for the huge, double faced Citgo sign which overlooks Kenmore Square at Fenway park. In Despicable Lies, Danielle and Alex purchased their first home under the sign’s shadow and there’s a funny story in the book about that particular neighborhood. The Citgo sign is a true Boston landmark. According to Wikipedia, it was originally installed in 1940 and updated with the present Citgo logo in 1965.
I remember driving with my parents from Washington to Florida and passing many signs that I still remember fondly today. Stuckey’s, South of the Border, J’ai alai, huge flamingos and alligator statues and much more. Most have been replaced now-a-days and exist only in my mind. I’m sure those of you from different cities and states have those kinds of memories too. If there’s any iconic sign that’s important to you, please share it on my website.
Until my next inspiration…ciao.