The Sands sign is gone. Not by atomic blast, at least, but it's gone.
How do I know? I get mailings from the Society for Commercial Archeology, a marvelous group devoted to saving, or at least remembering, the signs, storefronts, cafes, motels, and other such remainders of the 20th century. There’s a Sign News feature which tells you what’s been restored, removed, or demolished.
“Eldon, MS. Randles Court sign demolished by a tornado.”
Well, let’s have a look.
I don’t know why these things - old motels - give me such a bittersweet pang. It’s the old memories of childhood trips, as well as my prowl though the south looking for a good cheap place on the edge of town. It’s the stories of the owners, perhaps, staking it all, building something, putting in a pool, feeling pride as well as constant overwork. Mostly, though, it’s for an era that had a quality I’ve probably invented or exaggerated. I love the modernism of the era, the cheerfulness of the American vernacular, the optimism, and yes the BREAK WITH EVERYTHING idea - because here, it worked, it fit, and it was fun.
The 30s modernism was more radical, and less individualistic. I still love it, but it was too much Things to Come, too regimented and perfect with a whiff of The Masses, Enlightened by Experts. The 50s and 60s modernism was more Stuff to Have and Do and Eat.
I found Mrs. Rogers: