Who doesn’t love neon signs? They’re like fluffy clouds or pink teddy bears on Valentine’s Day. They’re just … happy things. (Come to think of it, I’d rather someone surprise me with a neon sign than a teddy bear, but that’s just me).
The other night, I took a drive with the pups. We drove the main strip [in Stockton]. Pacific Avenue, that is. It sounds better if you’ve never actually been to Stockton. It sounds better if you imagine it as a glitzy neighborhood you can buy off the Monopoly board.
So, where was I? Ah, yes. My three dogs — a great dane, an Australian Shepard and a kick-me dog — and I stuffed into my car. It works well, actually. First stop was the bowling alley. They have the lovely neon sign in a whole bunch of colors — or as many colors come in neon. I’d shot the sign before with my Holga, but I took the film in to get processed and never picked it up. I called the store (a year later) and they couldn’t find it. Oh well. It’s my issue, my loss.
I wanted to go to Wilson Way. Yeah, now that’s not a good idea at night, especially in an unreliable car. Think prostitutes. Think men who yell, “Ay, mommie” and whistle. Think seedy motels with names like “The Knotty Motel.”
But “The Knotty Motel” is what I totally wanted to photograph. I’ll get it in the daylight, and one day, when I find a man to give me a neon sign, I’ll have him escort me to the Knotty Motel — to take a picture of the neon sign, of course.
There are other ones too. I just can’t think of the names. There are some fun hotels on Highway 99, but that’s for another blog.