Life could be a dream


Today was amazing. Five of my classes wrote research papers about Route 66 this quarter, and the kids had been pestering me for weeks to let them watch Cars in class, so I decided to reward their hard work by showing the movie after they finished their finals.

There is a scene in the film in which all the broken neon signs in town are restored, and all the cars go cruising along Route 66 to the tune of the Chords’ “Sh-Boom” while the signs glow and flash above them. On this — the last day of the semester — I watched that scene five times.

Tonight, after the sun went down, I headed down to 11th and Peoria to see the live version of that scene. Organizers threw the switch tonight to relight the historic Meadow Gold sign, which has been the focus of a five-year restoration project. By the time I got across town to see it, more than a dozen people were milling around, looking at the sign and photographing it from every imaginable angle.

Words really can’t do it justice, so I’ll just let the pictures tell the story:










It’s been a pretty spectacular day on the old road. This morning, the Rock Cafe reopened for the first time since it burned last May. You can’t get a chicken-fried steak there just yet, but Dawn and her crew were serving beignets, hot dogs, and tea to anyone interested in signing the bathroom wall and taking a look at the new interior layout.

What a way to kick off my summer.


3 thoughts on “Life could be a dream”

  1. Looks great. When I was a kid in Cape Girardeau, there was a tire store near the downtown area that had a neon sign on it. Their slogan was “it’s time to retire” and the neon sign had a bear wearing a nightshirt and holding a candle. It was animated and he yawned as the sign’s letters spelling out the name of the store lit up. Looking back on it, I guess he was yawning. When I was 4, it looked to me like he was sticking his tongue out at me and it always made me giggle to see it. Wish I could remember the name of the store and its exact location. Seems like it was somewhere near Goodhope Street, but my sense of direction was never very accurate.

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