Day 2: April 27, 2015
Sixty-Six Sign Sampler

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This place is just around the corner from the Wayside Motel. I spotted it last night then walked down this morning after reading about it online. The name comes from the Courtesy Sandwich Shop which began in 1935 and swelled to a dozen before shrinking back to one. The fellow who bought that last one now has three Courtesy Diners. This one, which opened in 2013, is the newest. It's a frame building but setup and trimmed in the diner spirit. With the grill right behind the counter, I got to see my breakfast both before and after.

Several years ago, the sign is from the long gone Beacon Court was restored and placed over a car wash in Pacific, Missouri. The area is rich in silica and I'm guessing that the "column" in the sandstone bluff are the result of mining operations but that is pure conjecture.

I was considering a break when I reached Bourbon and seeing the sign atop the Circle Inn Malt Shop made it mandatory. Readers of my blog may remember seeing a similar sign in a very recent post about the American Sign Museum's tenth anniversary. That post is here and the museum's post on the sign, which had never been mounted, is here. Inside, I chatted with Josh Ware about the sign, baseball, Route 66, and stuff. Josh and brother Justin are the current owners of the diner their grandfather opened in 1956. The sign has probably been there since the beginning and is in wonderful shape although some electrical problems have developed. I showed Josh a picture of the sign in the museum and passed on some information about contacting them. Fixing signs is neither cheap nor easy but I have a feeling that the Wares will get those electrical problems sorted.

This trip is not about Route 66 and, although I am more or less following it, I'm not being a stickler at all. When I encountered the Road Closed sign, I simply turned around. I wasn't thinking too clearly but I guess it sort of worked out. It had not occurred to be that the road was closed because of a bridge with a lot of friends who are trying to save it. I only realized this when I crossed the river on I-44 and saw its name. The Gasconade River sign finally rang a bell. Instead of continuing west when I returned to the old road, I turned back to drive to the western end of the recently closed bridge that a Facebook group of nearly a thousand members hopes to have repaired. That group is here.

The Rest Haven in Springfield, Missouri, has been on my radar for a long time but this is my first stay. A big reason is that it has a couple of better known "neighbors". Actually, they're more than just neighbors. They're kind of related. It shares part of its name and the city of Springfield with the Rail Haven and its sign is a near duplicate of the one at the Munger Moss about fifty miles east in Lebanon. The Rest Haven could be considered the poorer cousin. Both of the other motels I've mentioned are better maintained and more popular but it is cheaper and serviceable. That's an outside view of my room in the second picture and there's an inside view here. I was really happy to see that all of the neon in that beautiful sign was functioning. Only the big arrow, with incandescent "chaser" was out. Yes, the "cousins" may have bigger and better reputations but my room was clean and comfortable and the owners get bonus points from me for keeping all that neon going.

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