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I adore commercial signage, particularly of the postwar period. I won't get all Learning from Las Vegas here, but let's just say that there is an essential frankness to various forms of commercial speech when it collides and colludes with folk-slash-professional expertise of sign-painters, illustrators, typesetters and fashioners of roadside crap. The resolute thingness of the Randolph Car Wash sign–perched as it is on a strange, pinched be-clocked tripod–is a vulgar wonderment.
This sign has it all: typesetting irregularity solved with a twinkly star thing; interior lights in less-than-uniform working order; a denuded timepiece; and some sweet Futura-ish neon. Plus, cars. You cannot beat this. Near Karen Kunc's place, Constellation Studios, on O Street. (O Street is a target-rich environment.) Karen was my graduate school professor lo these many years ago.
An account of our walk together appeared in a Lincoln Journal-Star article, [note: hoop-jumping required to get to content] back when I made a very pleasant visit back in March. It was lovely, as always, to see Karen as well as old friend art historian Christin Mamiya. Below, a shot of the mural on the side of her building, a massive translation of her print language. The Randolph car wash is to the left, in the rear of her building.