Everywhere a Sign – Some C Signs From 2018 #AtoZChallenge

(Editor’s Note:  For  my  2019  posts,  I will be posting photos from my travels in 2018.  I visited 26 states and drive over 13,000 miles in 2018.  These posts will feature of few of the road signs and business signs I came across, as well as some stories behind them.  Enjoy the Read and Enjoy the Ride!)

One of the challenges of doing the Bloggers A to Z Challenge is coming up with a reasonable theme.  As a traveler, I can actually think of numerous themes, but the signs from my 2018 travels seemed like an adventurous way to go this time around.  Here are some C signs I came across in my road trips across America in 2018.

Cloudy, Oklahoma

I had hoped for a sunny day in Cloudy, Oklahoma, but alas, as you can see, the place lived up to its name.
And a Cloudy Cemetery?
There is a Cloudy Baptist Church!! I wonder if there is sunshine in their soul?

While looking at my map and planning a return trip home from Keller, Texas, I saw the name Cloudy on a map of Oklahoma.  Always on the lookout for unique place names, I added this one to my route.  The small community is located in the southeast corner of Oklahoma, northeast of Antlers and Rattan. It is actually down a narrow and windy, and oftimes bumpy road…called Cloudy Road, which is accessible from Rattan on Oklahoma Hwy 3. Turned out to be a cloudy day (I was hoping for some sunshine in Cloudy).  And, I had to take the same road back to Rattan.  A long, but fun detour!!

Cutter’s Barber Shop, Olympia, Washington

Cutter’s Barber Shop in Olympia, Washington

OK, we have all seen the “Curl Up and Dye” or other unique barber shop names.  But, the owner of this place is really named Cutter! The name matches the job.  Cutter’s Barber Shop is located in downtown Olympia, Washington. Cutter is a second generation barber.  And no, I did not stop in for a haircut.  I had a breakfast appointment at the Spar Cafe down the street.

Cavenaugh Park, Walnut Ridge, Arkansas

Cavenaugh Park in Walnut Ridge, AR celebrates the “Rock and Roll Highway” – US 67

Traveling across the United States, it is not rare to see a sign with a guitar (think Rock and Roll Cafe).  But, to see a guitar and amp sign is something else.  Walnut Ridge, Arkansas celebrates their place on US Hwy 67, which, in Arkansas, is referred to as The Rock and Roll Highway 67.  It is a 111 mile stretch of highway that runs through Jackson, Lawrence and Randolph Counties, including Walnut Ridge, where they claim the moniker “Where Abbey Road Meets the Rock and Roll Highway” due to a brief pass through visit by the Beatles in 1964.  Cavenaugh Park has a a giant cement sidewalk shaped like a guitar that has numerous memorial signs celebrating the Rockabilly influences of the area. Thus the guitar and amp. By the way, Walnut Ridge actually has a huge Beatles memorial park and a street named Abbey Road with all sorts of Beatles-themed shops.

Crazy Head Springs, Lame Deer, Montana

Crazy Head Springs in Montana

Driving west on US Hwy 212 through the heart of Montana is a wonderful drive, unless you are going through a snowstorm…which I was.  But, despite the snow, I had to stop for a photo of this sign on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation.  From what I could glean on the internet, it is apparently a great place to go fishing. But not in a mountain snowstorm…I just kept going.

Cuba, Missouri

Cuba, Missouri – a mural city
Cuba, MO Post Office
Cuba, MO

I have been to Cuba…not the island in the Caribbean, but the touristy Route 66 town in central Missouri.  Chock full of throwback murals and lots of Route 66 related things, it is a great place for nostalgia and a chance to stand under one of the world’s biggest rocking chairs.

Looking for a unique and fun gift for yourself or  your traveler friends? How about a book about offbeat and quirky places to take on your road trips? You can see both of my books at http://amzn.to/2ks6fQZ. Working on Book 3, coming in late Spring 2019!!

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Beatles in the South – Arkansas/Texas: February 2018

Sumoflam with the Beatles in Walnut Ridge, AR

It is not every day that one takes a road trip and comes across not one, but two memorials to the famed Beatles.

The first of these is a fascinating little story about a small little town in Arkansas named Walnut Ridge (population abt 5000). It was in 1964 and the Beatles were in the midst of their first tour of the United States. On September 18 of that year they had just finished performing in Dallas, TX and were in for a well-deserved break. A rich rancher from Missouri named Reed Pigman had a nice little dude ranch in Alton, Missouri (see the Pigman story here). Pigman also had a charter plane and flew the Beatles into the closest airport that could handle their large airplane. It was the Walnut Ridge, Arkansas airport.

Walnut Ridge, Arkansas

Somehow, some teen fans heard about it and when the Beatles returned from their visit to the Pigman ranch and to the airport on September 20, there was quite a little crowd there to greet them and see them off as they flew onto New York for their final shows. There were a few photos taken and a few autographs signed before the Beatles headed east. It was apparently the only time the Beatles ever set foot in the state of Arkansas.

British Flag Fire Hydrant on Abbey Road in Walnut Ridge
Yellow Submarine on Abbey Road
This way to Beatles Park at the corner of US 67 and Abbey Rd. in Walnut Ridge, AR
Welcome to Walnut Ridge

This little event left such an impact on the town that a whole street and a little town square in Walnut Ride is dedicated to the Beatles. There is a beautiful sculpture in Beatles Park with the Beatles doing their walk across Abbey Road. Titled “The Beatles Abbey Road Sculpture,” this piece was created by local artist Danny West (who also owns the little yogurt shop and coffee shop on Abbey Road) and is about 10 feet by 200 feet. The street has permanently been named Abbey Road and the sculpture is at 110 Abbey Road. (See more here)

The Beatles Abbey Road Sculpture in Beatles Park. Artwork by Danny West
The Beatles sculpture from a different angle
Artist Danny West is also the owner of the Art and Culture Yogurt shop and The Dark Side Coffee shop, next door to the park

According to Beatles at the Ridge Website:

The entire street scene is featured, along with more than 30 hidden references to Beatles song titles and album names. There are also a few hidden surprises that were added in by the artist that are unique to our city, and tie the whole sculpture to our town.  As lighting changes throughout the day, the hidden details in the sculpture reveal themselves to the observer, and at night, under the powerful lighting, the scene takes on a surreal quality, and more secrets can be seen.

The Imagine Shop on US 67 and Abbey Road
Darkside Coffee artwork of Ringo
Some art made from musical instruments at the entrance of the Darkside Coffee house
Scene from Abbey Road, Walnut Ridge, AR
Imagine

There are also shops named after Beatles songs such as “Imagine.” And, in this one little section there are also wooden cutouts of the Beatles, a painting on a window of the Beatles album and a lot of little history and trivia regarding the Beatles.

The town even has a musical festival and other events as well as a different park commemorating other musicians on Route 67.

The Guitar Walk recognizes some famous musicians who had performed along US 67 (dubbed the Rock and Roll Highway)
Large Guitar sidewalk
Rock and Roll Highway, Route 67 in Walnut Ridge, AR
Hi there John!

I don’t think that the Beatles ever made their way back into Walnut Ridge either as a group or as individuals, But I am sure that they would be honored by the dedicatory art and imagination that the people of this small community have put together. For Beatles fans, it is just another drawing card and a unique place to stop, which I did!

The Beatles in Houston, statues by Houston artist David Adickes

A few days later, I was in Houston and intentionally went downtown so that I could see another Beatles dedication that I’ve always wanted to see for the last few years. It is a set of four large, nearly 36 foot tall statues of John, Paul, George and Ringo created by Houston artist David Adickes, whom I have referred to in previous posts on this blog (see my post on the Three Giants of Texas). These statues have been moved to a couple of locations and currently reside in the parking lot of local 8th Wonder Brewery. I was able to get up close and personal with the statues, get some nice selfies and get a few other angles.

The Beatles statues by David Adickes, currently on display outside Houston’s 8th Wonder Brewery
George Harrison
John Lennon
Paul McCartney
Ringo Starr
Alternate View with the 8th Wonder Truck to give a better idea of the size
The Beatles from behind the fence (what you would see if the gate were locked)
Another view of John Lennon

When I departed for my trip to Texas in early February 2018, I had indeed hoped to visit the Beatles statues in Houston, but had no idea about the Walnut Ridge story. Thanks to my trusty RoadsideAmerica app, it made for a unique theme to this long and winding road trip from Kentucky through the back roads of Missouri, Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma.

I loved this…ya, ya, ya!!

 

Get the Roadside America App!

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