The Museum is in the Fremont Street Experience and is designed to attract visitors and tourists to a walking tour. The signs there have been completely restored any they can be observed with the neon glowing as they would have appeared in "the day".
I prefer to view the signs at the Boneyard where many are in pieces and some wits have artfully placed all or parts of certain signs in tableaux that make one think or laugh out loud. At the Boneyard, the signs have not been restored and one may not see the neon glowing. The paintwork is generally bad, with bare spots, scrapes and fading apparent. Some of the signs are not truly neon, but electric. Most of them have bulbs missing, supporting structures bent or broken. The signs are perched on hardscrabble, rocky, desert hardpack - no kid glove handling here. They bake in the summer and freeze in the winter, exposed to the elements. They look very forlorn when heaped with snow. And they are surrounded by miles of chain link fence.
One might wonder what is the attraction of piles of broken old metal and glass signs announcing places that may or may not exist any longer or that may presently be in their latest Las Vegas reincarnation. For me, it's simply a magnetic draw to old, charming, quirky, nostalgic things in a style no longer seen. A look at a 1950s-looking object causes me to envision ladies with pincurled hair, pumps with thick clunky heels, a fur stole and pearls. The "Cocktails, Steak, Chicken" sign above puts me in mind of art deco, which puts me in mind of the 20s. Las Vegas would have been very young then. That sign would surely have resided in the old area of downtown.
In the predawn of the Bicentennial Day, a young man and woman aged 22 and 23, drove into Las Vegas in their 1972 VW Beetle. They were moving to Las Vegas to live that day. They had driven through the Mojave from Los Angeles during the night as that VW had no air conditioning and it was July in the desert. They had four tiny kittens and all their worldly possessions contained in that small car. She was a bit sentimental and suggested they pull into the city with a drive along the Strip ~ their entrance into this fascinating new place. As they progressed, they/he/she/I saw many of the signs shown in this post glowing in the desert darkness. For the Algiers Motel and the Silver Slipper were booming then. The goliath Aladdin on top of The Aladdin really did hold that magic lamp in his hands.
I've already written much about how I don't care much for Las Vegas. I might as well live in Nebraska for all the Las Vegas-y things I do. But I do care, a lot, for my history and what's gone before and what's left to come. I remember that ride into the city. I was young and had my whole life ahead of me. I was a dreamer and I thought I knew how it would play out. I was mistaken. I remember the warm air coming in through the windows of that car and I remember all the sights that dazzled me. So you see, by their place in my past, the signs have become venerable things.
I allowed to Kirk as how I'd happily go up and over that chain link fence to mingle with the signs, and I'd like to convince a marvelous photographer to go with me. Oh, yes, I can and have, in recent years, managed to overcome a chain link fence barrier between me and a destination. But I would be concerned about getting camera, tripod and two adults up and over without harm or attracting attention, so it is a scheme unlikely to be played out. Still, I would like to visit the signs in privacy. Not with the infrequent tours in the company of the general public. As one would go to an actual cemetery to pay one's respects.
In my ears right now: Still REM, but I'm a little tender today, so it's "Everybody Hurts". I should probably stop playing it soon and look for something more lively.
Something that charmed me: Another job booked on another strangely named street in our city ~ Lavender Lion Street. I guess home dudes won't be gored or devoured on that job, either.