Two things have changed for me in the nine years I’ve been taking road trips. First, in the old days it was mostly about exploring, and now it’s mostly about enjoying a day’s journey. Second, I’ve seen all of the interesting roads reachable within a day of my home. So a day trip is almost always going to be over a road I know well, but that’s okay because I love spending a day on any old road.
That means I’m starting to see things change on my favorite routes. When Dawn and I visited Richmond on our 2009 tour of Indiana’s National Road, we came upon this great old neon sign.
Didn’t every city once have a local music store? A place where the kids in the high-school band could buy or rent their clarinets, and where the bar bands could buy new guitar strings? Was there one in your town? My hometown had two: Witmer-McNease Music and Hedman Music. Both have been gone for years now. And sadly, it appeared that Richmond’s Hood Music had also gone the way of the dodo.
So on our recent return trip, I looked for this sign to photograph it again. I couldn’t spot it. Did I just not remember where it was? Did I pass by it but just not notice it?
I was taken aback to walk into an antique store in nearby Centerville on our recent trip and find this.
On the one hand, I’m glad to see that this sign didn’t end up in a landfill. On the other, I’m sad to find it in such condition.
I’ve driven the National Road from its beginning in Baltimore, MD to its end in Vandaila, IL. To read everything I’ve ever written about it, click here.
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