Munger Moss Motel

The Munger Moss Motel
Canon PowerShot S95

This starts a short series of neon signs I’ve photographed. I enjoy finding them on my road trips! I especially enjoy finding them lit.

When my sons and I toured Route 66 in 2013 I booked us in classic mom-and-pop motels as much as I could. Most were good, a couple were great. The Munger Moss was great.

Owner Ramona was delighted that I brought my young sons out to experience the Mother Road. She took my hand in hers and said that people like us were keeping its memory alive.

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20 responses to “single frame: The Munger Moss Motel”

  1. P Avatar

    Family-owned hotels like this one are generally a much nicer place to stay than the big corporate chains. In my experience the owners sincerely care about their guests, and even if the rooms are old, they tend to be kept cleaner than the big name competitors keep theirs. They’re also generally a better deal. I think people should try to support these sorts of places every opportunity they have. And I love neon signs. It’s a shame there are so few remaining these days.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I find the mom-and-pop hotels to be a mixed bag. 20% are like the Munger Moss, well cared for and run by salt-of-the-earth people. 40% are clean and decent but out of date and run down around the edges. The last 40% start at dirty and scale down to dilapidated and/or dangerous.

      1. P Avatar

        Thankfully, I haven’t experienced much of the last 40% you mentioned, at least not at family-run hotels. Maybe I’ve just been lucky. On the other hand, I’ve stayed at many big name chain hotels that were absolutely disgusting, despite being new and modern and looking good on the surface. I don’t mind staying somewhere that’s old and worn, as long as it’s kept very clean and everything is sanitary. And I’d much rather support a family business if possible, rather than a corporate chain.

  2. J P Avatar

    I’m looking forward to this series. I had to look at some shots of the old classic Holiday Inn signs before concluding that this one is only similar and not an actual repurposing of one.

    A gorgeous sign!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      This one is definitely in the Holiday Inn style, but it is an original.

  3. Christopher May Avatar
    Christopher May

    Looking forward to this series! This is a great start! If you ever find yourself in Pueblo, Colorado, you’ll want to head to neon alley after dark. The Koncilja family collects old neon signs and refurbishes them and hangs them in an alley right across from the historic Pueblo Union Depot. There are dozens of beautiful signs that have been saved from the scrap heap down there!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Oh how cool, I didn’t know about Neon Alley! The best collection of old neon I’ve seen is at the American Sign Museum in Cincinnati.

  4. fishyfisharcade Avatar

    I love these types of photos. As a British guy whose cultural diet included a notable portion of American movies, TV and Stephen King novels, sights such as this hold wonderul appeal. I’ve been fortunate enough to visit the States on three occasions, but each time has been to a large city, so one of my bucket-list items would be to fly over, hire a car, and then just take in the sights of the open country. Not sure I’ll get the chance, but it’s something to aspire to.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I hope you book that trip. It is truly great to drive across America, esp. on the old non-Interstate highways. Route 66 is a wonderful trip that shows you how the United States changes as you head west.

  5. Marc Beebe Avatar

    “Telephones Refrigerated”. Hmm. To induce superconductivity and make them work better? :D
    There’s a certain ‘essence of Holiday Inn’ about that sign!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Chilled phones, the newest fad in motels.

  6. brandib1977 Avatar

    “She took my hand in hers and said that people like us were keeping its memory alive.” This resonates with me. This is why we do what we do. I’ll look forward to seeing more! :)

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      It was a very touching moment. When this craziness is over get onto the Mother Road and stay at the Munger Moss! The people who run these old motels are not getting any younger.

      1. brandib1977 Avatar

        I would LOVE to do that. I’m taking notes!

  7. Kurt Ingham Avatar
    Kurt Ingham

    Impressive sign-perfectly captured!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      The Canon S95 is a great tool for moments such as these!

  8. Kurt Ingham Avatar
    Kurt Ingham

    One thought flash – the Munger Moss would have been perfect for a large Cibachrome print

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Oooh, good thought!

  9. tbm3fan Avatar

    May have to change Free TV over to Free WiFi now and drop telephone.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      When they restored the sign they deliberately left this part as it would have been in the hotel’s heyday!

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