Old McDonald’s sign
Canon PowerShot S95
Lately I’ve been photographing the neighborhood I live in and the shopping centers and restaurants within walking distance. It’s what’s convenient to photograph while I work from home.
Almost all of this stuff has been built in the last five years, and a lot of it within the last 18 months. So we have the latest in strip-mall and fast-food architecture, such as it is.
On Flickr, someone commented on a photo I posted of our brand new Wendy’s. “Thank you for documenting the times,” he said. “In the future folks will see these and say, ‘I remember when the fast food places changed their look!’”
I thought of that when I came upon this photo I made a few years ago of a McDonald’s sign in Richmond, Indiana. It dates to the late 1960s or early 1970s. I grew up in the 1970s, so I remember when these were common. Few are left now. That’s why I stopped to photograph it.
What if someone had photographed places like this extensively back in the 1970s? We’d have an outstanding record of what the United States looked like at that moment in time. Throwback signs like this were all brand new once. The new Wendy’s in my neighborhood will, one day, be a throwback too.
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