More than one Evinrude? Who knew?

Mrs. Frog and I came across this restored Evinrude sign in Florence, OR.

Evinrude Outboard Motors neon sign.  Florence, OR.

Evinrude Outboard Motors neon sign. Florence, OR.  Click to see this image and other signs in the Gallery.

From a plaque on the building, this sign dates back about 60 years, and was hanging on Bill Karnowsky’s Auto and Evinrude Outboard Motors Garage on Bay Street for decades.  It was restored by Ken Sierra, and is displayed on loan from him.

So what’s the story?

When I saw the sign, I was immediately taken back to watching my maternal Grandfather working on a little green 3 horsepower outboard motor time and again, never giving up on the little thing. I don’t know how old I was, but I do remember the motor being an ongoing project – working when it wanted to, and being worked on when it didn’t.

My first thought was that the motor was an Evinrude, so I went searching for validation.  My friend Google Image Search has just told me that it was actually a Johnson Sea-Horse motor – so technically, my memory wasn’t right.

And you know what?

It doesn’t matter that my memory was wrong.

It’s the memory that matters.

The image that flashed through my mind of him working on that motor in his basement, cigar clenched in his cheek, quiet perseverance and determination permeating the air is what matters.  The faint smell of gasoline and occasional incomplete combustion was also there – isn’t it funny that you can also smell a memory?

I told Mrs. Frog of my memory.

Her most prominent memory of Evinrude was the character in the animated movie “The Rescuers” – Evinrude was a dragonfly that performed double-duty as an outboard motor in that movie.  I have to admit that I’ve been accused of skipping childhood before – I’d never seen the movie, let alone heard of it or the character.

I learned something that night.

I memorialized a neon sign for posterity.

I also captured an image that brought back warm memories.

And, it’s nice when an image can do that…

Technical information: Nikon D7100, ISO 1600, 1/25 second at f5.6.  Tamron 18-270mm zoom with image stabilization at 70mm.  Hand held, as I didn’t have my tripod.

 

A Classic Arby’s neon sign

The classic Arby’s ® neon sign that many of us grew up with seems to be vanishing from the night landscape of America.

I haven’t seen one of these signs in California in I don’t know how long.

There was one not far from where I spent my wee years.  It was a treat to go to Arby’s and watch your sandwich being created on the slicer.  The root beer came from a tap, and you pumped your own Arby’s sauce.  The things you remember…

Anyway… I found myself on 24th Street in Port Huron, Michigan.  I was on a mission to capture this Arby’s neon sign in all its’ glory – that being during the few seconds that both “roast” and
beef” are illuminated.  For those of you that haven’t seen one of these signs, the lights on the border of the “hat” flicker to give the illusion of motion, and “roast” and “beef” cycle on and off.

But I had a problem.  Someone left their tripod and remote release at home.

But I had a mission.

So, it was time to MacFrog it.  (That was a weak reference to MacGyver that I couldn’t pass up!)

My flannel shirt got folded and crumpled up just right to serve as my tripod on the roof of the car.  I even folded the camera strap and put it under the lens for support.

I set the camera to manual focus, turned off the lens stabilizer, set the camera to ISO 100, turned the flash off, set the shutter speed to 1/5 of a second, and shot away.  And shot away.  An shot away.  I had to time it just right to catch “roast” and “beef” on at the same time.

I managed to get what I wanted on 2 of 19 attempts.  Not a great success rate, but that was one of those nights I gave thanks for digital photography and its’ instant feedback.

A classic Arby's neon sign on 24th Street in Port Huron, MI. December 2015.

A classic Arby’s neon sign on 24th Street in Port Huron, MI. December 2015.

You can check out the current “neon signs and other signs” gallery by clicking here , or just start at Laughing Frog Images.

Enjoy!