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