As you may know the former location of City Service Station in Franklinton NC is being renovated into a great new restaurant called Johnny’s On Main. The owner is doing his best to preserve the historic aspects of the structure but with all of the expenses he is incurring in the renovation process there is no room in the budget for one of the most prominent features of Downtown Franklinton, the Hand Painted Ghostsign that adorns the southern face of the former Garage. He has already contacted the local Coca-Cola Distributor in an effort to secure funding to no avail. Only $2500 is needed to properly restore the Sign. If you could spare a Dollar, a Hundred or a Dime please Donate below, just click the PayPal Donate button to sucerly Donate Online. Thanks for your time.
The wifey and I got the rare unaccompanied night out last evening and we caught Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom at the only theater in Raleigh befitting such a creation, The Rialto. What drew me in was the overall Hue and Cartoon like aspect of the Trailer. Ive always been a fan of The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou so I knew what to expect. Quirky off beat jokes with just the right timing and oddball eccentric characters. It was packed with Quotes and is sure to be a Cult Classic. If you put your Phone down and pay attention you may get just a taste of how innocence and ignorance truly go hand it hand. After the film we grabbed a late night snack at Beasley’s Chicken + Honey . The Crispy Cheese Grit Fries with Chow Chow & Malt Aioli were great and even better for Breakfast this morning.
“Dear Sam, I am in trouble again because I threw a rock through the window. My mom still has glass in her hair.” Suzy
I had the occasion to visit Southern Pines this weekend and take a walk about the town. It was founded in 1888 and was designed to attract Northerners to the area for Pleasure or Retirement. The master planned streets are named after US States and the Railroad runs directly through the City center. In its glory days the community was thriving but now only on Saturdays do the streets see the foot traffic of years gone by. There are numerous activities to pass the time including an active Movie Theater, Antiquing, The Corner Ice Cream Parlor and of course Betsy’s Crepes(Absolutely Delicious). After you engorge yourself on Crepes be sure to stop in Art Nutz filled with local art and crafts and featuring Raven Pottery (fired in the basement). Both Betsy’s Crepes and Art Nutz are housed in the historic Hotel Belvedere with original authentic Tin Ceilings and Turn of the Century Exposed Brick. Southern Pines is just another North Carolinas Bedroom Community steeped in souther charm. Be sure to take an afternoon to stop and visit should the opportunity ever present itself.
I took a day trip to Lake Gaston and had the occasion to spend the afternoon in Littleton. Its stands as an empty shell of its past. Most of the Commercial properties are rundown and vacant, the houses downtown are weather beaten and paint forgotten. There were kind faces and friendly waves. I ran across several #GhostSigns and Painted Adverts including a Third Generation Painted Sign Shop that is still in Buisness which is were I picked up this Sweet 1960 Hand-painted Sign Section. It is a blessing that time as forgot this sleepy Little ton.
“Hey, you want to go to Acid Park?”
Thats what I heard in the 90’s at a party in the sleepy little Raleigh Suburb I grew up in. A case of beer, a half a tank of gas and an hour later we were there. We came around a curve and the night lit up. Reflectors everywhere, in trees, on fences and some of them were moving. The mobile ones were attached to goliath metal structures that loomed overhead like the Iron Giant. Why did someone make this place? That’s when I was told the biggest lie I’ve ever heard. I wont repeat it, there’s no need to perpetuate idiocy, it all boils down to people cant wrap their heads around the fact that a man did this just because he wanted to. It was my first introduction to the the place of legends, all false by the way, drunken college tales passed from peer to peer, each adding their own twist.
I visited the site at least 3 more times at night as a beer toting bystander and a purveyor of the Myth but the first time I ever truly saw it was just last year, when as an Adult I went in the daylight. WHY, oh WHY does everyone come at night? The reflectors I presume and it adds to the myth but there were colors, textures, contrast and whimsy. None of which could be witnessed under a neon moon. I was blown away, again, and more than before. Those moving reflectors I had seen so many years ago were attached to Whirlygigs.
The massive structures that loom overhead like raw metal towers were breathtaking. Parts were recognizable as old street signs, blower motors and squirrel cages. Across the dirt path I heard a grinding wheel, could this be? Is the man responsible for all this still around? That’s when I met the man, the myth, the legend. Vollis Simpson. Hes everything you expect him to be and absolutely nothing hes not. I spent about 2 hours there talking to Mr. Simpson about everything from politics, college basketball (hes a Duke Fan) and his work. He loves to talk about anything but his work. After the PBS documentary and New York Times article about him hes a bit bumfuzzled in his popularity. He has been labeled as a Outsider Artist and his small pieces command $150. to $400. During my visit he was working on a $25,000 12 foot tall piece of a man on a unicycle. He’s there at his shop on most Fridays and Saturdays. If you are ever in the Wilson NC area I urge you to visit. Stop by Bills BBQ, another local legend, at least according to my belly.
Vollis Simpson’s Whirligig FARM & SHOP (THE ORIGINAL LOCATION OF THE WHIRLIGIGS) is located at the intersection of Wiggins Mill and Vollis Shop Road in Wilson, North Carolina.
Many of the structures have been moved to the Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park located at the intersection of Goldsboro and South Streets in Downtown Wilson. North Carolina. Plese visit the OFFICIAL SITE for more info and DONATE to save these treasures.
This picture embodies every single thing that is great about living in the country. It makes me want to grow my own food, walk down main street whistling the theme to The Andy Griffith Show and wear Overalls to Church. I absolutely love were I live and the fact that its in America just makes it that much sweeter. God Bless the USA and everything that he has blessed us with. #OccupyNONcommercialChristmas