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Model Billboards

Model billboard reinforces an event from my experience that I can build a story around. Today is the “billboard” day (11/26/08). I was time to choose a project that has been on the back burner. It happened while cleaning out a shelve. There were some model billboards kits I forgot. These are by J L Innovative that come with the colored signs. They also have sign sheets for extra money with other advertisements to use with the kits. Three model billboards took most of the afternoon to build because of the small pieces of wood to cut and glue together.

Our model billboards are advertising “Greyhound Bus” presents more options for the traveler. The train station in the background is going to lose business to the automobile and over the road bus system, not to mention air travel.

Billboard I Have seen

I frequently rode the Greyhound between Calumet and Marquette, Michigan, while attending college in the early ’60s. The local bus stop in Calumet was at the Ford dealership, a block from our home on Eighth and Pine Street. We were “as usual,” the end of the line for the bus as well as the train. During the dead of winter, I had to help the driver get that cold diesel engine started for the run to Marquette. I would crank the engine from the driver’s seat while the driver sprayed Either into the intake manifold. Everyone in town knew I was a “garage” kit, so I should be able to help out with this. That engine reluctantly started resulting in clouds of blue fuel oil smoke that darkened the neighborhood.

That driver found me fast asleep across the rear seat after he parked the bus in the overnight garage. He laughed about it because it was only by chance that he walked through the bus before leaving and locking the doors for the night. I’m glad he did because a warm bed was only a block away.

I got to learn how those California “fail-safe” air brakes work near Ishpeming MI. We were cruising along nicely when all of a sudden, the driver looked at me and said: ” the brakes came on, and I can’t release them.” Come to find out, if an airline breaks and the air pressure drops, the brake shoes apply against the drums, and you come to a stop. Springs apply the brake shoes, and air pressure releases them. A good idea, I thought, but we still had to wait an hour for an extra bus to bring us the last 10 miles.

My father

My father was a Chrysler dealer and we always drove a New Yorker. At the other end of Fifth Street from us was the Cadillac/Chevrolet dealer. The owner, Jimmy Bartona always drove a Cadillac. He looked the part as he wore an expensive suit, top hat and smoked a cigar. If you didn’t know who he was, he gave the appearance of being a mob boss cruising around town with his short and stocky build. In those days, it was expected to look your best, and he did.

All the wood was PRE stained with rubbing alcohol and India ink. Billboards were exposed to the weather 24/7 so I gave them a hit and miss coat of light green. The free stand by themselves, so I can move them to any location as I see fit.

International Trucks were sold by the Harvester implement dealer so we always called the “Corn Binders”. Most of my life was spent repairing light trucks and cars and detested any form of International because of their unconventional design. Nowadays, with all the computer controls on everything made, these old internationals were a piece of cake to diagnose and repair.

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A billboard (also called a hoarding in the UK and many other parts of the world) is a large outdoor advertising structure (a billing board), typically found in high-traffic areas such as alongside busy roads. Billboards present large advertisements to passing pedestrians and drivers. Typically showing witty slogans and distinctive visuals, billboards are highly visible in the top designated market areas. The largest ordinary-sized billboards are located primarily on major highways, expressways or principal arterials, and command high-density consumer exposure (mostly to vehicular traffic). These afford the greatest visibility due not only to their size but because they allow creative “customizing” through extensions and embellishments. Posters are the other common form of billboard advertising, located mostly along primary and secondary arterial roads. Posters are a smaller format and are viewed principally by residents and commuter traffic, with some pedestrian exposure. WIKI

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