In the beginning...

Early on in my collecting signs an gas pumps days I was struggling to find contacts of people to buy things from and had reverted to my old ere internet ways of just driving around and sniffing out the cool stuff still left to be had by Junk Hunters like me.

I can’t remember exactly why but somehow my wife and I had made a trip up to Twin Falls ID to visit some dear friends from our College days that had introduced us by setting us up to go to a church meeting on a blind date. After all, it was just a church meeting and a little food after and the fact that my wife was engaged to her high school sweetheart who was at home in California working so they could afford to get married 2 months later, didn’t really apply to this kind of arrangement. Apparently, that’s another story for another day!

Anyway, we were at our friends the Parkhursts who had introduced us over 50 years before and were about to head home to Utah. In the meantime, I had heard of a sort of famous collector that lived somewhere around Blackfoot that I really wanted to meed as I had heard he really was an excellent source for Gas Pumps and Signs and Globes, which I didn’t collect at the time. Rody was the name I had but no last name. Then there was another guy who had done some gas pump restorations and sold a lot of gas pumps to collectors in Utah.

Of course, I decided to follow the leads down and take the back roads to Riverside ID to do it. That’s where the pump guy supposedly lived. Off we went! I heard some tall tales and even found a pump or two but nothing too exciting till we passed an old junkyard with some signs of some very cool old stuff. I got the name of the owners from their mom who lived in an old 50’s trailer house at the front of the junkyard.

She was the “junkyard dog” that kept the scavengers away I assumed, but they weren’t there at the, so we headed on to

Riverside. Upon arriving I could see that the town was small enough that I could just ask around and find the gas pump guy I was looking for. So it was, and so it happened. I got his name and saw where he lived and went there only to find him not a home? Of course? What would you expect? I decided to wait around as the neighbor told us about when he would be home from work. It is a cute little old town, so we wandered around and met neighbors, one of whom was quite interested in our collecting hobby himself. The family gathered around and told us stories and even told us about a standing Texaco sign in front of the original old gas/service station in a place about 40 miles North on the road to Arco in a little ghost town called Atomic City. We had time, and I figured I’d take my chances as I’d followed worse tales before. We got a somewhat decent description of where to go and how to go and headed out. The drive got more and more desolate the farther we drove, and no one lived out there, and no one was on the road going in either direction! We drove for what seemed like forever and just as we were about to give up on the directions we saw a sign pointing to go left to Atomic City.

Tags Petroliana Collector, Lakeside Storage and Museum, Self Storage, AAALakeside Storage, gas pumps, Passion for signs, Lakeside museum

A Hobby of Hope....

Some of you may be wondering who on earth is the obsessed person that has such a passion for Petroliana sign collecting? Well honestly I have wondered the same thing….and it is my dad. Sparky Sparks is his name, or at least what he goes by. He has a passion like no one I have ever know. He has GRIT and perseverance, he finds work fun and hobbies are only useful if they have a future purpose. We his 8 children wonder, “WHAT IS THE PURPOSE” of collecting sign after sign after sign, driving all around the country at 78 years old?

Our mom, Jeannie, who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s a few years ago hasn’t slowed this passion but instead just pushes the passion of hours on end spent together traveling, making memories and collecting signs. Does she love it like he does? No, but she loves him and his addiction to this “Hobby of Hope” I will call it. Hope in what?

Hope in a love of life, making memories, persevering, staying young, making connections, and cultivating new friendships along the way. A hope of, surviving hard things and doing it together as a couple who loves eachother and spends just about every moment together on the road or off.

This blog is written by me, his daughter, Tiffany, and by him sharing their adventures about his Hobby of Hope.