Thoughts from the Publisher

neena-new-headshot.jpgBy Neena Strichart

Many of us collect things. With some it is stamps, porcelain kitties, records, books or coins. For others it is bigger and more expensive items like cars or motorcycles. Most of the people in my life stick to things that fall into a type of theme– like stained glass, vintage jewelry, a particular type of glassware or pottery.
We collectors find our treasures at swap meets, yard sales or local antique malls.
Be careful telling folks what you collect. Well-meaning friends will shower you with another doll, pig, or thimble to add to your already bulging collection. We are often grateful for the thought but wish folks would stop choosing for us. The fun is in the hunt, the chase, the kill.
I collect cow creamers– not figurines of cows. I don’t want cow candles, or dish towels or anything else. I just collect cow creamers. I prefer to find my own. Steve has done a marvelous job over the years of finding me new and unusual specimens to add to my herd. Mom has found a few on her world travels that I am thrilled to own. Now that I have over 200, I wish folks would stop helping me collect. I’m now to the point of duplication and, with ebay making the search so easy, it has kind of taken the fun out of the whole thing.
I also have another collection– one that I rarely speak of. I collect signs. My stash is small and currently consists of just a handful of items. I have the original sign that hung outside the Signal office on Cherry Avenue. I also managed to get my hands on a sign that was part of the old Osborn car dealership– also on Cherry Avenue. Another treasured piece is a small plastic sign that once adorned the back door of McKenzie Cremation and Burial when it was still located in Signal Hill. I get a kick out of that one.
My favorite sign is one that my father used during his re-election campaign for Signal Hill City Treasurer back in the 70s. It proudly says: “Re-Elect AL POSNER City Treasurer– One Good Term Deserves Another.” What memories.
A sign I had and lost caused quite a furor in my household. Take a look on page two of this issue. See the sign that says All States Motel? Well, I was able to talk a couple of workers dismantling the motel to give me a smaller version of that sign. It looked about 4 feet by 8 feet up on that pole. Unbeknownst to me, when they took it down it was in reality about half-again as big. Nevertheless, they transported it to my back yard– dragging it down the driveway leaving a trail of broken neon glass. Steve was furious. He told me not to get the sign because it was too big. I argued that it wasn’t. He was right. Besides having all the neon shattered, the metal creature was rusty, twisted and had made a lovely home for a huge rat.
We paid $21 to have it taken away. The sign, not the rat.

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