Reminds me of something you’d see on Route 66.
Great photo! Is this a recent pic or from the archives? I love the cherry old wagon parked in front of the old building which is resplendent in its faded sixties glory.
I was curious about that too, so I found the location on Google Maps, which is here:
…and it seems that in the most recent Google image (from 9/2018), the Tip Top sign is gone, as is the Country Squire… although there’s Chevy Celebrity in the background. The sign was gone in the 2016 imagery as well, so I think this featured photo is from before then.
Incidentally, there is a 2005-vintage photo in the Library of Congress archives, of the same location, with the same Country Squire, below. And in that picture, there’s a vintage Fox Mustang in the picture as well:
Wow. good research! The building’s charisma is definitely lacking with the loss of the signs. The flowerbed bricks have collapsed even further and the windows are boarded up.
I found another photo with the wagon in it and it is dated 2009. https://external-content.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.barraclou.com%2Fphoto%2Fskyline%2Fid%2Flewiston_tiptopdrivein.jpg&f=1&nofb=1
Looks like it was a drive in restaurant judging from the streetside sign.
Now, maybe it’s just me, but that neon sign would be awfully easy to misread as the “Up Top In and Out”, meaning a given customer might well enter the facility with expectations somewhat at odds with the available products, though it must also be said that if the owner of the Ford wagon was one who had so misread the signage, he would have to have – at the least – optimistic ideas of the sort things providable in drive-thru service.
Some business names do lead to high hopes that result in potential disappointment. For a while there was a chain of convenience stores (the gasoline, candy bar, and jumbo soda retailers) named “Kum & Go”.
What the high hopes might be in this case is for others to determine.
Kum & Go is still around in the the midwest and I’ve had the same thought, which I figured was just a reflection of my personal depravity. Guess, I’m glad I’m not the only one! I think the x-rated version is spelled with a C, but still it’s a little too close for comfort. I’ve thought surely the executives of that organization are aware of the imagery and why don’t they spell It Kome or even Come?
The company was founded by two men whose names were Krause and Gentle. The K&G name is a reflection on their initials, but the spelling, ugh.
According to Kum & Go’s CEO (who is the grandson of the founder), they spelled it “Kum” to save money on signage — the three-letter “Kum” is cheaper to make a sign for than the four-letter “Kome.” What a great example of Midwestern frugality.
This is a somewhat amusing video of the CEO talking about his company’s name:
Meanwhile, in Little Bras d’Or, Nova Scotia…
Since the sign says In & Out on it, my dissappointment would just be over the inability to order a Double-Double Animal Style.
I am honestly surprised that the California In-N-Out chain didn’t come after this place for trademark infringement. Perhaps it was considered ok since they didn’t operate in the same terretory, but I’m not a lawyer.
Another possibility is that the business in the photo used the “In & Out” name prior to the burger chain’s use of “In-N-Out,” and two entities reached an agreement allowing both to use the similar names. As lawsuit-happy as the US can be, sometimes cooler heads prevail when the cost of suing exceeds the probable benefit to both parties.
I’ve known of at least two other examples of similar business names. There is a small chain of convenience stores in South Louisiana named “Cracker Barrel,” despite there being a chain restaurant with the same name. Also, there is a regional burger chain named “Whataburger” in the Southern US, “What-A-Burger” in Virginia and the Carolinas, and “Whattaburger” in Arkansas. In the latter situation there was a lawsuit in 2004, and it was decided that there was no damage or harm to either party, since at the time there was considerable distance between the two businesses’ locations.
Mr. Feltner owned Whattaburger in Russelville, Arkansas across from the Arkansas Tech University campus. I ate there frequently when I was attending ATU on a scholarship and it’s still in business. Good burgers ordered your way and cooked while you wait. Their shakes are yummy. It’s on Highway 7 which was one of Car & Drivers top 10 roads to drive on back when they were doing those in their January issues. It’s just a few minutes off I-40.
Yes, and now his sons operate a couple of locations in NW Arkansas, but they’re called Feltner’s. Possibly that’s because there are several Whataburgers (of the Texas chain) in that market.
Tip Top is a popular brand of ice cream in New Zealand recently sold by Fonterra to foreign buyers.
It also used to be a brand of bread is sixties Australia. My aunt who worked in another brand’s shop reckoned it meant top of the rubbish tip.
I love this kind of Americana. Thanks. Tom
Mr. Perry is so adept at expertly capturing Americana in the most unexpected settings. I’m a big fan of his work.
My first thought was ‘the first In and Out Burger’.
I believe that Country Squire is a 1979… first year of the Panther… only year without the AOD transmission (I don’t see the “Overdrive” emblem on the front fender or tailgate).
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