In 2013 I took up a new hobby that I had been thinking about for the last year, smoking BBQ.  I’ve watched shows on TV about BBQ from BBQ Pitmasters to Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives to learn everything I can about how to smoke BBQ meats.  One thing I have noticed, especially in the south, is all the old signs at the restaurants that have been around since the 40’s and 50’s and those old signs really interest me.

I recently made a trip to Birmingham, Alabama to visit some friends but to also try some BBQ at a restaurant that I have heard so much about in the last few months.  The place I went to was Big Bob Gibson Bar B Q in Decatur, Alabama and not only was the food as good as I had read about but the old sign out was just as interesting to me as the BBQ I was about to eat.  I come from a long line of neon tube benders in my family and the old porcelain sign out front of Big Bob Gibson with the neon took me back to the days when my grandfather used to make neon for these types of signs.  He was a neon tube bender by trade and I remember him talking about some of the signs he made neon for around the area where I live and I always enjoyed listening to those stories.  Neon is a lost art and there just aren’t too many neon tube benders around anymore. The latest and greatest technology takes over everything at some point and neon is just one of those things that had it’s day in the sun.  Now I’m not knocking such things as LEDs because they are more efficient to run and over time help customers save money and believe me I’m all about saving money just like the next person but it doesn’t have that personal touch to it that vintage neon does like Big Bob Gibson’s sign.  So I wanted to just share with you some of my favorite old signs and take you back to the good ole days.  Enjoy!