Thursday, May 01, 2008

Bird of Paradise

I'm heading to Vegas and a must-see is my father's Flamingo sign.

The Flamingo project was one of the few million dollar signs in its day and it's still impressive. He took drawings and designed each sheet-metal plume with intricate light displays and also helped install the elaborate sign. My mom tells me it took a too long to complete. I'm sure she was pregnant and alone in LA at the time, or something else pressing was going on at home. In the end, I believe it was worth it.

He created many other fantastic signs like Circus, Circus and the new Hollywood sign. I need to learn the stories behind those... When I was a child, signmaking was a part of his past.

The signmaking company he worked for was called Heath. He owned a pewter pin that made me think of the words, "health" or "Heath Bar." The pin sat in the drawer where he kept all of his treasures. The drawer wasn't full, so I knew the few things inside were particularly special.
My mother often let me dig through the drawer while we folded hot laundry on their bed.

I remember being alone, looking at his treasures one afternoon. He came home & saw me peeking in his drawer. He shouted that I wasn't allowed in there.
"It's personal!"

I scurried out of the room, hot with embarrassment and mad at him for snapping at me.

Once the emotions settled, I wondered what it was he didn't want me to see. I couldn't wait to get back into that drawer. I was hooked.

I can't wait to watch the lights go up the feathers of the Flamingo this weekend. It was my father's pride and joy many years ago, and despite all of the change in Vegas, it still stands.


Anonymous said...

Tres, Tres Cool. Cheers to your Papa!


Christine said...

Now that was simply magic.....I wonder what it must be like to see your father's work in that kind of space? Thanks for sharing.


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