My blog Raining Iguanas is about self expression. Are you who you want to be? Many die never realizing their dreams. Many never even define them. Many live entire lives searching for the answer to one simple question. Who am I? The title above encapsulates that question. Come along for the ride. You may recognize the scenery.
I can't with any precision determine when I first encountered sign painter Walter Clements. I know it was in the late seventies. As a young father I was handed the opportunity to purchase a milk business named Price's Dairy. It was in those early days of carving out a living for my growing family that the true search may have begun. I had a truck, a milk truck. It was in need of a new breath of life. It needed a fresh sign-a sign from 'Clem'. And so the journey begins; me, a young father with aspirations of being a successful business owner putting food on the table with his own hands. Young hands with missing parts and fresh calluses. A sign painter with a love of a sip of something stronger than water. You take the two and add a city in the midst of redefining its own hopes and dreams and you have a story.
This need to find a sign from Clem has been following me around for years and I can't tell you why. It seems as though it goes back to my child hood when I first saw that simple little signature beneath one of his local signs. It was such a simple little signature. But now as I think about it I realize that sign painters don't normally sign their work, but artists do. It may have been an advertising brand but I couldn't help but think it was more of a pride-in-my-work statement by Clem.
The more I thought about the vein of this piece the more I realized it was more about my own yearning for artistic expression. I may be romanticizing the story but I haven't been able to shake the desire to pursue it to see where it takes me. My hope is to discover some buried treasures along the way and maybe some buried treasures within. If you've ever been tickled by something unknown you may want to stick around.
|Clem's Last Price's Dairy Sign |