Signs of the Old Times
February 2, 2012 in: Reflections on the River
I learned about some “signs” of times gone by during the Tuesday Night Talk at the Pony Express National Museum this week.
Some were more obvious than others. Ruth Rother, a retired school teacher, gave a presentation about the Underground Railroad.
She explained how quilts were used to provide clues to slaves trying to escape to the North. A log cabin block with a black center, for instance, indicated a safe house where they could stay. The flying geese were used to tell them which direction to head.
Ruth made these quilts herself. Historians believe many peace-loving Quaker women made quilts to help the slaves. One Pennsylvania woman helped about 3,000 to freedom.
Before the program started, I chatted with the man sitting next to me. He was Clarence Miller, who just happened to make this neon sign 55 years ago.
The sign was an icon at a local motel on the Belt Highway. When the motel was torn down, the museum acquired the sign. Mr. Miller still works at the sign company, noting that he is the only glassblower in town.