Connie Crete Up Close

General Sign Figures Connie Crete 06-1964I’m not exactly sure what this man is doing, and I’m not sure I want to know. It was in the big box of prints and color slides General Sign Company had taken of signs and other stuff it had created from the 40s through at least the 1960s. Terry Hopkins, whose Dad worked there, said he didn’t know who the man was, but it wasn’t his dad. June 1964 was stamped on the cardboard slide mount.

Terry said General Sign made lots of fiberglass figures at the Kingshighway plant, including cows, BIG John, and Shoney’s little guys. I thought this gal looked familiar.

It was Connie Crete

Connie Crete 06-1964A little deeper in the box was the answer: the girl was Connie Crete,  perched high above Cape Ready Mix and down the street from Schneider Equipment Co. at Bloomfield Road and South Kingshighway.

Over the years, the concrete company would be known for the imaginative decorations its concrete trucks would sport. Dad said he bought concrete from Cape Ready Mix because he figured any company that was that creative and kept its trucks so clean probably also turned out a good product.

You can click on the photos to make them larger.

Pfister’s in Treasure Trove

Pfisters - Gen Sign Co by Laverne H Hopkins croppedBuddy Terry Hopkins stopped by the house when we were both in Cape and dropped off a box of photos. His dad, Laverne H. Hopkins, worked for General Sign Company for years, Terry said. His specialty was drawing people and objects, as opposed to lettering and striping.

You have to remember that signs in those days were individually painted or lettered: they weren’t mass-produced like the ones you see today. A General Sign employee would take a picture of his work to prove to the customer that it was done.

The box contains hundreds of those iconic photos of signs, store fronts and logos we grew up seeing (and probably not really noticing). It’s going to take me a long time to scan and index the photos, but I thought Pfister’s Drive-In would be a good first candidate. Cape Electrical Supply and Cape Memorial Company are in the background, and I think the large brick building on the left might have been the Coke bottling plant.

Click on the photo to make it larger.  Here’s a shot of the drive-in and the area from the air, by the way.

Copyright © Ken Steinhoff. All rights reserved.