The Old Road Series - Plate XIII

Release Date: March 1985
Edition Size: 1000 S/N
Issue Price: $40.00
Print Size: 17 x 24
Secondary Market Value

Since my first trip from Southern Indiana to Florida at age 16, I've been intrigued with travel along our nation's two-lane highways. These narrow, winding, sometimes dark and dreary paths were filled with exciting sights and sounds that created a feeling of being very, very far from home.

I fondly recall the flashing neon signs on the small town diner and the roadside motor courts with "TV in every room". One could not travel through Tennessee without noticing the barn side and rooftop advertisements proclaiming the attractions atop Lookout Mountain. "See Ruby Falls" signs beckoned us to stop as we passed through the Chattanooga area. "We'll lose three hours travel time!" or "That storm back near Nashville slowed us down," or "We'd like to make it to at least Macon before dark," were all reasons for not stopping.

There was never time to see the underground wonder called Ruby Falls, but it was exciting to know that it must surely be outstanding because there were so many barn side testimonials. I finally visited Ruby Falls with my wife and daughter 20 years later and found it as splendid as I'd always imagined it would be.

Few "See Ruby Falls" signs are found on barn today. Most are freestanding billboards, particularly along the Interstate highways. The barn inspiring this painting was located on the west side of Interstate 65, one mile south of the Kentucky/Tennessee State Line. It was a piece of American rural history...and a survivor of our youthful pre-Interstate memories, right along with the Mail Pouch Tobacco, See Rock City and Burma-Shave signs of old.