Tuesday, August 03, 2010

This Is Arizona: The Greatest Tourist Trap

Photos by A.C. Huestis. Click above for bigger.

If you've ever been on the highways in Southern Arizona, you've seen billboards for The Thing, and plenty of them. They made a great impression on me as a youth, and ever since I've used them as a yardstick for excellence in typography. There's plenty on the web about The Thing, a combo tourist trap/truck stop/souvenir shop, but I'd recommend starting at Roadside America. Here's "the thing" itself:


I've always been a big fan of shabby, decaying dioramas, so I love this one, one of the most dog-eared I've ever seen:

7 comments:

REVO said...

Thanks so much for sharing "The Thing" with us non-Arizonans! I am now reminded of the great Phil Harris novelty tune of the same name!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWPx-fw0mI8&feature=related

Anonymous said...

Peteykins, thank you so much for this fond remembrance of home! I'm from Tucson, many moons ago... :)

Maddiane said...

That diorama is spectacular. I'm puzzling out "Spain 1703," but am almost happier not knowing.

HRH King Friday XIII, Ret. said...

It all seems very Norman Bates to me.

Bartman said...

That mattress and box spring on the left looks very unlike Spain 1703.

Homer said...

The Thing is paper mache with a few real human bones scattered around it (I know human osteology). The other displays are equally bizarre. A sign will say something like "A book printed in 1673" and the book is open and there is the publication date- something like 1721.

Anonymous said...

omg, thanks for posting a photo of the Thing. I stopped in there once since I was camping out at a guest ranch in Dragoon, but refused to pay the extra entrance fee to actually see it.
I dont remember what they charged, but the whole place seemed such a rip...so I just bought some supplies or gas or something and left.
Now I know.