Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Singing the Winter Blues

It's been a long time since I've experienced a winter like the current one. It seems like we've been in one endless cycle of snow and zero temps since December 1. The photo with this blog was taken this past Sunday of my neighbor lady shoveling her sidewalk during whiteout conditions as Mother Nature dumped more snow on La Crosse. Now everywhere I look I see nothing but white, white, white due to huge piles of snow smothering the landscape. I want spring with temps above 50-degrees, green trees and chirping birds. Speaking of birds, I've rarely seen a bird in the past couple weeks and want to feast my eyes on a Robin soon to give me hope that spring is just around the corner. Yes, wonderful spring: when I can ride my bike again and not have to dress like Nanook of the North when I venture outside. Hope "springs" eternal.

Friday, February 8, 2008

From Auction Block to City Block

Last summer I went to the Harry Viner auction in La Crosse and while looking at the various items to be sold off I spotted a Peerless Beer sign for Ed's Cigar Store (see photo at left). Peerless Beer was the signature brew made by La Crosse Breweries (the former Michel Brewery) which closed in 1956. A check of La Crosse city directories found that Ed's Cigar Store was run by Edward Langhofer from about 1954 to 1958 at 323 Main St. in downtown La Crosse. I thought the sign was cool in relation to La Crosse's business history so I snapped a photo of it and went on my way, not giving it much more thought. Several months later I was surprised to see what had to be the same sign (see photo at right) gracing Shooter's Bar at 120 Third St. S. in downtown La Crosse with Shooter's replacing the Ed's Cigar Store part of the sign. I find it somewhat odd to use a beer that was last made over 50 years ago to advertise one's business but I suppose Shooter's owner is a history or brew buff and wanted to bring the sign back to life. Being a local history buff myself, I tip my hat his way for showcasing a bygone part of La Crosse's history and not letting it collect dust in storage as it had been doing.