I Have Some Faves. How About You? (Art On Wheels, Part Four)

There must be a good reason why I occasionally slip behind the steering wheel of my ancient but spunky Honda Civic and drive around my area to photograph attractively-adorned motor vehicles. Maybe it’s because I’m older than dirt, a condition that leads some people to engage in oddball activities. Or maybe it’s because I’m inherently an oddball, and has nothing at all to do with my advanced years. I asked my psychiatrist, Dr. R. U. Forereel, about this during a recent session.

“The answer, Neil, is obvious,” she said. “Yes, you’re old. Really old. Might not be a bad idea to have some work done on your face, in fact. There are dried-out prunes in my refrigerator with fewer wrinkles than you have. And yes, you’re an oddball. But who isn’t? Neither of those factors explains the situation, though. So, here’s the answer: The universe requires each of its components to play their proper roles. One of your roles is to immortalize eye-catching designs on motor vehicles. If you don’t do it, who will? Nobody, Neil, nobody. So, keep up the work. Notice that I didn’t say good work, by the way. I’ll see you next week. And pay at the front desk with a credit card this time. The check you used for the last session bounced.”

Perhaps Dr. Forereel’s theory is correct. It’s as good as any. Anyway, where was I? Right, last week, for the fourth time since launching this website, I hit the roads in the Philadelphia suburbs, aiming to find sharp vehicles to photograph (the previous entries in this series may be read by clicking here, here and here).

Plenty of lovely vehicles passed me as I drove, but, having no interest in buying a ticket for an early grave, I didn’t attempt to snap their pictures when my Honda also was in motion. As always, then, I pulled into strip malls and shopping centers and other commercial areas where my potential victims might be parked. Whenever I spotted a looker, I’d park too, get up nice and close to it, and press the button on my phone’s camera.

The day proved to be not only pretty fruitful but less demanding than I’d expected. I found more than enough subjects within a three mile radius from my house, rather than the eight miles I’d been expecting. That took a nice amount of strain off my sagging shoulders, though the crazy amount of traffic in my region and the abundance of assholic drivers more than made up for that. “Yo, dipshit, get off my tail!” I yelled in my mind any number of times at others sharing the roads with me. Man, my kingdom for a relaxed, casual drive.

I set one rule for the day: I wouldn’t take photos of vehicles I’d photographed before. Alas, I had to ignore a magnificent, huge Dunkin’ Donuts truck, which was delivering goods to a Dunkin’ franchise near my house. One of the truck’s clones made an appearance, you see, in the Art On Wheels story that I published last August.

And I had to tread lightly a couple of times. I’ve shopped now and then at the Best Buy store a mile and a half from my house, but till the other day hadn’t noticed an employee parking area behind this electronics emporium. Wow, it was partially filled with Geek Squad vans, the vehicles used by the Best Buy workers who make home visits to fix problems with computers and other complicated wares. Damn right I took a bunch of photos there. And damn right somebody drove into the lot to ask what the hell I was doing. “Nothing much,” I mumbled. “I’ll be on my way now.”

So, off I went to Best Buy’s customer parking section, where sat a delivery truck upon which was painted a very fine arrangement of fruits and vegetables. A produce truck at an electronics store? Its driver, who was sitting comfortably behind the wheel, probably had pulled into the lot to take a breather. I loved the truck. It would have made it into this article. But I didn’t need the driver climbing out or rolling down a window to ask what the hell I was doing. One encounter of that sort was enough.

I snapped the portraits of 17 vehicles during the two and a half hours that I devoted to the project. Looking over the pix after I got back home, I concluded that 10 made the grade for this mighty story. I’ve looked at that group several times, narrowing down my absolute favorites to four: Terminix, for its design’s clean lines and limited but highly effective palette. U-Haul, because who else ever has painted bats on a truck? Fast Signs, which is as colorful and cool as it can be. Five Star Painting, for the same reasons as Fast Signs.

And my number-one choice is? Ladies and gentlemen, there’s no way I can not go with Five Star Painting. Concise, breezy and hip, the artwork on that car is a feast for the eyes.

And how about you? Which designs rock your world? I need to know! The box in which to enter your comments is below. Adios till next time, amigos.

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98 thoughts on “I Have Some Faves. How About You? (Art On Wheels, Part Four)

  1. Honey8 April 10, 2019 / 12:26 am

    I liked the geek squad one ๐Ÿ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Becky Ross Michael April 10, 2019 / 12:48 am

    I like the U-Haul with the bat the best. I think it’s a great idea to share info about various states and tourist attractions on those trucks!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lynette d'Arty-Cross April 10, 2019 / 12:55 am

    The Bat Truck. That’s where Batman changes stores the Batmobile. Just drives it right in there. While it’s still moving even. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger April 10, 2019 / 12:22 pm

      Hi David. You know, some really beautiful trucks whizzed by me on the road, but there was no way I could take photos of them.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Audrey Driscoll April 10, 2019 / 1:04 am

    I like Geek Squad #1, the white lettering on black. Striking and sort of funny too. And you’re right — Five Star Painting is pretty nice. (Maybe they’ll give you a deal on a paint job if you show them this post?)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger April 10, 2019 / 12:26 pm

      Hi Audrey. It’s interesting that not all of the Geek Squad vehicles are painted the same way. Best Buy likes to mix things up.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Audrey Driscoll April 10, 2019 / 5:28 pm

        That is interesting. Maybe people notice the differences–which is a good thing in advertising.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Paddy Tobin April 10, 2019 / 3:50 am

    There is the plumber’s van which has a toilet painted on the outside so the driver appears to be “on the throne” while driving around – it makes one look twice, or even more often depending on how curious one is about the toilet habits of others. Eyecatching, it is!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger April 10, 2019 / 12:28 pm

      That plumber has a very offbeat sense of humor. I bet that his van has brought him plenty of business he wouldn’t have had otherwise.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Paddy Tobin April 10, 2019 / 6:27 pm

        Yeah, there’s money in s..t

        Liked by 1 person

  6. tylerus April 10, 2019 / 6:50 am

    Nothing wrong with being an oddball – it makes you YOU! A unique, interesting (and most charming) individual. You’ve given me something to do for the rest of the week: eye trucks and vans. I look at them (sometimes), but never truly “see” them. ๐Ÿ™‚ As an FYI, I kinda lean toward the corned-beef design (even if I never eat it, it looks rather nummy).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger April 10, 2019 / 12:30 pm

      Hi Tyler. The truck you mention belongs to a restaurant called the Corner Bakery. It’s a pretty good place. I eat there once in a while.

      Like

  7. GP Cox April 10, 2019 / 6:59 am

    Can’t remember the last time I saw a Snap-On truck. We used to have a ton of construction going on here in So. Fla., but now they have filled just about every square inch of spare room.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger April 10, 2019 / 12:34 pm

      Hi GP. Yup, it’s amazing how fields and wooded areas can disappear pretty quickly. That’s happened all over the world.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. greenpete58 April 10, 2019 / 7:56 am

    Thank God you’ve returned to doing what you do best: taking pictures of trucks. I just wish you’d have photographed that produce truck with the driver at the wheel. He might’ve offered you a bite of his vegemite sandwich. My top 3 here are Fast Signs, U-Haul, and Five Star Painting. For number one, I’ve gotta go with U-Haul. How many times do you see a giant bat on the side of a vehicle? And is that the state of Missouri? (Or Misery?) Very weird shit.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Almost Iowa April 10, 2019 / 8:45 am

    What struck me – is that they are all so clean. What’s up with that?

    Around here, this is how it goes:

    “Hey, did you get a new van?”
    “No.”
    “But it’s a different color.”
    “That’s just mud and dust.”
    “I mean, under the mud and dust.”
    “Oh that, I was driving north of Hayfield yesterday, the mud and dust there is a lighter color.”

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger April 10, 2019 / 12:37 pm

      Yeah, you’re right. I hadn’t thought of that: The owners of the trucks seem to keep them cleaner than you’d expect. Enjoy the day. See ya!

      Like

  10. Robert Parker April 10, 2019 / 8:48 am

    I’d go with the saddle shoe Geek Squad van. Simple, and I’ve always wanted a pair of shoes like that. (And they should have a squeaky heel, that goes “geek…geek…geek” when you step down.) But yeah, get the Five Star guys to do your personal touch-up.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Laurie Graves April 10, 2019 / 9:14 am

    My favorite is the Corner Bakery Cafe truck. Of course it is. There are pictures of food on the truck, and my oh my, that food looks good.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Jacqui Murray April 10, 2019 / 10:38 am

    Who knew there were so many of these? If not for your industriousness, I’d have gone my entire life without that essential tidbit. A big thank you, Neil!

    I have only one picture I took of such a van, a mother’s memory of her son lost in combat. It was heartbreaking.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Deb April 10, 2019 / 11:08 am

    I think that I’m immune to the signage on most of these vehicles Neil. I see them way to often and just ignore them altogether. The ones that always make me laugh are the cars advertising their dental offices. Having worked in dentistry for 20+ years there’s just something about advertising on a car that strikes me as odd and maybe a bit unethical.
    BTW, that sandwich on the catering truck looks very unimaginative and really dry…I would not hire those people ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger April 10, 2019 / 12:44 pm

      Hi there, Deb. Not sure if I ever saw a car with dental ads. Maybe I will now that you’ve brought up that subject. Take care —

      Like

  14. alison41 April 10, 2019 / 1:05 pm

    The U Haul truck :Bats = Fly by Night … dodgy people slipping away under the cover of darkness?

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Ann Coleman April 10, 2019 / 2:35 pm

    Perhaps because I am also older than dirt, I also went with the painting van. It’s so bright and cheerful! (And doesn’t make me hungry, or remind me that I no nothing about computers, or that half my appliances will break down in the upcoming year.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger April 10, 2019 / 5:19 pm

      Hi. I bet that the Five Star Painting vehicle drums up a good bit of business for that company. It pays to advertise (sometimes, anyway).

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Isabelle April 10, 2019 / 4:10 pm

    I definitely go for Corner Bakery Cafe. Why? I guess Iโ€™m just very hungry right now and a big bite will do me good. After laughing for about 30 minutes, the wrinkles have reached another high level, beating both dried-out plums and clementines. Iโ€™ll put on a hydra face mask soon.

    Thanks for a good laugh at 10:08 p.m. Neil!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. JT Twissel April 10, 2019 / 4:22 pm

    I didn’t think Snap-on was around anymore. So I’d have to go with that one just for the memories.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. tanjabrittonwriter April 10, 2019 / 10:39 pm

    I think it’s a tie between the bat and Five Star Painting. If you absolutely need to know, I will sleep on it and decide in the light of day.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Cindy April 11, 2019 / 12:02 am

    Definitely the painting truck! In the 1950s, my dad was a painting contractor and drove a pink Dodge pick-up with big gray polka dots all over it. Of course, I was always embarrassed to ride in it–but he said that truck got him a lot of jobs! (And no doubt a lot of laughs, too.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger April 11, 2019 / 6:59 am

      If you have a photo of that truck, please show it to me some day. Thanks for dropping by, Cindy. See ya!

      Like

  20. alhenry April 11, 2019 / 5:56 pm

    Best Buy workers make home visits? Who knew? This is why we (would) pay you the big bucks (if we could). My vote, however, for fave freewheeling vehicle goes to the U-Haul this time. I mean, those enormous bats on the side. Wow! talk about truth in advertising, because nothing will drive you more bats than loading up all your stuff in a U-Haul and driving the thing over the Tobin Bridge at rush hour to unload it all–including 42 boxes of books–up a steep hill in Chelsea.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. jeanleesworld April 11, 2019 / 9:44 pm

    I always love the U-Hauls! It’s neat to see what they promote from each state. ๐Ÿ™‚ As for truck watching, you’d be my son Biff’s best friend. That’s aaaaaaaaaaaall he’d love to do.Any time the school maintenance vehicles are out, he ignores the playground just to sit and stare at the trucks. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Alyson April 13, 2019 / 4:35 am

    I think my fave is the Geek Squad van – you know where you are with the Men in Black. Love that tasty looking baguette as well but not easy to spot the company name. They should be loud and proud.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. viewfromoverthehill April 13, 2019 / 2:26 pm

    Gosh Neil: Friends sometimes ask me where I get my ideas for my blog, but you are the master of thinking up unusual and interesting topics. I think our trucks and vans are not as colorful as yours yet, so I enjoyed studying each creative one you included. Good on you!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. selizabryangmailcom April 13, 2019 / 6:37 pm

    That’s A LOT of artwork on a lot of vehicles. That would be a great skill to have. I used to draw a lot, but I don’t think I’d have the hustle in me to always drum up new work.

    Nice pics, though, as always.
    I’ll be more supportive than Dr. R.U. Forereel and say “keep up the GREAT work” Neil. Lol !!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. angelamcclintock April 14, 2019 / 10:47 am

    I agree with you on how Interesting these rolling billboards have become. When I am driving downtown and see one ahead of me, I try to get alongside to get a better look. Some of them are rolling art!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger April 14, 2019 / 3:48 pm

      Hi Angela. Right โ€” they help to brighten the scene. And urban scenes often need some brightening. See you!

      Like

  26. Michele Anderson April 14, 2019 / 6:12 pm

    Gosh, Neil, this is a very hard one to decide. I guess the Geek Squad is the one I vote for, but I don’t know why.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger April 14, 2019 / 10:00 pm

      Hey there, Michele. A bunch of other people have said they like the Geek Squad vans a lot. Theyโ€™re in favor!

      Like

  27. George April 15, 2019 / 12:34 am

    Great work. You have an eye for this, so it is clearly what you were born to do. Your age and oddballness are to be celebrated. The only worrying thing is that youโ€™re still making appointments with Dr R. U. Foreal.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Pam Lazos April 15, 2019 / 7:55 am

    Neil, you have a knack for elevating the most mundane things to the level of art. I will never look at these vehicles the same. :0)

    Liked by 1 person

  29. charliecountryboy April 15, 2019 / 8:42 am

    Being an ex-motor mechanic itโ€™s got to be the Snap-On van, used to get all giddy when he showed up on Friday afternoon ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger April 15, 2019 / 10:04 am

      You know, I think that those Snap-On trucks used to be pretty common in my area (Pennsylvania, USA). But I think that this one was the first I’d seen in a long while.

      Liked by 1 person

  30. cath April 15, 2019 / 10:08 am

    ‘Five Star Painting’ is top of my list. Until I saw that it was ‘Geek Squad’, but they were easily demoted by all that colour.

    Lovely post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger April 17, 2019 / 10:19 am

      Right, sometimes we have to look pretty hard to find good-looking things. But usually they are there.

      Like

    • Yeah, Another Blogger April 17, 2019 / 3:51 pm

      We shouldnโ€™t argue with our stomachs! Thanks for stopping by, Marietta. I appreciate it.

      Like

  31. Silver Screenings April 18, 2019 / 7:24 pm

    My fave is the Corner Bakery van because: Food.

    If that bakery was in my neighbourhood, I would probably live there.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. lievelee April 22, 2019 / 3:40 am

    Five Star Painting is pretty cool… I think that would be my favourite. Bright, colourful, fun…

    Lieve

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger April 22, 2019 / 7:32 am

      I agree, Lieve. That vehicle probably has drummed up business for that company. Take care. Thanks for adding your thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

  33. Henry Lewis April 24, 2019 / 5:12 pm

    I need to book a session with Dr. Forereel if you have her number handy ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger April 24, 2019 / 7:43 pm

      Iโ€™ll have to look it up. Iโ€™ll let you know. Thanks for visiting my site. Take care.

      Like

  34. Fictionophile May 6, 2019 / 10:47 am

    I get a kick out of the second “Geek Squad” vehicle that resembles a police car.

    Liked by 1 person

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