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And Crowned Thy Good with Brotherhood

Photo by Steven Robinson; click to enlarge

Each year on this date I try to find and present a photo that captures America in a nutshell (here are the ones from 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, and 2008). This year, though, I didn’t have to go looking for a photo, because reader Steven Robinson provided one for me. He was recently traveling through Anniston, Alabama, when he came upon something that intermingles three great American tropes: football, neon signage, and smoked meat. If that doesn’t bring a patriotic tear to your eye, nothing will.

I wanted to see what the sign looked like when illuminated and animated, so I poked around on the web and found this shot, taken by Stephen Gross of the Anniston Star:

And what about video? There’s this, although it’s a little disappointing because the goalpost isn’t illuminated:

Awesome stuff. And now I’m hungry for barbecue. (Okay, so that’s pretty much a constant state of affairs for me, but still.)

Anyway: The comments are open, so feel free to chat amongst yourselves. Everyone have a great holiday. And if you happen to be in the company of a Britisher today, kindly pass along my annual Independence Day rallying cry: In your face, Redcoats!

Comments (41)

    Green and gold STILL the predominant colors on the website, even today. How long have you hated America for, Paul?

    Green and gold are the most American colors of all.

    I’m working today. I’m not bitter.

    I’m also barbecuing (we have a smoker in back of the office). A brisket, three racks of ribs, and some sausage.

    Freedom means slow cooking cow and pig parts.

    in my hometown was a similar sign for a bar called “groza’s”…it was owned by lou groza’s brother, and the kicker on the sign kicking the neon football was (of course) decked out in a browns uni!

    if i can run across any photos, etc., will let you know…had forgotten all about that until just now, reading this article…

    happy 4th all!

    ah, i found a question on topix where someone asked if anyone recalled that bar and a matchbook with a quick google search…hopefully i can at least run across a photo around town (i doubt any video exists since the bar went out of business somewhere around the late 60s-early 70s)…



    It would have been awesome if he’d called the bar “Groza’s Toe-vern.”

    (I’ll show myself out.)

    As a native Alabamian myself, upon seeing that sign I can only think of one thing to say… God bless ‘merica. Now pass the ribs.

    Hope all of you out there have a safe and happy Independence Day. And perhaps a dry one, unlike us folks here in southeastern Tennessee.

    And don’t forget the Fifth of July, the day that the Continental Congress told George III to go down the shore and pound some sand.

    Happy 4th everyone. Don’t put an eye out. Remember, Roman candles toward the sky, not friends ;)

    How could you leave out the KFC, Check cashing store, and the Jewelry and Pawn store? That combo just screams ‘murica!!

    Football, neon signage, smoked meats and pickup trucks. That’s America to me.

    Happy Birthday Merica – Hopelessly divided between the right/left, hopelessly united as Americans.

    Envious view from the GWN.

    A surreal masterpiece.

    Washington was one cool cat. A green man in a tricorn hat pulls up in a horseless wheeled machine, loaded down with a food called “hamburgers,” accompanied by a tiny orange talking horse, and all he does is strategize a way to use them to his tactical advantage. That’s why he’s the Father of our Country.

    It would have been a different country, indeed, if that Hessian officer had taken seriously the words tumbling from Pokey’s magic talking box. Why, we’d all be speaking Hessian today!

    I’m still disappointed Gumby and Pokey gave that freeloading beatnik some of their food.

    Happy 4th!
    “A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. But the tumult soon subsides. Time makes more converts than reason.”
    ― Thomas Paine, Common Sense

    Did you know that Thomas Paine was exhumed from his American grave by an eccentric English nobleman, who planned to erect a giant monument to Paine in England? The guy either ran out of money or lost interest, and Paine’s bones ended up in someone’s attic. Eventually, they sort of disappeared.

    “Tom Paine’s Bones” could be the title of a “Ghost of Tom Joad_ – era Springsteen song.

    That’s what happens to most of my grandiose ideas. Except the attic is metaphorical. And the “bones” are killer ideas. The pain is real, though.

    That quote seems particularly apropos in the context of the debate over the Washington Redskins’ name.

    They WERE offensive, with all those taxation-without-representation and quartering-soldiers-in-private-homes shenanigans! ;-)

    I never understood why the Patriots chose red as their first jersey color. Or why Paul Revere and the Raiders had a red set of coats (see cover of “Spirit of 67”) – they should have skipped red and gone straight to paisley.

    I’ve had the pleasure of eating at the Goal Post BBQ on multiple occasions…great food in a fine atmosphere. Glad to see it featured here!

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