Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Round Robin Challenge: "Nostalgia"

"Nostalgia is a file that removes the rough edges from the good old days."

-Doug Larson

Funny the things I find myself feeling sentimental, and nostalgic about. Like this for example, the "Doggy Diner," sign. When I was a little one, in the late 60's and 70's, I would find myself looking for certain landmarks that seemed comforting to me, as my parents would drive from here to there all around the Bay Area, either in the course of running errands, or some other flight of fancy such as avoiding visiting relatives. LOL. Sad, but usually true. Anyway, as my parents would bicker in the front seat, I would be sitting quietly in the back seat, looking for familiar landmarks that appealed to my childhood eyes.

The Doggy Diner hot dog chain was located in about 50 or so places, throughout the Bay Area. Hayward, Oakland, Emeryville and of course, 13 in San Francisco alone. Alas, as the popularity of the hamburger grew, the love of the hot dog declined, and in time the Doggy Diner closed for good. Sigh. And with it's demise, went the canine icon, a 10 ft tall, rotating dachshund head, that had been so beloved by me in my childhood. Sigh. After all how often does one see a 10 ft tall, rotating dachshund head? :) Funny thing, I don't remember much about the hot dogs they served however. LOL. Ahhh...Nostalgia!

This Doggy Diner sign is the very last one remaining, out of the original 50 that were manufactured, and there was quite a fight to keep it as a San Francisco landmark by the Ocean Beach Historical Society. The new owners of the property, where the former Doggy Diner restaurant had stood, The Sloat Garden Center, had scheduled it's removal, but it was saved through a petitioning of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, and while it was not named an official landmark, the city of San Francisco did take partial ownership of the sign, and agreed to pay for at least part of it's upkeep, but the Doggy's adventures weren't quite over. It seems that a little more then a year after San Francisco took responsibility for the sign, it was knocked over in a wind storm, damaging the pup's nose. Due to the amount of public outcry, the Department of Publics Works gave the Doggy a nose job, and replaced the sign in the median of Sloat Blvd, where it stands today.

The design for the Doggy sign was created by Bay Area resident, Harold Bachman, and the sign was immortalized in the popular comic strip, "Zippy The Pinhead." During a fundraiser for the beleaguered sign, a special t-shirt was made that featured Doggy, Zippy & Griffy, from the famous comic. I sure do love these old icons, and this challenge has inspired me to look up some other area icons from my childhood. This was an awesome challenge topic!

Be sure to pay a visit to the other members of the Round Robin Challenges, who participated in this challenge. Thanks goes to Dorn, author of the journal, "Through the Eyes of the Beholder," for bringing us such a fun topic to take on!

Linking List

Dorn... Through The Eyes Of The Beholder
Steven... (sometimes photoblog) POSTED!
Karen... Outpost Mavarin POSTED!
Chris... It's All About Me I Think POSTED!
Carly... Ellipsis... Suddenly Carly POSTED!
TJ... Every Picture Tells A Story
Nancy... Nancy Luvs Pix POSTED!
Julie... Julie's Web Journal POSTED!
boliyou... Percolation
AscenderRisesAbove... AscendersRisesAbove Studio Updates POSTED!
Suzanne R... New Suzanne R's Life POSTED!
Gina... Gina's Space POSTED!
Valorie... Retrospect USA POSTED!
Marie... Photographs & Memories Too POSTED!
Janet... Fond of Photography POSTED!
Becky... Where Life Takes You POSTED!
Linda... Blah Blah Blog POSTED!
Tess... First Digital Photos POSTED!

"Doggy Diner"
San Francisco, California
August 30, 2006


Karen Funk Blocher said...

I'll have to tell John about this one. He'll love it!

Gaboatman said...

A great shot of nostalgia! I loved to see things like this as I was a kid in the back seat of a car, too. One of my favorites was the sign with the dog for Dog and Suds rootbeer drive in. The dog always looked like Walt Disney's Goofy to me and I loved it! They served draft rootbeer in iced mugs and it was out of this world! Thanks for this glimpse of your area's history.

kmm said...

What a great sign. Have never seen one before, far more interesting than the golden arches. We used to visit our grandparents every May school break and can remember looking out for landmarks along the way. Memories are wonderful things. Terrific post

Becky said...

Classic! I love stuff like this. Breaks my heart when I read about things like this and all the kitch along Rt. 66 being leveled to make strip malls and whatnot.

Janet said...

ahhhh, zippy the pinhead, what a blast from the past! Lovely picture :-)

Suzanne R said...

Great picture and narrative, giving me a glimpse into San Francisco's past . . . could we call them glory days? (Although there seems to be much about SF that's glorious, still.) It's super that the sign has been saved! Some of these local icons are priceless.

MariesImages said...

It's funny what we remember as a kid. Soemtimes the smallest thing can leave such a big impression on a child.
This was a great entry for nostalgia!

Unhinged said...

I so wish I had a photo of me at nine with one of Oogie's stuffed bras under my t-shirt.

Steven said...

That is a wild photo! I like it very much, especially the lights.

tess said...

I didn't get to the West Coast till the early 70(ies). I missed this precious pup! I do remember Bob's Big Boy! Very good!

julie said...

I used to work near the last Pig Stands in Dallas - it had signs nearly as cool as the Doggie Diner. Alas, they are all gone. Dallas has a big problem with preservation. Loved your entry!

TropicRedbird said...

Great entry. I don't remember this particular restaurant, but as I read your blog, so many "other" oldies came to mind! Thanks!

Gina said...

this is great! reminds me of my favorite sign as a child...hated to see it torn down a few years ago in the name of was a huge red neon coke sign that welcomed everyone coming into town...really spectactular at night!

boliyou said...

great photo of kitschy goodness!

Patrick said...

Great pic!

I'd have loved this one as a kid, too! (And the fact that it was for a restaurant would only make it better!)