Saturday, September 20, 2008

Vodie to the max

I'm sure I'm not the only one who tosses the yellow pages phone book straight to the recycle bin when a new edition appears on the front doorstep. Strange how the more obsolete the hard copy phone books have become, it seems we're bombarded with more and more versions - the "original", the Spanish language edition, the chamber of commerce book, etc. etc.

This might sound nuts, but when I was a wee lad I couldn't wait for the replacement phone books to arrive. I was fascinated by the write-ups on the local San Jose attractions, and wondered which photo would land the coveted cover spot. I'd read up on how to telephone strange sounding countries, and flipped to the z-section of the yellow pages to check out the listings under "zoo."

When I was really young and still illiterate, I'd page through the yellows browsing for ads that caught my eye, like that creepy Buster Brown and his dog, and my favorite, the auto bears. I'm pretty sure the first time I ever picked up the phone and dialed out was to the auto service shops that advertised with that damn cuddly bear. "Do you sell toys?" I asked the workers who must've thought they were getting cranked.

Here in Sana Ana we have the surviving Vodie's bear sign specimen on 17th Street, just east of Bristol. The site was developed in 1956, which fits for this type of happy bear sign. The property was on the market earlier this year, so our bear has dodged another bullet for the moment.

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