Postcards from the Road
For miles and miles and miles along I-90 west of Sioux Falls, and even east of Sioux Falls, you see signs for Wall Drug.  They’re plain signs, advertising 5¢ coffee and free ice water at Wall Drug in Wall, South Dakota.  The signs often times include corny jokes and obscure references, but mostly they just say “Wall Drug, 305 miles” or some other distance.
Apparently, it’s not uncommon to come across Wall Drug signs in Paris, or Kenya or even Vietnam, so they’re a kitsch item of a very special subset.  It happened to fit that we were looking for a bathroom long about Wall, SD, so we pulled off to see this marvelous place.
It’s as if someone covered a whole city block, circa 1915, in a  giant aluminum frame and installed air conditioning.  It’s a drug store, all right, but it’s also a diner, a book store, a jewelry store, a rock store, a boot store, a haberdashery, a sweet shoppe, and a whole bunch of other things.
We picked up several postcards featuring the text of some goofy signs, as well other fun kitschy things.  The American art of kitsch is certainly alive and well.  
Wall Drug
Friday, July 14, 2006