Signs of a Time (Paris)

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Time has a way of freezing once-thriving small American towns in a capsule of yesterdays, preserving their glory in a faded, rusted, vintage display. Paris, Texas is a town that seemed to have once been a set out of a Hollywood production, something that could be built in a studio to reflect a time where small-businesses were booming and neon lights took the nights. This is that town only taken by time, left alone from upkeep, and left to let nature preserve its history for as long as she will allow.

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Once home to a thriving Coca-Cola bottling plant, its remnants can be found all over the town, hanging still on the last remaining businesses, abandoned storefronts, and in parking lots.

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One local business worker at Wood Appliance explained that many years ago, Coca-Cola went around offering to hang their signs, and have the local business name custom painted on the sign, for free, as long as they would display it. She explained that they cannot take them down now, because the modern laws will not allow the pole in front of her business to be that close to the road, but since Coca-Cola put the sign up before the ordinance took effect, as long as they leave the original sign up, they do not have to remove the pole. Perhaps that is why so many of these old roadside soda signs still remain. Whatever the reason, they are a reminder of a time when America celebrated small business. Paris, Texas is a reminder of that time, long gone.

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The Miss Alma’s sign marks the location of the last Ozark Fried Chicken. A portion of the sign is all that remains.

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