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Wendi's Word A column by Wendi Reardon

Eras end

August 03, 2011 - The darkness gives way to the lights of Las Vegas, my most recent adventure outside of Michigan.

But past the busiest part of the Vegas strip by MGM Grand, Flamingo and Caesar's Palace closer to where the history began is a boneyard for signs of the past. The Neon Museum where signs that used to light the strip lie in storage. (Actually Google earth the museum or Las Vegas and once you see the pirate skull that used to be at Treasure Island - you have found the museum.)

The museum is not open to the public yet but for a fee you can tour the yard. (I believe it is a worthy amount - $15 for a tour and for us a knowledgeable guide.)

I can't remember how I found it probably just a random search on the internet. But of course the history girl that I am knew if I only visited one place during my vacation - The Neon Museum was the place.

A walk through the old signs and their brief notoriety was a peek into different eras and stories behind the signs.

Quite a few signs are in the boneyard and were donated. They were not in their bright glory like the past but some still exist on Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas and can be seen in their lit glory every night.

A visit to any museum or antique shop gives a glimpse to the past and stories to go with them - for the neon museum lightbulbs in each socket now put aside for LED lights.

But a lot of eras have given way to technology - we have seen it in the last few weeks with the closing of Borders. Avid book readers are upgrading to e-readers, Kindles and Nooks or finding cheaper books online or at other stores.

Yes, Barnes & Noble still exists, for right now, but it really doesn't seem the same. It probably goes back to going to Waldenbooks every weekend going through the books and comics, seeing what was new or interesting to read at the time.

For other avid readers - the end of Harry Potter series hit the movie theaters after ten years with the release of the conclusion - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2.

Three eras gone - but what do you miss? What do you hope never goes away?

Wendi graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in communications. She wrote for the Michigan Times college paper and Grand Blanc View before joining The Clarkston News in October 2007.
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