Rexall Drugs

Remembering Rexall

When I was growing up in the 60’s and 70’s almost every town big and small had at least one Rexall Drug Store. The bright orange and blue signs were hard to miss.

The small town where I spent most of my youth, Quincy, IL had 4 Rexall stores that I can remember. Three of them were known as Brown’s Rexall and the one in the big shopping center on the edge of town (that one day was made into and enclosed mall) was called Key Rexall.

Over the years we spent a lot of time at the Rexall refilling prescriptions, and buying the necessities like aspirin, shampoo and Rexall’s famous Hot Lemon Cold & Flu Remedy.

But my fondest Rexall memory, was the yearly visit from the Duncan Yo-Yo Demonstration Team. I rarely missed their visits to the Key Rexall, and still have a few of my Duncan Imperial and Butterfly yo-yo’s tucked away.

Sadly, due to a hostile corporate takeover most Rexall’s faded away in the mid 1980’s. And while many of the drugstores stayed open, they were no longer affiliated with Rexall, and it wasn’t quite the same.

These days as I travel throughout the south I’m amazed by the fact that you can still see a Rexall sign from time to time. Most of the drugstores are sadly long gone, but I’m thrilled that other people still share my fondness for those old Rexall signs.

Many of these signs lost their neon years ago, but I can tell that folks like me just aren’t ready to part with the memories of their hometown drugstore. I’ve compiled a short video to share some of the signs I’ve recently found in my travels across Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Indiana. Some are still lit, but sadly most are just holding on…

The soundtrack for this trip down memory lane is: “Water Droplets on the River” Kevin MacLeod (

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

Ghost Ad Signs

Ghosts From The Past

I’ve been intrigued by advertising my entire life. That would probably explain why I’ve spent my career in the fields of marketing and broadcasting. And we all know just how much advertising has changed in our lifetime.

When I close my eyes I’m often transported back to a simpler time back before the internet and for that matter before we had color TV. One type of advertising that I’ve always been intrigued by is the wall mural. I guess you could say that the mural was the precursor to the modern billboard. And for some reason, I’m sure a logical one, they faded away… literally. Today the ones that remain are what we fondly call ghost signs. I’ve mentioned my love of ghost signs previously (see some great ghosts HERE)

One of the companies that is known nationwide for their use of murals back in the ‘good ole days’ was Coca Cola. So naturally I spend a lot of my free time chasing the ghosts of Coca Cola’s past. Here’s a short video that shows you some of the beautiful Coca Cola murals that are now just ghosts from the past….

The soundtrack for this trip down memory lane is: “Meditation Impromptu 03” Kevin MacLeod (

Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

Ghost Ad Signs

Ghost Signs

In addition to neon signs another one of my favorite things is many call ghost signs. Ghost signs are hand-painted advertising signs usually preserved on brick buildings or wooden structures like barns. The hand painted sign era for the most part ended in the 1960’s, and most of the signs are now preserved for nostalgic purposes.

When originally painted, these advertisements were usually painted with oil based paints. The reason that these signs have survived is often due to lead contained in the oil paint and that helped the paint adhered to the brick and masonry surfaces.

Sometimes when an advertising contract ended the sign would simply be painted over with another advertisement. Today some of these signs cause a double or even triple ghost effect.

Below I have included some of the hundreds of ghost signs that I have taken pictures of over the years. As you will notice, soft drinks like Coca Cola, Pepsi Cola, Double Cola, and Royal Crown (originally known as Chero Cola) were BIG users of the hand painted sign.

To view any picture up close, just click any of the images for a larger version. I hope you enjoy this trip back in time!

Ghost Sign 1 Ghost Sign 2 Ghost Sign 3
Ghost Sign 4 Ghost Sign 5 Ghost Sign 6
Ghost Sign 7 Ghost Sign 8 Ghost Sign 9
Ghost Sign 10 Ghost Sign 11 Ghost Sign 12
Ghost Sign 13 Ghost Sign 14 Ghost Sign 15
Ghost Sign 16 Ghost Sign 17 Ghost Sign 18
Ghost Sign 19 Ghost Sign 20 Ghost Sign 21
Ghost Sign 22 Ghost Sign 23 Ghost Sign 24
Ghost Sign 25 Ghost Sign 26 Ghost Sign 27
Ghost Sign 28 Ghost Sign 29 Ghost Sign 30
Ghost Sign 31 Ghost Sign 32 Ghost Sign 33
Ghost Sign 34 Ghost Sign 35 Ghost Sign 36