There’s your sign!

by | February 8, 2019 2:32 pm

by HALEI LAMB

George Strait might be called the fireman, but there lives a fella on Page Garrett Road who might as well be called the sign man. His name is Jimmy Peebles, and his passion for old stuff runs deep. He’s been collecting since he was a teenager and over the course of the 40-something years since then, he’s amassed an impressive collection that leaves most people awestruck.

The beginning

All men have a hobby. For some, it’s golfing or hunting. Others might like to spend their time perfecting their barbecuing skills or tinkering in their wood shop out back. Whatever the case may be, most middle-aged men have found a way to pass their free time. Like Jimmy, lots of guys his age appreciate historical stuff. What makes Jimmy different, though, is when he got started—as a child.

“I wasn’t like a lot of kids. They wanted toys or different things,” he explained. “Me? I would’ve rather had an old iron wagon wheel or a horseshoe or something like that. I’ve always loved it.” He told a story about how his bedroom as a teenager was filled with old stuff hanging on the walls. “People would come in back then and ask why I had all of it… I just love it. I don’t know why. I just do.”

The work

Indeed, that affection for old stuff has resulted in approximately 2.5 acres worth of memorabilia items. He is particularly drawn to old signs; his gravitation to them is literally on display around the premises, starting with his driveway, which is home to some of his proudest picks.

One of those, he says, is the first big sign he ever found. Though he had been gathering signs for years prior, Jimmy found an old Texaco sign in Dellwood around 1980 or so. He spotted it while he was turkey hunting one day and he knew immediately he had to have it.

“Mr. Jake Scott’s old country store had quit selling Texaco gas and the company told him he had 30 days to get the sign down or go back to selling their gas, so he had a farmer drag it off in the woods. I went over to it and started scratching it and it came alive! I said to myself, ‘Oh my God, I gotta get this thing outta here!’ I went and got somebody to help me get it, and sure enough, it’s in my front yard now.”

That sign in particular was just the beginning. He has since come across some really cool ones, namely antiques from the Sinclair gas brand. Those, too, are displayed down his driveway, along with old Dairy Queen signs, historic license plates, gas pumps from across the decades, a few classic cars, stoplights—the list of items he’s accumulated over the years is infinite. He even has a makeshift post office staged like the olden days and a similarly staged barber shop complete with a working pole, two barber chairs, and supplies commonly used back in the day.

His latest find is an old…

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