In a simpler day before TV and the internet, merchants used the “broad side of the building” to advertise their wares. Often it was a simple Hotel Sign hung above the door, or their name etched in masonry. Later neon lead the way to the bar or the gas and repair shop. For the last year or so I have prowled the back alleys looking for what remains of these grand advertisements. Here are a few examples. “Boise Junk” says everything you need to know without flashing lights or celebrity announcers. Before we “malled” America, the Geo. A Anderson company offered Dry Goods, Millinery, Apparel etc. to farmers and city folk alike. Boise, hub to the mining, agricultural, and retail trade for this part of the Northwest, was built on the small owner-owned store. These pioneers could repair a radio or a shoe with “trade craft” almost forgotten. As the grandson of a sign painter (guess he would be called a “Graphic Artist” now and a land agent (Realtor!), I find the remnants of these signs a fascinating link to our past. Even as they slowly rust, crack and fade, they hold a certain dignity the pride of both the sign painter and the merchant.