Friday, August 9, 2013

Signs of the Times: Driftwood Dairy

The drive-thru dairy is slowly becoming the missing link - lost somewhere in the shuffle between the milkman's home delivery and one-stop shopping at the supermarket.  There are a few drive-thru dairies near my house that are still hanging on but they no longer carry the weighty sense of purpose and place that they once had.  In fact, they generally serve as an outpost more for discount cigarettes and beer than anything a butter & egg man worth his salt would supply.  The fate of drive-thru dairies looks pretty dismal until one drives through El Monte, CA. 

Standing proudly on the corner of Lower Azusa Road, Driftwood Dairy, continues to fight the good fight of wholesome products with drive-thru convenience at cost-conscious prices.  For crying out loud, it's only $0.99 for a bag of ice; sure it's just a bag of frozen water rocks but that is a steal compared to quickie-mart prices.  And where else can you get one dozen super pops for $2.99?!?!  (I'll save you some time and do the math for you; that's less than $0.25 per pop - a SUPER value, if you ask me).  Don't try haggling with the ice cream man.  It doesn't work...

Driftwood Dairy - El Monte, CA

There are so many beautiful elements to this sign.  Almost any one of them could stand as a great example of roadside signage individually but combined, they make something truly out of this world.  Let's start with the stylized, rocket ship base, looking like it is just waiting for countdown to blast off into orbit.  Then we move up to the graduated, stacked, hexagonal lightboxes that remind us where we are and for what we shop.  The piece de resistance is, of course, Southern California's homage to the 1962 Seattle World's Fair in the form of a precise, scale-model* of the world-famous Space Needle

And let's not forget the "Cow-meo" -
that's cow + cameo...clever, clever!

The structure, scale, and shape of this sign are incredible but never let it be said that a good color story is irrelevant.  I am a true fan of the primary colors and Driftwood Dairy uses them to perfection!

I know you'll readily accept my apologies for the blurry photo as you
 marvel at the tri-color archway of the drive-thru.  This place is so cool
that it has me forgetting my utter intolerance for lactose!

Are there any drive-thru dairies in your where you live?  When was the last time you patronized such an establishment?  How much is a bag of ice in your neighborhood?  I've been known to drive far and wide for a good deal.

Driftwood Dairy
10724 Lower Azusa Rd
El Monte, CA


Mr. Tiny 

*Don't quote me on this "factoid."  After all, I just make these things up as I go along.


  1. That is an fabulous sign! The shape! The colors!

    1. Isn't it? I love everything about it...and it's really BIG!

  2. Replies
    1. Old Drifty!!! We passed this sign on the day we went to the LA Arboretum; I'm bummed we didn't meet up. One day when I get back to TN, we will have a big blog party; I'll bring the napkins!!!