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February 2005

GREAT GRAY OWLS
Cold Comfort


Attention-getting structures like Los Angeles's Hoot Hoot ice-cream stand—with a head that spun like a real owl's and eyes that glowed at night—appeared along roadsides all over America in the 1920s. As automobiles became more popular, the shape of these buildings conveyed the nature of their merchandise to customers zooming by.

Exactly why the Hoot Hoot's owner used a giant bird to help sell ice cream has been lost to history. The business has long since flown the coop. Today a Mexican restaurant stands in its place.

—Margaret G. Zackowitz
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February Flashback
Photograph from All Year Club of Southern California



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