~Since 2004~
A site about memories, thoughts, photos, and unrepentant opinions about motorcycles and motorcycling after four decades of twisting the throttle.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Gallopin' Goose

Lately I've had some interest in photographing old neon signs and the Gallopin' Goose Tavern and Grill is a fine example of one.

"The Goose" has been around since 1935 over in Coolidge, AZ, and is pretty much the quintessential Arizona honky tonk.  One can only guess at how many beers have gone down there along with new romances, broken hearts, and busted heads.  Story goes that Waylon Jennings started his solo career there after the death of Buddy Holly. 

While not a biker bar in any sense of the name, it's a popular stop for riders rolling down Arizona highway 87/287.  I've rarely ridden by and not seen bikes outside, all types from sport bikes to the usual v-twin stuff.

I've ridden by the Goose countless times and had been meaning to photograph the old sign for years, it's been weathering away nicely although the animated neon still works fine.  The rough surface showed a lot of that character that photographers love.

I finally decided a few weeks ago to make a specific ride over to the outskirts of the town of Coolidge to photograph the sign before and after sunset.  When I got there I found that the nicely distressed old Goose sign was newly refurbished and repainted.  Drat.  It still looks cool all lit up though.

No, I've never been inside, although I understand they make that staple of American road rider food there, a really good cheeseburger.  My bar hoppin' days are three decades past now but I do enjoy a good cheeseburger.  I wonder if they'd laugh me out the door if I ordered a root beer with one?

photos with my Olympus E-PL1 with a Panansonic 20mm f/1.7 lens


Unknown said...


Drats ! I love texture, too bad about the NEW sign. I would have been great to have the before and after. Now you're going to have to wait another 20 years or so for the weathering to take effect

Your PL1 seems to produce a very good images. I love the GF1 but it didn't have full HD. then the GF2 came out but didn't have the remote input. Now the G3 is out with a new sensor. I wanted to get a M4/3 to use alt lenses but so far I am very happy with my T2i . I am fussy, I have to have input for radio remote shutter release, and RAW

Riding the Wet Coast

Canajun said...

I love those old signs but sadly they are becoming fewer and fewer as time goes on. Nice pictures.

Doug Klassen said...

Bob, I'm really pleased with the Oly as a second camera to my Nikon D90. The Oly will shoot in RAW+jpg format and I normally do so I have the option of quick and easy or more in depth editing. The PL1 doesn't support a remote but I understand the other cameras in the Pen series do. All in all the M4/3 sensor does an excellent job.

Webster World said...

I never get laughed out of a bar. I like a Vernors ginger ale and a cheese burger. Root beer is #2. :-b

GF said...

I love neon signs. I grew up in Africa, I remember as a kid going to the movies with my dad and seeing the neon signs in the American movies, I loved all the flashing :-)
I specially like the old bars out west with the big sign advertising the place.

Chuck Woolstenhulme said...

Hi Doug. I was too young to remember you in the Brush Barons days, but I'm Chuck Woolstenhulme (Norval's son). A friend posted a video of the Kit Carson race on Facebook and it got me curious and searching. Love you blog and all the BB history. BTW I stil have his 1971 Husky.

Doug Klassen said...

Hi Chuck, Thanks for the comment. It was a long time ago but I still remember your dad and many of the other guys in the club. It was a fun time for all of us, I'm sure. Congrats on still having your dad's Husky, it's fine memento of his racing days.

Webster World said...

Gallopin' Goose! Just sounded like the name of an old WWII bomber. I could not find it. I did see on tv tonight Spike is running something about a 1% in Kansas of that name.

Popular Posts

Search This Site

"When my mood gets too hot and I find myself wandering beyond control I pull out my motor-bike and hurl it top-speed through these unfit roads for hour after hour." - T.E. Lawrence

An Important reminder from the past:
"I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations." - James Madison