206 South Grand Avenue, Lansing, Michigan:

206SGrand

To give you a better perspective, a long shot:

206_lot

A pothole in a parking lot behind the former Capitol National Bank building (now under renovation to become the new home of Davenport University) revealed the tile to the entryway of a building formerly on this site: Oil Heating Corporation from 1934 to 1938, Howland Engineering through the early part of World War II, then Rulison & Sons Supply Company until 1954. Records show the address belonged to Wolverine Parking Company starting in 1955, so my guess is the building was demolished about that time. This would match when the Capitol National Bank building was built. As the parking will be repaved as part of the site renovations, the exposure of the old entryway was fortuitous and worth capturing.

Found this for sale some time ago. Ronald McDonald unwittingly made me want to be a highway engineer:

In the early 1970s pre-Happy Meal days, McDonald’s offered a series of travel games for kids to play on long road trips, the Ronald McDonald Travel Kit. This was a series of games on cardstock and included Lap Baseball, Scramble Spelling, the Country and City Sights Games, the Car Game, and the Road Sign Game. The object of the latter games, if I recall, was to punch out or mark each object as you saw it, like filling out a bingo card. The first who completed a row or column was the winner.

My older brother had a passion for model railroading, and as his sidekick I’d contribute my expertise to his visions on the 4×8 sheets of plywood our dad bought for us. Our HO-scale world had all the accoutrements, but we were not content to just let the trains have all the fun. We had to interact with our world. So, our roads were sized to accommodate Hot Wheels cars. And for road signs? That’s where the Travel Kit excelled.

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About a year after graduating from college, one of my old professors called to ask me to speak to his class of seniors about Life in the Real World. I wasn’t able to, and it was a good thing. Like a lot of recent grads, I probably would have spoken about the fun projects I worked on, the challenges of being the newbie or how cool it is to live in a big city.

It’s better to bring in graduates from three to five years prior, and get a mix of people who stayed with the profession and those who left. The best audience would be the freshmen and sophomores, but any class level would benefit.

With the perspective that comes from five years of practice, the one piece of advice I’d give to someone considering or in a design major is this: if drawing and designing do not come easily and naturally to you, seriously consider changing majors as soon as possible.

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