- updated 2 December 2009 to add info on its current state, and perhaps resurgence - updated 5 April 2010 to remove link to Irony - updated 6 November 2012 for move to douglas-laing.ca site. Anagram

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remains of a motel marquee (Sleepy Hollow Motel)
acrylic on canvas, 24 x 20
August 2007

This is a companion piece to another motel painting called Irony. They are - or were actually - within one kilometre of each other and suffered the same fate as modernity crept in. People are just willing to travel farther and faster without stopping than ever before, removing most of the need for rest stops such as motor hotels along the route. You may also have noticed that there are almost no roadside picnic areas . . . very few of us use them any more.

Motor hotel restaurants fell out of favour too, largely because of the stop and go enterprises as McDonalds, Burger King, Tim Hortons and all the rest. The pleasure of stopping, sitting down to a good meal without the blare of traffic noise and smells seems to be more of a guilty pleasure now. Getting there with the shortest time possible seems to pass for normal.

Anagram is a take-off on the partly jumbled and missing letters on the motel restautrant marquee. This motel was called the Sleepy Hollow Motel, complete with those spooky, wiggly drawn characters in the motel signage. As I am not a graduate of any marketing school, I cannot be certain of the wisdom of trying to get people to stay overnight in a scary place ... but I do wonder ...

The Sleepy Hollow is gone now, demolished with any trace removed. A used car lot took over the grounds, selling those very products that helped push the motor motel business into history. That endeavour was followed by a Native Smokes shop, but that ended also. Now it is a haven for road construction equipment . . .

I cannot help but wonder is Motels will return, given the era of electric cars and the need to recharge batteries. Perhaps four- or five-hour rest stops will be the new normal (so to speak), or even overnight to re-charge the wheels and the travellers.

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P.O. Box 659, Winchester, Ontario. K0C 2K0   613-774-5180
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© 2012 Douglas Laing