The Marky Lights

Waylon’s “Luchenbach, Texas” was, I’m pretty sure, the first song I ever learned all the words to. Or, most of the words. I never knew “marquee” until years and years later. Somewhere around high school, I’d guess, if not undergrad. When I was five, though, and then when I was ten, and fifteen, it was always the “marky” lights. I explained it to myself with magic markers—markers would be “marky,” wouldn’t they? I’m not sure how that fit into lights being lights, but I could get by on some pretty thin explanations back then.

Anyway, searching for something else, I stumbled into results I couldn’t click out of, without saving a few. These marquees are far from exhaustive—I limited myself to stuff that was showing up in my initial search, as this is a rabbit-hole I could live in—but they get me thinking. I mean, part of the fascination with these, it’s nostalgia, of course. It’s kind of cleaning up the past and making it perfect. It becomes even more perfect the more unreachable it is. The more we can never have it back. A dynamic we all know, I suspect. But? It makes me wonder: should I be snapping pics of the marquees I walk under now? Someday they’re going to look like this. Once we’re far enough from them. Maybe I’ll start. Or, maybe people are already doing it. I bet there’s a Tumblr or Instagram out there that documents cool marquees. Maybe I’ll stumble onto it one fine day.

Until then, here’s a few I can’t stop looking at:

6bf79cffe22ffbab73553b61a5f104f4 7a5c7233b1dba24b9c537cd5534ab0aa horror-marquee friday-the-13th-1980

To have walked 42nd Street in the heydey of the slasher, man.

My heart hurts, thinking about it.

Author: SGJ