The New Corral Hot Texas Weiners in Paterson, New Jersey. #hotdogs #roadside #america #signs

The New Corral Hot Texas Weiners in Paterson, New Jersey. #hotdogs #roadside #america #signs

Terrific #route66 #roadside kitsch: Bono’s Historic Orange. No OJ for sale these days, alas, but a great example of novelty #architecture, from a time when cement buildings were shaped like the product they  sold. Examples: Big Duck on Long Island, Haines Shoe House in Pennsylvania.

Terrific #route66 #roadside kitsch: Bono’s Historic Orange. No OJ for sale these days, alas, but a great example of novelty #architecture, from a time when cement buildings were shaped like the product they sold. Examples: Big Duck on Long Island, Haines Shoe House in Pennsylvania.

The Dog Haus in Flagstaff is a neat piece of #roadside architecture, with the drive-thru in the heart of the building. #route66

The Dog Haus in Flagstaff is a neat piece of #roadside architecture, with the drive-thru in the heart of the building. #route66

Wonderful #roadside signage: The Blake’s #Lotaburger tall man is an icon of #albuquerque. #route66

Wonderful #roadside signage: The Blake’s #Lotaburger tall man is an icon of #albuquerque. #route66

One of the coolest #roadside attractions in the U.S.: the Blue Whale in Catoosa, #oklahoma on #route66 Go fish there from inside the #whale!

One of the coolest #roadside attractions in the U.S.: the Blue Whale in Catoosa, #oklahoma on #route66 Go fish there from inside the #whale!

A Mother Road classic: the 66 Drive-In. #route66 #drivein #movies #roadside #americana #roadtrip #missouri

A Mother Road classic: the 66 Drive-In. #route66 #drivein #movies #roadside #americana #roadtrip #missouri

This neon beauty may well be the holy grail on #route66, at least thus far on my trip. Munger Moss motel is a true mom-and-pop relic from The Mother Road’s heyday. This should be a national #heritage site! #neon #motels #roadside #missouri #travel #1950s

This neon beauty may well be the holy grail on #route66, at least thus far on my trip. Munger Moss motel is a true mom-and-pop relic from The Mother Road’s heyday. This should be a national #heritage site! #neon #motels #roadside #missouri #travel #1950s

Must for #route66 roadies: #custard at Ted Drewes, another milestone on the long march across America on the #motheroad #icecreamstand #roadside #vintage #roadtrip #neon

Must for #route66 roadies: #custard at Ted Drewes, another milestone on the long march across America on the #motheroad #icecreamstand #roadside #vintage #roadtrip #neon

30-foot-tall young, lanky and non-vampire Abe Lincoln carries ax and is ready to split some logs at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. #roadside #americana #folkart #route66 #honestabe

30-foot-tall young, lanky and non-vampire Abe Lincoln carries ax and is ready to split some logs at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. #roadside #americana #folkart #route66 #honestabe

It’s no longer Cott to be Good: Vintage roadside sign for old-school soft drink vanishes

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The Cott soda sign, photographed Dec. 25, 2009 (Photos: Rolando Pujol)

Last Christmas, and the one before that, and indeed, for many dozens of Yuletides, the sign was there.

I came to associate if with Christmas, because the building in North White Plains on which it was long affixed is on the way to the Chinese restaurant I take my parents to every Christmas — Imperial Wok — on Route 22 in Westchester County.

It was a faded sign for Cott soda, touting “17 delicious flavors” and featuring its truly delicious slogan, “It’s Cott to be Good.” Until seeing this sign for the first time on Christmas 2009, I had no idea what Cott soda was. But I was intrigued. The name goes all the way back to 1923, to a beverage company founded in Port Chester, not far from this sign’s long-time home in White Plains.

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The Cott sign as it appeared on Dec. 25, 2010. 

Cott is still going strong, producing a range of beverage products such as Vintage seltzer water, but not, it seems, making much under the Cott name, at least as can be surmised from the website.

So this old sign was very much a tie to a vanished regional drink

I photographed the sign on Dec. 25, 2009 and again on Christmas 2010. I drove past it last Christmas, and opted to skip the ritual photo.  

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All that’s left of the Cott sign is the shadow where it was once affixed.

This year it was gone.

The brick wall had been repainted, and the sign was MIA. 

Holiday heartbreak. 

It’s Cott to be good, right? Not in this case. 

Did someone save it, realizing the treasure that it was? Or was it unceremoniously junked?

These are the sorts of urban eccentricities I live for, and this particular gem came to develop a warm link to Christmas.

I’ll miss it come Dec. 25, 2013.

Rolando Pujol