The Jacksboro Highway is eye candy to me. Even though I’ve driven it a million times over the years I always enjoy checking out the old advertising signs.
My favorite — most everyone’s favorite, I imagine — is the Rocket sign that sits atop A-1 Muffler & Welding.
The Rocket Club was a hotspot for music and dancing way back in the 1940s. Later it became a rock ‘n roll club, and then a Latino dance spot.
“Then it turned into a skating rink, then an indoor go-kart track, and then a furniture store, I think,” said Scott Pack, who owns the building along with his father, Jimmy. They’ve been operating A-1 Muffler & Welding there for 18 years.
I’ve often wondered how many times people have tried to buy the sign over the years.
It happens a lot, Pack said.
“The biggest money we’ve been offered is $5,000,” he said. “My dad said ‘no.’ Times would have to get a lot tougher before we’d sell it.”
The Packs see the sign as a part of the building. So do customers — some mistakenly write out checks to “Rocket Muffler Shop.” The Packs were already operating the A-1 Muffler business when they bought they building and they didn’t want to change the business name. But they didn’t want to take down the landmark sign either.
Business got rough about seven years ago, and Jimmy Pack toyed with the idea of accepting that $5,000 offer.
But the Packs persevered the hard times and kept the sign intact. Now they’ve paid off the building free and clear. Business is good. The thought of stripping the sign from the building for a few grand, which would quickly be spent and gone, just doesn’t sit right with them.
So, what’s the magic amount of money somebody would have to offer to convince them to sell the sign?
“With me, there really ain’t no amount,” Scott Pack said.
“Good, I hope you never sell it,” I said.