For weeks, I'd heard the rumors: somewhere down in Malibu there was a 76 ball at a closed gas station, trussed up in black plastic like some ultrakinky egg. Nathan even claimed to have seen it, though naturally he didn't have his camera that day.
Then Christopher and Claudia Nygard passed through town on their way to Oregon, and darned if they didn't snap a cameraphone pic while passing the strange black orb. Behold, the oddest 76 Ball in all L.A.!
Hurrah for Bill Griffith, whose daily Zippy the Pinhead strip (running in about 200 newspapers today) "Unleaded Moment" features the titular hero communing with a 76 Ball that has some very reasonable concerns about its mortality.
Thanks to the miracles of the internet, you can enjoy the strip in color (with the surrealistic choice of a navy blue backdrop for the sphere) or classic black and white.
Bill reports that Zippy will be revisiting the 76 Ball campaign in at least one future strip. Zippy's attention was instrumental in helping to save the endangered Doggie Diner restaurant heads in the Bay Area, and we hope he can do the same for 76. Thanks, Zippy!
David Palmer of Pacific Grove, CA spotted a rare and hideous sight last week: a native Californian 76 Ball on its pole, flattened and riding to its grave on a misty coastal highway. Bearing all its heavy spherical weight on its face, the poor, disgarded ball was actually caving in on its underside.
THIS is how little ConocoPhillips thinks of the beloved 76 Ball brand.
In Pacific Grove, the local ball still spins... but for how long? And here are some more handsome spheres from along the Monterey Coast. Below: so clean it sparkles! (not like the grubby balls in L.A.) Below: even in thick fog, the blue and orange shine brightly.
Thank you, David, for your invaluable documentation and devotion to the cause.
Visit David's Lighthouse Avenue blog.
On Wednesday, July 19, around 8:40 am Los Angeles time, please tune in to Indie 103.1-FM or stream the station online here. Save the 76 Ball founders Kim and Nathan will be in the studio with Joe Escalante to discuss the campaign and ask for the public's help in getting the word out and saving Ray's balls.