Earlier today, Nathan and I were interviewed for a new automotive-themed television series called Black Top, with the 76 Ball on Glendale Boulevard in Atwater Village as the backdrop. The number 76 was not quite in the shot, and Nathan suggested he might go ask the station manager to set the ball spinning. Much to our shock and delight, the manager agreed, and by throwing just one switch gave the sign a much needed jolt of kinetic energy. We reckon that one of the other switches in the panel would have illuminated the ball, though this would not have been visible in bright sunlight.
And it was this inspiring experience that inspired us to ask you, oh lovers of the 76 Ball, to take a moment whenever you pass a 76 station which still flies its proud orange and blue colors and ask the manager to please make the ball spin. If it's dark out, ask that they light it, too. Heck, you can even offer to buy some gas in exchange! There aren't many 76 Balls left on their poles, and we fervently believe that every one of them should enjoy however many days, weeks, months or years it has left by spinning and glowing, just like Ray Pedersen designed it to do.
Together we can turn those 76 Balls on. Save the 76 Ball -- it's not too late!
An urgent message from 76 Ball pal J. Eric Freedner should have all Angelenos fuming, as one of our most charming mid-city 76 Balls stands poised to be ripped from its pole and destroyed, perhaps this weekend! Nathan and I will be driving around town giving a Crime Bus tour all weekend... will some of you kind readers take it upon yourselves to guard and protect this sphere from harm?
"The 76 ball at Beverly Boulevard / St. Andrews Place in L.A. has yellow tape around it and signs of excavating around the base of the pole. I HAVE EVERY REASON TO BELIEVE THAT THIS SIGN WILL COME DOWN, PERHAPS THIS WEEKEND, TO BE REPLACED BY A NEW HUBCAP 76 SIGN.
St. Andrews Place is 2 blocks west of Western Avenue, on Beverly there is Schaeffer Ambulance and the 76 station is on the south side of the street one block further on."
76 Ball fan Marcello Vavala reported earlier this week that there were signs that the station at Santa Monica and Sawtelle might be about to lose its ball. Sure enough, the ball was cut from its pole the next morning, and dragged away to be destroyed.
And Marcello shares some observations, to help spot 76 Balls that face immediate danger. Unfortunately, we were not able to organize a protest to try to save this particular ball, but next time we might. PLEASE, if you see a 76 Ball that fits Marcello's description, drop us a line via our contact form ASAP.
Marcello reports: The new signage is up and the orange ball has been taken away. The replacement happened very fast, probably within 5 hours.
There are some observations I've made which may be helpful in the future (if they haven't been made already.)
1. The ball removal was the last phase of the remodel. If I remember correctly, the station itself received its red color scheme about a full month before the ball was removed. So perhaps that can be a signal for balls that will be removed soon--orange balls at red stations.
2. In this case, there was some site preparation. The area surrounding the pole was taped off--it was apparant that work was going to take place there. But just one day in advance.
3. The actual ball removal happened early in the morning. The pole was down at 8:30am so the work may have begun at 7am, maybe even 6am.
Hope this helps.
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.