“What’s more American than a cold Coke?”
Our Norton patients may recognize the rusty landmark hanging outside our downtown practice. Beneath decades of chipped paint and corrosion lingered an iconic symbol of Americana: “Drink Coca-Cola in bottles!” This vestige of Norton’s past whispers of a long-forgotten era before Google, Twitter, or Youtube. A time when roads winded through picturesque communities like Norton rather than austere highways. A time when roadsigns and murals were companies’ only way of advertising to the American people. And what’s more American than a cold Coke?
Community has always been important to Dr. Sturgill, a native of Big Stone Gap, VA. In fact, his affection for Wise County is a large motivator behind his maintaining a practice in Norton and purchasing the historic building that houses it. So when he learned of City Manager Fred Ramey’s goal to restore the old Coke sign hanging outside our practice, Dr. Sturgill was immediately on board.
Coca-Cola Consolidated operates a Ghost-Sign Restoration Program, which primarily focuses on building murals. However, Norton’s unique clock sign (apparently the only one known to Coke archivists) caught the program’s attention. Historians estimate our sign was erected circa 1930 and has endured everything from mountain weather to a neighboring fire to a collision with a passing truck. Yet since 1960, the sign languished in disrepair.
Coke Consolidated, the City of Norton, and Sturgill Orthodontics unveiled the renovated sign on August 20th. Bright poppy red with neon lettering and a functioning clock — the sign brightens downtown and reminds us of our past.
Sturgill Orthodontics was so proud to participate in a project that meant so much to so many. We hope this beautiful sign hangs proudly for another 100 years!
“We were so proud to participate in a project that meant so much to so many!”