Cigar store Indians attack diner
With little fan-fare, the carved sign for the Millbrook Diner re-appeared on Franklin Avenue a few weeks ago after a refurbishment that involved recarving the original that had been done by Peter Wing back in 1975-76.
Thanasi Theodoropoulos, the owner of the diner, has completed a faithful restoration of the diner’s exterior to bring it back to the way it looked 40 years ago, a case of reverse modernization. The 58 year old clock above the entrance of the diner has also been repaired and is once again telling the correct time.
The carved figure is a replica of the wooden carving originally done by Peter Wing during the bicentennial anniversary of the country when he made a number of storefront Indians. Wing intended to capture an historical element of a town. His work is much like the carvings that were found in many towns over 100 years ago, that were used as storefronts to transcend language barriers. The wooden carving at the diner resembles a figurehead that is placed at the prow of a sailing ship. The carving is of a woman wearing a banner, which originally bore the phrase “Wild Irish Rose.” The writing on the banner wore off from weathering.
About four years ago the sign and carving were taken down because there were significantly weathered. The sign was repairable, but the wooden carving was not. Theodoropoulos brought the wooden carving to a craftsman in Marlboro who recreated Wing’s original.
“People have been asking questions about and taking pictures of the carving. It brings back memories,” said Thanasi. Thanasi is unsure of what he will do with the original carving, which is currently in the basement of the diner. He is considering putting the carving on display.