By Clellie Allen
YOUNGSVILLE— Janis Cyrus is on a mission to find a photo — or two.
Cyrus and Mary Dean are with the Youngsville Extension and Community Association (ECA), the same group that brings to life the annual fall festival and car show, among other happenings, and are in the process of re-painting the mural on the west side of the multi-store front building on the 140 block of Main Street and Cross Street in downtown Youngsville.
They received permission for the project from the building owners, Janet Bailey and her sister.
"Local people say that side of the building was used to show movies way back in the 1940s, I think," Cyrus said. "They would bring picnic baskets and watch the movies ... the wall was painted with a Coca Cola ad several times as well as several names of the different businesses at the top," she said.
Their problem — while a half dozen lifelong residents have told them what they remember used to be there, no one seems to have a photo of the original Coca Cola advertisement from the late 1950s that used to grace the west side of the building.
"While looking at the ad, we found under layers of paint, ‘Sign of Good Taste,’ the 1957 Coca Cola slogan," said Cyrus. "It was then painted over at least one more time with ‘It’s the Real Thing.’ We already have that slogan on the other side," she said.
The east side sports the rehabilitated historic Coca Cola slogan, It’s the Real Thing, and is regularly used by wedding couples having their receptions at Boondocks Event Center, located on the other side of Cross Street.
Cyrus said that when they started the project, she received phone calls from residents who remember a mural of a woman holding a Coke on the left side of the ad, something Cyrus can’t seem to corroborate yet.
"This is my problem: There have been five local men who have specifically said there was a brunette with shoulder length hair holding that Coke," Cyrus said. "Not one woman remembers this ad."
Cyrus says she’s reached out even to the Coca Cola company to see if they have record of an advertisement that fits the description, but hasn’t yet heard back.
"I am asking everyone around here. Any and all help would be appreciated. [We] wand to be sure the true ad is restored," she said, "And the memory of the Youngsville men is correct."
If you have a copy of a photo showing the west side of the building with the Sign of Good Taste advertisement, contact Cyrus at firstname.lastname@example.org. Those of here at the newspaper would love a copy, too, at email@example.com.