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Bending Light: The Art of Creating Neon

It was a gusty autumn evening in 1977, and David Ablon — long-haired, fresh-faced, and in his second year of art school — was speeding down an empty highway road in upstate New York. Hands gripping the steering wheel of his blue Chevy Bel Air, Ablon slowed as he passed a small building with a big orange sign that read Wellsville Motel. Each neon letter shone bright against the grey sky, but the last L didn’t. Staring at it, David had a thought, and pulled in.

The motel’s owner was baffled. This young kid wanted to fix his broken L? Well, why not. David took the letter down and sped back to his college’s neon studio.

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