This is the story of Old Road Brand

When my grandfather Dean Mullins passed away, and all his remaining possession were divided up among my family, there were two things I was interested in. One was an old wall clock that my parents had given to them for my grandparents 50th anniversary in 1978. It had been hand painted with the dates on the glass door to the chimes.   The other thing was a box of old road maps that he had collected from trips they had taken by car since the 1940’s. My folks knew that I have an affinity for maps.  Even for play, I used to “play town” which was creating a town on paper that grew, changed and evolved over the years that I played it (which was through early college years).  There were easily 200 maps in the box. Many duplicates of states or regions of the US. What made these maps especially special to me were the memories of family road trips that we took that sometimes included my grandparents. 


On occasion over the years, I would take out some of the maps just to look at them. I was interested on how some cities grew and expanded and how some did not. I was interested on how the interstate system developed and changed places.  More than anything else, I wondered what could I do with these maps?  I had spent many years in the gift, craft & hobby business. Certainly, there must have been some way to bring these maps to life.

In August 2015, my daughter was preparing leave the nest to attend college at Colorado State University. Moving away from home also a valid reason for a father /daughter road trip. Her generation lives on their mobile devices. Since we were about to embark on a road trip of 5 states, it only made sense for me to reach into the map box and pull out the Nevada, Utah, Wyoming and Colorado  (plus a “western states”) maps out for the adventure. I knew she would never appreciate the amount of land we were about to cover by simply looking on the small screen on her iphone. So off we went with grandpa’s old maps. There was a generational connection of spiritual order, like we were traveling these same roads than Grandpa Dean had made decades before.