Quepasahialeah’s Weblog

La niñita to be restored

Posted on: October 20, 2008

Those of us that live in La Ciudad Que Progressa are fully-aware of the quirky connections Hialeah seems to develop to icon symbols, events and people, so it comes as no surprise to hear of the latest piece of iconography to grace Hialeah. Her image prevented millions of sunburns, but now she (and her little dog too) need some TLC — and Hialeah’s apparently the place accomplish the job.

We’re speaking of course of the famous Coppertone Girl. The little blonde girl whose dog tugs at her bathing suit is synonymous with the Coppertone name and Miami since the 60s. After being donated in 1991 and placed in care of the Dade Heritage Trust the signs been forced to move twice, once to Flagler and now to its storage spot at Tropical Signs of Florida in Hialeah, whose part-owner, Jerry Bengis, is the son of the man who made her in 1959.

Luckily now there’s hope of it being moved to a permanent home in the MiMo district a few dozen blocks north of where she started in 1959. Coppertone owner Schering-Plough is willing to pay for renovation, reinstallation and maintenance so long as the price is reasonable, but no amount has been specified.

Over the years several others were erected around South Florida. One version at the Golden Glades interchange had a mechanical dog continually yanking down her suit — our personal favorite.

Bengis hopes they can make it work and says ‘that sign is a part of Miami. It should be up there in this town forever.’ — We completely agree and are ecstatic a Hialeah company will have a part in the restoration.

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