Moon Over Miami

The Coppertone Girl and her dog return to Miami.

I remember the smell of Coppertone as I sat baking in the sun for hours. Every time I’d slather myself with another “tan don’t burn” round, I’d look at the little Coppertone girl on the bottle and wonder why she allowed her cocker spaniel to embarrass her, seemingly forever, on billboards and other ads.

When the iconic Coppertone girl and her spunky dog returned, via signage, to Miami, FL last December, sentimental memories flooded the area. Jerry Bengis, whose father’s sign company, Tropicalites, originally built and installed the sign, helped coordinate and publicize the sign’s restoration, and Alec Blotnick, owner of Hialeah, FL-based Tropical Signs of Florida, repaired and installed the sign.

As a 12-year-old, Jerry watched the sign being installed in 1959.

“It became the most famous sign in the area. Everyone loved it. That’s when they had the Orange Bowl parade downtown,” Jerry recalled.

Here are photos of the restoration and installation. Also, read the details in Signs of the Times’ May issue.