For thirty years, my career with GTE Corporation entailed an abundance of travel, most by car. Some of these trips crossing this remarkable country. Subduing boredom requires imagination and inspiration. Rejecting brooding as a time passer is simple because it could lead to insanity ending in incarceration.
The answer came swiftly one morning in a rural Ohio town. Leaving the interstate I headed for a McDonalds. Passing a Baptist Church I see a sigh out front that reads; “communion, what do it mean”.
After gaining control, the decision became clear; I would read and record signs. I have compiled a few of my favorites for your entertainment.
In Iowa, a distant blue reddish glow appeared in the distant sky near dusk. A truck stop with 15-foot tall blue fluorescent letters mounted the entire length on the roof of the main building spelling the word “RESTAURANT”; The owner, spending a small fortune to let everyone know what went on in that building. Following the last “T” three more 15-foot red fluorescent letters spelled “EAT.” I think the owner could achieve success without spending money for “EAT”. What else would I do in a restaurant, bowl?
In Wisconsin, a sign outside a small store dwarfed the building. It read “PHONOGRAPH NEEDLES”. Gosh, how many needles could he sell in one day? Has a line ever formed at the check out?
A restaurant in Indiana proudly displayed the following; “we offer Braille Menus”. So who reads the sign?
My all time favorite is in New York State. First sigh; “Goat milk fudge 50 miles”. “Yuk“, I murmur, “not something I want”. Second sign; “Goat milk fudge 25 miles”. “Maybe it isn’t that bad,” I thought. Third sigh; “Goat milk fudge 5 miles”.
“I might stop, Could use something sweet”. Fourth sign; Goat milk fudge 1 mile on the right”. Now I cannot wait, I am pushing 75 MPH. Last sign, with giant arrows pointing at this small store; GOAT MILK FUDGE HERE!” I slam on the brakes, leap from the car drooling as I walk inside! Behind the counter with bright red lipstick stands the clerk, sort of leaning on one hip and chewing gum; “what da ya want”, she asks? “Give me a pound of goat milk fudge “, I reply. She furrows her eyebrows and says, “What the hell is that“?