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Every place we go in our travels, my wife and I seem to pay attention to houses and businesses that are for sale. She’ll always grab a local real estate magazine from a literature rack and thumb through it, pointing out interesting properties. Neither of us want to move away from the north shore, but still…
We are always looking; wondering what it would be like to live in this town; to build a business here and then in a few years, move on to the next. Or perhaps we see a classic looking old house – one that is dilapidated and grown over with vines, weeds and trees. Sometimes it’s even falling in. I dream of how we could restore that old house, making it our home for a while and then move on for the next owner to call it home.
I suppose I could just chalk it up to being a dreamer, but a for sale sign in a front yard always causes me to turn my head. Recently I was looking for a property to take on as a project and that’s when I noticed it. Signs! Egads, they’re everywhere. Hundreds and thousands of them. This must be an election year.
Signs asking you to vote for this person for city council; that person for county supervisor. Another person wants to be the mayor, the auditor, the treasurer or the sheriff. State representatives and senators want your support as well. This doesn’t even include the signs for issues; people asking you to vote for or against something. There are signs everywhere and most of them seem to be about the same size as a realtor’s yard sign. This is confusing to a dreamer such as myself.
I’m frequently turning my car around to go back and look, thinking a house is for sale, only to have my hopes dashed because so and so wants to be the next elected dog catcher. Lately, I’ve been spinning my head around so often I think it just might come completely unscrewed! I’m not so easily fooled on the highway as I am in town.
With a heated presidential election for 2020, people have been most creative in the signs they put up and the way they display them. Long banners for a candidate will stretch a good distance, tied to sheep-tight fencing on the side of the road. The broad side of a semi, parked in a field, is a good place to hang a banner. Shoot, some of the people have painted the whole side of the trailer. Banners wave, tied to the cable of a crane. The heavy steel ball on the end holds it in place in the wind.
People have set up scenes on flatbed trailers, like a set in the theater. Hay bales are stacked specifically so the large round ends can be used to show support; printed and hand-painted signs get the point across. Farm tractors and heavy machinery are useful as well. Just the other day I saw five front loaders, parked side by side, facing the roadway. Each had its bucket reaching high into the air; each filled with a billboard for their candidate. The passion of this election has brought out the most creative sign displays I’ve ever seen.
I spotted a sole sign in the front yard of a really cool house; a realtor’s sign? I turned my car around to go back. Maybe I would get lucky and they would have the little box of information flyers at the curb, telling about the house. If nothing else I could at least write down the name of the real estate company and the address. I could look up the property at home. I started laughing out loud when I pulled over in front of the house. The sign read: “I Just Wanted A Sign For My Yard.” It was the most honest sign I’ve seen yet.
It reminded me of that song from the early seventies; Signs, by the Five Man Electric Band. “Sign, sign, everywhere a sign, blockin' out the scenery, breakin' my mind.” I’ve had that song stuck in my head for several days now.
I appreciate the enthusiasm people are showing for their candidates, but honestly, I’ll be glad when the election is over and the political signs start to come down. Maybe then I can find a house for sale and fulfill my dream.