Yard Signs

Maybe I didn’t notice yard signs as a kid in Los Angeles in the 50s and 60s. There were “for sale” signs, but not political or advertising. That was long ago and far away from where I now reside half a continent away. 

For a few years in the 1990s when Taiwan, free at last from a martial law dictatorship, went crazy with campaign flags. These were attached to almost every light pole and tree. Eventually even the campaigns (which paid for all those flags) and the governing authorities (who had an interest in drivers being able to see around corners) settled on where flags could be posted. Now when an election is in the works, flags can be found around parks but not schools, and on private but not public property elsewhere. 

With the recent move of school to “online” and the distribution of high school diplomas by post rather than at the end of a walk across the stage, yard signs have proliferated in the city where I live. They are all “regulation size” and carry the name of the school, the graduate, and the information that everyone at the school and in this house is feeling proud. Not to be outdone by those finishing high school, more signs have been posted about feeling good about a 5th or 6th grade student at this school or that. Inspirational signs thanking health care workers, ambulance drivers and others have appeared. Others bear slogans assuring us that “We’ll get through this.” 

Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=686507

In those long ago days as a California child, I endured regular car trips to the Midwest to visit grandparents. Roads through the corn belt in the summer presented rather monotonous vistas when compared to what we typically saw along the freeways of Los Angeles. Occasionally a stretch was enlivened by Burma Shave signs, carrying witty and educative slogans, a few words on each of four or five signs spaced every hundred meters or so, leading to the product’s name on one more. Today on a corner here in town I saw a yard sign bearing the inspirational message, “Life’s Good”.  With Burma Shave on my mind, I looked down the street for the “Death’s Bad” sign. It wasn’t there.

David Alexander remembers the old days and the Taiwan days in Holland, MI after 39 years in Taiwan. 

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