Saturday, August 05, 2006

The Amarillo Signs

Here we go off-topic. Actually, that's exactly the kind of saying that you might find on a large, metal, diamond-shaped road sign, placed incongruously in a front yard in Amarillo. Random, irrelevant, inscrutable; or perhaps just an icon, a pair of scissors, perhaps, that you would think must indicate the homeowner runs a hairdressing shop out of his house, but no, he just has a great big sign with scissors on it. Or some other random image.

If you haven't seen this phenomenon for yourself, it's hard to explain. I did a search around the net, and found it hadn't passed unobserved. From another confused visitor:
ok, now the weird story…

we were going down what i think was 2nd street when i noticed an odd sign… like a diamond-shaped traffic sign… odder still, it was in someone’s yard… what was odd about the sign was what it said…

“his movements are dull and graceless
he reminds me of a factory machine”

huh?

then a bit later, i saw another in someone else’s yard…
and then another…

i have a note in my psion that we saw most of them in the mcmasters/amarillo road area…

enough talk, here are some pics of a few of them…

is that weird or what?

ok, then, we were going down amarillo road, headed out of town, satisfied we had gotten pics of some of the more interesting ones (once we started driving around and looking, we found there were dozens of them, no two exactly alike, yet only in this one part of the town), when we saw one on the side of the road, so we stopped and got this pic of it…

as i am standing there, i happened to see something off in the distance…
on sort of a hill quite a ways out, among quite a few trees on the hill, i noticed that what i at first thought were more trees were actually black letters that must have been at least six feet tall…
i took a pic, you may see what i mean and perhaps get an idea of the scale, but, you will not be able to read them… (again, we need a real cam, one with ZOOM!)

the letters say “ACTUAL SIZE”…

curiouser and curiouser, as alice was wont to say…
Yes indeed. Here's the explanation, found in an English news source, of all places:
Though Cadillac Ranch is the best-known of the millionaire's projects, several other examples exist. Some years ago Marsh reacted when he saw a street sign which said "Road Ends Ahead": he immediately had a similar sign made and erected nearby reading "Road Does Not End". When told that he was breaking the law (as the USA is a signatory to an international agreement on the conformity of road signs), he decided that this kind of rebellion was fun and had dozens more different signs made and erected seemingly at random by the side of streets all over Amarillo. Marsh's signs are diamond-shaped, sized, and in many cases coloured, just as the official ones. But instead of banning parking or granting rights-of-way, his carry a selection of sayings, quotes, proverbs, lines from songs, and anything else that a committee (on which Marsh sits) decides. Not all appear to make sense.
Eccentric millionaire, then. Sure, it all makes sense.

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