I have this thing about hostile signage --- public notices, often quite large, that create a negative image of a place just by being there. This scabrous wreck is one of my favorites in Chariton.
It's the first big thing visitors see when headed into town from the west on Court Avenue after passing the truck stop --- also what potential users of the Cinder Path see first when they turn into its parking lot. It's certainly among the signs most viewed by strangers among us, who you'd think we'd want to feel welcome and also to impress with a classy best-foot-forward.
I suppose we could just add a line across the bottom, maybe in spray paint, that reads "Abandon hope, all ye who enter here." Alternately, it could be fixed, replaced or chopped down and hauled away.
And here's the big sign that's the first thing visitors see upon entering those wonderful main gates of the Chariton Cemetery --- a beautiful, well-kept place that among other distinctions is a National Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Now I'm not suggesting that rules and regulation don't have their place, but surely we can do better than this. Maybe just a tiny "welcome" somewhere?
Alternately, if we're determined to stick with this beast, we could get Prison Industries to churn out another sign to tack onto it that reads, "Just count yourself lucky we let you bury your loved ones here."
So if trucks aren't allowed --- how do burial vaults arrive at graveside? Wheelbarrow? Just asking.
Drive a mile or two east to city-owned Lakes Ellis and Morris, sources of our water supply and named after two young men who were among the first Lucas Countyans to die in World War II.
No indication of the latter (as I've complained about before), but billboard-sized lists of rules and regulations at both, most of which begin with "No!." There's also a beautiful trail along the west shore of Ellis, but nothing to point the way to it --- unless you know where to find the parking area where the signage is.
I'm thinking we could add a line to these signs that reads, "No good times whatsoever here --- and if it looks like you're enjoying yourself you'll be considered a trespasser and treated accordingly."