Although our small town is heavily dependent on the automotive sector, there are a few other employers in town who are not in the service sector. One of those is the local Coca Cola Bottler. The Coca Cola company not only employs local folks, it is a very good supporter of the community and works with many organizations locally. One of the services Coca Cola provides are these advertising banners. Local organizations who are customers of Coca Cola can get them for free. Everyone else can get one for 30$. For a three line custom printed large vinyl sign, that is a deal.
But if you were just casually cruising through our town and saw these signs, you would be convinced we were already dead. Look closely. Yes, the dates on this sign say September. I took this picture in January of 2009. The signs hang there to this day. Are there really no new events? Is the town so dead that no one can afford fundraisers, plays or musical concerts? There is no doubt that the signs give that impression. But things are not always what they appear. Perhaps Coca Cola is struggling and can no0t sponsor the signs any more? Tht would be very bad news as well. I am glad to say that is not the case and if an organization called the Coca Cola company today, they can get a sign for their event. But they can not hang the sign over Washington Street downtown like signs have been for many years. The real truth is much more tragic. Last September, a street worker was hit by a semi while working on street lights and was killed. Although the accident had nothing to do with the street signs, the city has decided to not let anyone hang them across the street. It makes sense, until you consider that the old signs are still there.. hanging despondently…making us look like a dead dead town. If signs are a traffic violation, the old signs should be taken down. If traffic is not an issue, new signs should be put up to show that there is still a lot of life under the stress and pain in this town.