A Dip Into The Archives – Part 4 – Signs

Hi everyone,

This week I continue the look into my photo archives for blog post inspiration. Signs, the physical type in this case, are all around us: some tell us what to do or not do; some tell us where to go or not go; some warn us against danger; some try to entice us; and some try to sell us something but supposedly all signs have some purpose. I’m not talking about “signs” that may indicate a supernatural power or a miracle. I am talking about signs that I can photograph and display physically in a gallery or virtually on the internet. There are companies dedicated to making, selling, installing and maintaining physical signs. We encounter those everyday as we go (or went!) about our business. In today’s post, I’ll share a few sign I thought were humorous. Let’s get started.

Sometimes humor is in the eye and mind of the beholder, as is the case of this photo. I took this photo in downtown Madison just off State Street that runs between the Capitol and the University campus. When I saw these two awnings side by side, I chuckled to myself and wondered if the business owners saw the same irony I was seeing. The business on the left is Mimosa, that specializes in new age books and paraphernalia, wares “to nourish the soul.” The other business, Ear Wax Records, sold punk and metal recordings. Ear Wax closed it’s doors a couple of years ago while Mimosa, while closed during the pandemic, is still a presence on the State Street scene. This is one of my favorite photos and every time I pass this corner, I think of the day I took this image. Hope you enjoy it too!Signs-6673

The next photo was taken a couple of years ago when I was at a photo workshop in Taos, New Mexico. I don’t recall the name of the sleepy village off the highway but this sign in a town with very few people and an abundance of sage brush and mesquite struck me as humorous. No, I didn’t see one dog on my slow drive around town!IMG_3686

This photo was taken in Lviv, Ukraine just last year. The sign is located just off Rynok Square in the city center. The sign is located by Cafe 1 where lovers kiss and meet to enjoy the excellent coffee, food, and service. IMG_5114

I took this photo in October 2019 in Sydney, Australia on my visit to the Royal Botanic Garden. It was a beautiful spring day, great for strolling along the waters of Farm Cove and Sydney Harbor. This planting advertised the exhibit of plants that bite, in fact 25,000 of the worlds most carnivorous species of the botanical world such as the Venus fly trap and pitcher plants. I didn’t stop at the exhibit but the sign caught my eye and peeked my interest._M0A5614

The next photo is also from Australia, eight hundred miles north of Sydney in the Tweed Valley. As we were driving through the rich farming country, this homemade sign caught my attention. My guess is that a farmer was trying to make use of and a little money off the excess dung their horses created. By the way, this advice from an old farm boy, consider horse manure for gardens; fewer weed seeds and easier to handle than cow, sheep or chicken crap.IMG_7149

The last photo in this series is also from the Tweed Valley of Australia. This photo was taken in a unisex restroom in a general store where we stopped for some refreshments. Don’t you love the Aussie humor?!!IMG_6820

So that’s a little humor for after a long and chaotic week.

I would be remiss if I didn’t comment on the situation in Minneapolis and the growing protests around the country. The year was 1968, the year of my high school graduation and the year that changed America as described so eloquently by Tom Brokaw in his book titled “BOOM!”.  It began with the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in April and a couple of months later the gunning down of Robert Kennedy, a candidate for the President. As a backdrop, the Vietnam War raged with the body count announced on the evening news. Protests filled the streets of large cities and college campuses. The young were pitted against the old, blacks against whites, workers against their managers, protesters against the police, the conscientious objectors against the selective service and so on. It seemed the country was becoming unraveled. It was also an election year that swept Richard Nixon into office on a platform of restoring law and order. I can’t help but see some similarities between 1968 and 2020. The current protests and demonstrations against the murder of George Floyd are being held against the back drop of another war, the war against the coronavirus that has taken over 100,000 lives in the past few months. While some progress has been made in race relations since 1968, the pandemic and the deaths of African-American men at the hands of police have exposed serious gaps in the economic, educational, and healthcare systems that must be addressed. It’s my belief that we need leaders at all levels willing to tackle these hard and challenging problems. One of the bright spots during this mess we find ourselves in at this time, is the involvement of the young people in their teens and twenties of all races and ethnicities that have come together and are involved in this and similar movements. I think it’s time for those of us in our “senior” years to hand over the reins of leadership to the younger generations. We have wisdom and experience to share if they ask but they must take the lead to guide us out of this confusing and frustrating place.

Again, these are my thoughts and opinions, if you have comments please share them with me.

Until next week, happy virtual travels!