Unblissful Signs

Coat of arms of the town of Kingsville, Ontario.

Coat of arms of the town of Kingsville, Ontario. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A note of explanation: As many of you know, I am the municipal reporter for my small town paper, but I also write a column. This week’s column was the subject of yesterday’s post, but I also wrote a second half. This is the second half. The woman mentioned in the article, Mary-Ann was a legal secretary and she and I worked at different firms years ago (she was a real legal secretary, I was someone  floundering in  a sea of unemployment until my father-in-law hired me). Steve, the associate editor is my colleague. The signs that I am talking about are the portable signs that seem to be popping up all over our lovely town of Kingsville in southwestern Ontario (we brag about being the southern most town in Ontario)–and as you can see from the column, I am of two minds–I believe businesses should be able to advertise and prosper, but I also wish that they could find another more attractive way to do it. I tend to stay away from opinion pieces having to do with the municipality–because I want to maintain my subjectivity–but sometimes you just have to speak out:

 On a Different Note…..

            “Signs, signs, everywhere a sign

            Blocking out the scenery breaking my mind….”

           

            Many of us of a certain age remember the song, “Signs”, from the early 1970’s. It was performed by an unknown Canadian rock group, Five Man Electrical Band and composed by Les Emmerson. It was written during what Wikipedia calls “an era of social and political change.” I would argue that all times are eras of social and political change, but that is an argument for another time.

            A few weeks ago, Mary-Ann Costa wrote a letter to the editor about the proliferation of signs in our little town that tend to take away from our quaintness. Intrepid associate editor Steve I ‘Anson then took up the gauntlet and expressed his dismay at the way some signs do not add to the attractiveness of our town.

            I usually like to sit on the fence in matters having to with do the rights of others, which is not to say I do not have an opinion but I generally do not voice it. In this case it is the rights of the business people vs. the rights of aesthetics—and to say that one is more important than the other would be wrong. I do not have a solution, but if someone came up with an attractive way to display what businesses have to offer they would be instant heroes.

            I am not crazy about the proliferation of these signs. I cover municipal council and I know that they have come up with a by-law to deal with the signs—but the matter to my mind is complicated.

            Civic pride should not suffer at the hands of business, nor should businesses suffer at the hands of those with delicate sensibilities (my husband says I suffer from this), but there should be a solution. There must be a middle ground—a way to advertise that does not offend or to paraphrase the song “Signs”: block out the scenery breaking our minds. We need to put our thinking caps on.

            Our town is quaint and lovely and a wonderful tourist destination—but it is also a place of business. Can’t the two come together?

 What do you think? Do you have any suggestions that would make our lovely town more blissful?

Clean Slate

English: The Great Dining Room. Chatsworth House

NOT MY DINING ROOM: The Great Dining Room At Chatsworth House (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Daily Post prompt “Clean Slate” wants us to explore the room we are in as if it is the first time we have encountered it and describe the person or people who inhabit(s) it. Or this is the prompt I am attempting with a little of my own paraphrasing.

The room I am in right now is an office slash dining room. Most of the walls have bookshelves starting from about four feet off the ground to the ceiling. They are jam-packed. Fuller than capacity. They hold mostly books but also a lot of mementos–not just bric-a-brac–but things that seem to be meaningful.

There are two desks which are really doors professionally finished off to look like furniture placed on six filing cabinets. One might wonder what it is in the filing cabinets as there are a lot of files and paperwork neatly piled on a shelf, under a shelf and on the desks. The room  looks neat as if it had been cleaned up for Christmas.

The dining room table has a lace tablecloth on it, and though one at first glance would not know it, the table is pretty clean compared to its usual state. The people who live here probably do not eat at the table formally every night, but on occasion.

The room has a laptop, business phone, an old fax machine unplugged so that no incoming faxes can be received, a combination printer/scanner/photocopy machine, and a calculator.

Book shelf

Book shelf (Photo credit: jayneandd)

If you were to come into this room you would think that the people who live here read a lot. And you would be right. You would think that there is a writer in residence from the titles of some of the books, and the names on some of the files. You would think they were running a contracting business from the names on the other files, and the calculator sitting on the dining room table may mean they do their own book work. You would think looking at this room that these people had potential. And you would be right. The people who live here have lots of potential, some of it still unrealized.

There seems to be an attempt at organization  in some areas. The rug is worn and in need of replacement. Kids were brought up here. You can tell by some of the pictures and memorabilia–basketball trophies, some Lego figures, pictures of boys at different stages of their school and athletic careers. And you see signs of creativity–homemade things, written things, projects unfinished. There is a picture propped up on one of the desks of a young happy couple on their wedding day. Seems to be from the early 1980’s from the style of the clothing.

This is a well-used room. It has a TV in one corner and an old stereo that is over a quarter of a century old. A CD player has been added to the works, but the record player still holds a place of honour. There are a few records and lots of CDs.

This is obviously a room where life is lived and work is done. It has seen blissful times and hard times. And it will see more of both.

Do you have a room that has seen blissful times?

Published in: on January 13, 2013 at 2:33 pm  Comments (66)  
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