Saturday, July 02, 2011

Round Robin: Give Me a Sign

For the Round Robin Challenge: Signs of the Times, I asked to see photos of signs that in some way reflect the times we live in. Some of the signs I'm about to show you definitely meet that Challenge, while others are, well, a bit of a stretch. I'm going to show them to you anyway.

This is definitely a sign of the times: a billboard advertising of of the many payday loan companies found on practically every street corner in Tucson. I worked inside one of these places for three days once, and I'm very glad the law that allows them to operate here runs out in another year or two. There must be a better way for people in a financial bind in these trying times to get by than to get ever further in debt to a payday lender.

A few miles further north and west than the payday loan billboard is this classic. Like the South of the Border billboards in the Carolinas, The roadside attraction called The Thing? is touted for many miles in each direction along I-10. (It's at a truck stop/Dairy Queen/souvenir stand in Southeastern Arizona, more than an hour from Tucson and miles from anywhere. I went there once and paid the admission. It was sort of a Believe It Or Not type museum on the cheap, everything from a 1930s car reputed to have once carried Hitler to bizarre folk art to exhibits from history's junkyard, often accompanied by signs that work the words "THE THING" into the description. (A little video tour can be seen on the Roadside Attractions website.) The main attraction is a mummified...well, I'll leave you to guess. I don;t quite know what it is myself, and I've seen the Thing!

On a less lighthearted note, this particular billboard makes a joke about The Thing being "Dead" ahead - but at the base of the billboard is a white cross, a shrine to someone killed at or near this spot on I-10 near Marana. (The original photo had a black triangle in the lower right corner where my car was in the way, but trust me, the cross was there, and part of it was showing in the unedited version of this scene.)

Here are signs that show contrasting attitudes toward immigration, an issue for which Tucson is pretty much Ground Zero. The sign with the Biblical quote was dedicated in front of St. Michael's about a month ago. A reporter interviewed Father Smith and a parishioner afterward for one of the local news shows, but apparently it wasn't sensational enough. Or something. (Note: I had a glare problem with plexiglass over the sign's image. I've resorted to pasting a better photo of the same sign from when it was inside before it was erected in situ. You can see the original versions of these photos in Picasa if you doubleclick on a photo and explore a bit.)

The other sign is outside the large building under construction that I featured in the announcement for the BIG challenge a month ago. That "No Soliciting, No On-Site Hiring," along with the fence, seems a mite unfriendly to me, but it's more than that. The construction industry in Arizona is notorious for hiring undocumented workers as day laborers, sometimes picking people up off the street for the work. Not at this worksite. I'm not saying that's good or bad per se, but it rubs me the wrong way.

I happened upon this scene one day recently on a side street as I tried unsuccessfully to drive through a neighborhood instead of going back out onto grant Road. The Dead End sign next to the dead tree and the boat in the driveway of a landlocked desert city struck me as evocative if nothing else.

Now let's see some other signs of the times!

Linking List
as of Sunday evening 

Karen - Posted!
Outpost Mâvarin

Rachael - Posted!
The Smile Spot :)

Sweet Memories

Gattina - Posted!
Keyhole Pictures

Kim - Posted!
40's and Fabulous

Peg - Posted!
Who Can Discover It?

Jenn - Posted Sunday!
Cottage Country Reflections

LG Tina - Posted Sunday!
Leckeres für Mensch und Katze (Goodies for a pleasant life)



Gattina said...

that's a completely different interpretation of the theme, lol ! I think I misunderstood, but that doesn't matter, both are good "signs of time" !

Kim, USA said...

First photo do really scares me we even don't have a kid. What more to those couples who had more than 1 or 2. But the photo where their is Jesus also inspires me because no matter what their is always hope. And if only we change or mend our ways we can survive and we will. Happy Independence day!!


Jama said...

Love all your signs especially the third one, even though I'm not a Christian. But I think the same concept applied to us, we are both strangers but the internet has made us friends, and we welcome each other into our lives.

Jama said...

By the way, I've posted mine up, totally forgot all about it. Sorry about that, but better be late than never, right? :)

Karen Funk Blocher said...

Jama - absolutely! What a wonderful thought!

Gattina - That's okay; I really like it when people come up with totally different interpretations. And that basilica-turned-mosque-turned-museum was really interesting!