Burma Shave McConnell signs - damaged, fixed in record time
Looking for creative ways to express their opposition to Senator Mitch McConnell, a small group of Purchase activists brainstormed ideas in an evening zoom meeting.
One idea floated by Fulton Countian Gene Nettles was to replicate the old Burma Shave road signs. The humorous rhymes spread out over several signs were popular on the two lane highways of America in the mid 20th century. some had nothing to do with the shave cream that sponsored them. Burma Shave sign history
Many were clear on what product they were advertising.
Several in the group thought the signs were a capital idea. For more on the sign movement, read Berry Craig's story in Kentucky Forward at the end of this story.
Getting from idea to completion became the task. Nettles arranged with a printer to have his signs professionally prepared.
Leslie McColgin, co-chair of Four Rivers Indivisible, accepted a friend's offer to make her signs in the colors of the original Burma Shave colors.
The series would run along her home in rural Graves County. A couple of the signs were placed on and near the property of a retired union member.
On Monday, July 27th, the national organization of Indivisible celebrated the countdown of less than 100 days to Election Day in a big way. Four Rivers Indivisible took part.
McColgin and her husband, George, put her signs out on Sunday evening.
Here's what happened on Tuesday in her own words:
"So our red "Burma Shave" signs have been vandalized. Neighbors called to tell us. Going out to look now. Said TRUMP and MAGA painted on at least 2 of them.
So our neighbors just sent me these photos. They are, I think, R voters but are upset and she wants to help me try to get it off, offered paint thinner.
It's raining now, think I'll wait. plus let people see the ugliness."
Then on Wednesday, McColgin posted on Facebook:
"My neighbors that sent me the pictures offered to help fix them, and I was waiting to hear from them about when, after a rain, and making potato salad. They texted me new pictures and said "It's all fixed, not quite as good as new but the paint is gone!" Seems she and her husband went out with some paint thinner and sponges and cleaned them up, and my neighbor, George Womble, who has one sign on his property and one near it on the steep bank saw them and came out and helped them. Since the spray paint was fresh, it had not set yet.
My poor neighbor did not realize the steepness of the bank and of course it was muddy and she slipped and had to sit down. She said she worried about her dress coming up and her underwear showing.
She said two cars stopped and offered to help her. I would have told her not to even try. I've been on that bank putting the sign up and it's dangerous for folks our age.
So it turned into a neighborly help-fest, and she said they were glad to make the acquaintance of our neighbor George Womble as they had not met him before.
So--just need to fix the "i" with some white paint or white out; which I had the other day when I touched up something on one of the signs but can't find now and I took my neighbors some of that potato salad, and half the fresh blackberry cobbler I made for Donnie and some of the homemade ice cream I just made for that too. good neighbors, good conversation. And I will point out that we are total opposites politically, and they label themselves "very conservative Christians"; hair in a bun, long dresses etc.
As someone posted on McColgin's Facebook page, it's a long time to the election and the chances of more vandalism remain high.
That's a fact.
It's also a fact that good neighbors remain good neighbors.
Even during a tumultuous political season.