Signs & Wonders

To commemorate the final day (today) of my current commute (I signed an agreement not to discuss the details of my employment status change, so mind your own beeswax, all you stickybeaks!), here are a few of the sights (I hesitate calling any of this “Roadside Art”) along my concluding route to and from the office.

Let’s start with something logical. Decent. Sane.

I spotted this public message along a narrow section of the road set into the hillside, where there is always traffic waiting at a busy intersection:

Don't Litter Sign


(Getting through the light takes about ten minutes, in case you’re wondering if I’m taking photos while driving. I’m stuck sitting there several minutes of every work day.)

That is also where I spotted this message:

Election Sign on Hillside_1

Can you see that? (My thought exactly: “Then why put it there?”)

Look closer, though. I apologize in advance. It’s a little bleak. Post-apocalyptic. Try again:

Election Sign on Hillside_1

A few thoughts. First, putting aside politics, why would anyone decide an election campaign sign posted right there could convince anybody of anything? Who is that endorsement aimed at, low-flying traffic helicopter pilots?

(Rhetorical. Please don’t answer.)

Then there is the, um… Is it graffiti? Or is that part of the sign? Either way, why bother with a message too small to identify (possibly a blue cross in the bottom right corner, which could be part of the design, although it covers the slogan, also too tiny to read)?

Graffiti Crew: If you’ll risk life and limb to deface propaganda, why not simply remove it?

Maybe there’s a hiking path up on the hill that provides access… If so, that possibly answers all my questions. Kinda, sorta?

Let’s call such a path, “The High Road,” and just this once not take it.

(By the way, that’s a currnt photo. That sign from 2016 is up there RIGHT. NOW. It survived LA’s heavy rain last winter, and the recent wildfires.)

Litter Crew: Why can’t you be more like the Graffiti Crew?

Moving on to other misguided acts of patriotism, from the “backyard” of a house in the canyon below, facing the busy road:

Flag Hanging From Tree

Isn’t doing that to a flag illegal? Should be. Sad.

How about a quick palate cleanser?

US Flag plus Palm Tree

Ah. Much better. (To my non-American readers, we’ll all respectfully pause a moment while you go bask in a photo of your own country’s flag.)


Nice. Look at all those smiles!

Finally, two bits of whimsy.

First, this must certainly be the work of a retiree with too much time on their hands (or even more fun to consider — a retired couple’s art project?):

Air Mail Box

Cute, huh? There are similar items all over the internet and the world. So what? Makes me smile when I pass by. As does this oddity, up on the hill (sorry for the glare):

T-Rex Yard Decor


Goodbye, commute. I’ll miss (parts of) you!

View of San Fernando Valley

2 thoughts on “Signs & Wonders

  1. Very nice C. Thanks for including me on your last commute. Its interesting how the seemingly mundane can be so fascinating, seen through the right eyes. When does a “do not litter” sign BECOME litter? Is graffiti art? Is some art, graffiti/litter? Is a flag art, or litter, or something more sacred? Or just another political statement, like an election poster? So many questions, but I love your sense of wonder, as you travel through the world. You’re right – if it makes you smile, and brightens your commute, it can’t be wrong.
    Enjoy your day………….and give a good “ROAR!!!” at the end of it!


    • Thank you Gavin. Excellent questions! My “deep” questions are all in the post. All I’m left with is stuff like, “Is that a little dinosaur next to the T-rex?” “Are the dinosaurs hollow, with slides inside?” Or, “I wonder if the people who look out over the canyon every day have named that bird?” I wish I could put you in charge of the Campfire Tales Study Group Guide. Your “Questions for Discussion” are so good!


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