Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Day 21/365 The Rooster

Quick post today as I am off to take DD to the final meeting of the science camp volunteers.
They will be collectively heaving a huge sigh of relief now that the 2008 summer science campers have gone home for the last time (this year). Plus we get ice cream, and a free viewing of the Lewis and Clark IMAX film.

Today's photo is of The Rooster. This not just any 9 foot tall fiberglass rooster - this is the one that brought the county's board of supervisors to its knees. Said rooster had been comfortably situated in its parking lot corner, serving as both a local landmark, as well as publicity for the restuarant that put him there (note that there is no lettering on rooster at any location).

Our little rural county got all full of it's self, and enacted a sign ordinance to "protect us from development and visual pollution". What resulted from that ordinance was a restriction for business signs: anything basically larger than a 12" x 24" sign was illegal.

They did not grandfather in existing businesses, or make exceptions for Walmart.

This ticked a lot of businesses off, plus making it impossible to find a store you were looking for, especially if you were older and had less than wonderful vision (like 80% of the county residents).

So Walmart starts calling lawyers, businessowners started calling up to complain, citizens went to town meetings. None of this got the board of supervisors attention.

Then someone called and reported The Rooster. An anonymous caller insisted it was A Sign, since everyone referred to that restaurant as "the one with the rooster".

Obviously it is larger than 12" x 24".

This led to a county-board-of-supervisors-fieldtrip, and resulted in a newspaper photo of the county-board-of-supervisors gathered around The Rooster, staring up at it, contemplating it in all it's fiberglass red-and-white glory.

Of course, this was a publicity windfall for the restaurant owner/rooster wrangler. So he debated the topic endlessly at town hall, all the while, making sure The Rooster was kept bright and shiny, so folks could spot it easily.

People were talking about The Rooster all over town - is it or isn't it a sign? Is it an eyesore, or a local landmark, perchance a piece of kitschy art? **DD has reminded me that at one point the rooster was sitting on top of a 1950's pink convertible - the kind with tail fins - pretty sure that made it kitschy art at that point**

Turns out people loved The Rooster (although many call it The Chicken, not being familiar with barnyard specifics). People honked when they drove by it, got out and had their picture taken with it, hung banners on it saying "SAVE THE ROOSTER!!!" Business at the restaurant was never so good.

In the end, our community's loud clucking and gushing appreciation for giant fiberglass fowl won out - The Rooster is now exempt from all county signage laws, and safe in his corner, although minus his pink convertible.

The moral of the story is: sometimes it's a sign, sometimes it's visual pollution, but either way, this time it's a Rooster.


  1. Aren't people funny --- these communities with sign restrictions just tick me off. Can't find a damn thing when you're driving down the street --- I mostly just skip the town completely and go to the next town with big signs that appear to want my business. I know it's not the businesses fault --- but I swear I'm not carrying binoculars so I can find a place to spend my money.

  2. I love the rooster. I also love the rhinos on 460:) These guys give our area pinache:)

    I saw that IMAX film while in Missouri under the St. Louis Arch.

  3. You'll have to tell me about that IMAX film then, 'cause at the last minute yesterday they switched us to the Serengheti movie. Been there, done that (literally), and was disappointed I didn't get to see Lewis & Clark.

    I love the rhinos on 460 too.
    We live in sortof an odd little corner don't we?