Windom sign—again


by Frances Edstrom

Windom sign—again

As I talked to people around town about the sign in Windom Park, it occurred to me that there is a possible compromise to be made. The issue is that some people object to the sign, which advertises community events on a rotating basis on a sign made of 4x4s at the corner of Broadway and Huff streets. Others like it as free advertising.

The objection seems to be that the sign is ugly.

One solution is to remove the sign, which I would prefer. But another is to hold the design of the sign up to the same scrutiny that is given by the city’s Heritage Preservation Commission to signs on businesses in our Victorian river town — that they be compatible with their surroundings. The sign in Windom Park is ugly because it is not compatible with a beautiful city park surrounded by gracious Victorian homes.

Bob Shaw, a Winona man who does architectural metal work, and is responsible for some beautiful projects around town. (He is responsible for the ironwork around the Beno’s Deli building.) Someone with his talent for design could assuredly come up with a signpost that would not be as jarring as the current one in Windom Park.

Perhaps the Heritage Preservation Commission could also vet the sign itself, so that there is a certain modicum, at least, of good taste involved. As it is, some of the signs are fine, but others look like the posters people attach to light poles to advertise their garage sales.

If a signpost could be designed that is attractive, why not replace the one at Hwy. 14/61 at Huff Street as well, and move it to the Visitor’s Center — a logical spot and more visible than in its present location the ditch.

Is this a compromise that could make most people happy?

Happy New Year!

I understand that I should be making New Year’s resolutions, but I’ve never found them to work. It’s a good thing, as one of my newspaper buddies used to say, to know yourself. “I know me!” he’d proclaim. Well, I know me, too.

If I vow to give something up or try to be a better person, my resolve lasts about a week. Then the temperature takes a plunge, we get four feet of snow, or an ice storm takes down the apple tree.

My reaction? If my resolution was to stop eating sweets, I scrounge throughout the house and find a stash of left-over candy canes or the bridge mix hidden behind the coffee maker, and eat every last bit. After that, I tell myself I’ve cheated on my diet, I don’t care what I look like, my cholesterol isn’t that bad, no one lives forever, and I go out and buy a real stash of candy or a box of HoHos.

If my resolution was to be nicer, I kick the dog. (Not really, but I do yell at him when he eats the butter off the counter.)

However, as I said, I know me. About February, the fact that I’ve not had the smidgeon of will power needed to avoid candy and cake begins to gnaw at me. My Catholic guilt begins to surface, like bubbles come to the top of the water from the muck below. When I go to the grocery store, the magazines in the check-out lane show pictures of movie stars’ cellulite, or proclaim that I can lose sixty pounds of ugly fat in thirty days.

I’ve found that guilt makes me hungry. Next thing I know, I’ve eaten my way through winter, and the next time I go to the mall all the mannequins are wearing bathing suits and I’ve done it again, come through the cold, snow, ice, wind and darkness with a few extra pounds instead of a few fewer pounds.

The days grow warmer, I shed my layers of long underwear, and I find that it wasn’t the long johns that made me look fat, it’s the fat that makes me look fat. And that makes me grouchy, so I haven’t gotten any nicer, either.

That’s why I don’t make New Year’s resolutions.


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