Wednesday, April 22, 2015


I have a love of signs, especially religious signs. These are a few that I have collected over the years and used as decoration on the fence in our back yard.  

This sign came from a house around the corner from me in North Portland.  I never met the gentleman that lived in the house, I use to walk my dog past the house and look at all the interesting signs that he had painted and had up in front. Often there was a sign that said "No Visitors Today", so I did not disturb the occupant.  I never found out what happened to the gentleman that lived in the house, there are rumors that his brother moved him, that he was taken away by social services, that he had so much stuff in the house that he moved out of the house and lived in a tree in the back yard. One neighbor told me they called him Smiley, they could not remember if they called him that because he always smiled or because his last name was Smiley. One neighbor said Smiley had a wife, the other said he was not married but had a room mate. Smiley did have some sort of tree fort that he often sat in during the evening, I believe that is why some people think he was living in the tree. Once a day Smiley would go into the back yard and ring a bell that he had hanging from the tree while yelling something that was often incoherent. One neighbor said Smiley was yelling earthquake. Not sure how many of these tales are true and how many are just rumors. I don't know if Smiley is still alive today. I wish I had taken the time to meet the Smiley, he sounds like a very interesting man. When the house sold all the signs were just put in a dumpster, my neighbor Jessie saved the sign above. Jessie eventually gave me the sign because his wife thought it was weird. It's about 4'x4' sign on a thin piece of wood. The sign has some damage to the upper left corner most likely from when it was tossed out. It has a nice green patina from being out in the weather for several year. 

When I met my husband, he had moved to Portland to buy a building up on 42nd and NE Sumner. The building was once used as a Hare Krishna Temple. The Krishna's had remodeled the building opening the walls between the apartments. Only problem is they never closed out the permits and that caused a lot of issues for us when we started to remodel the building...but that is another story. The old Hare Krishna sign was still hanging on the building when we bought it. Rumor has it that Steve Jobs use to go to this temple to eat the free rice on sundays while he was attending Reed College. Steve Jobs also took a calligraphy class at Reed and some people think that he painted the sign for the Krishna's.  

These two signs were give to me by a friend. He picked them up on a couple different trips to Mexico and thought I would like them.The top sign says that Costa Rica needs to prepare because Christ is coming soon. For the longest time I thought the second sign was a religious sign too. But it says something along the lines of "no food or drinks allowed because it disagrees with our business". 

Of course everyone has seen this sign on the side of the road...Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved. I changed the sign to say "Believe in the Lord Chris and thou shalt be saved" because my husbands name is Chris. I put the sign up on the fence and my husband did not notice the sign till our neighbors came over and asked us to move the sign because everyone that looked at the house to rent found the sign disturbing. 

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