About 20 years ago, I volunteered for a political campaign and put a huge campaign sign on my West Hartford lawn. Before I knew it, my yard became a magnet for every other candidate’s lawn sign and it looked like a hodgepodge of political tag sales.
A seasoned political operative once told me that no one ever won an election with lawn signs, and come Election Day that year, my guy lost, although some of the little signs landed winners.
In truth, I didn’t erect a 5-foot-by-5-foot billboard on my front yard because I thought it would help the candidate win, but because I deeply believed in him.
If a person’s house is his or her castle, then their front yard is a reflection of their heart.
This year, as the pandemic altered the world and threw health care workers on the front lines of life and death, signs with hearts bloomed across Suffield.
Proud parents put signs of their graduating children. My daughter is in the class of 2021, and as soon as the sign comes off the presses, it’s on the lawn.
I’ve seen Black Lives Matter signs, Thin Blue Lines signs and signs offering support to immigrants. I’ve recently seen signs celebrating Suffield’s 350th anniversary. If there is a cause to be championed, I’m sure there is a lawn sign for whatever it may be.
Passion, however, can push things to extremes.
For years on Halladay Avenue, I observed a yard-sign war between two neighbors – one a Patriots fan, the other a Steelers fan. Each season, the ante seemed to get a little higher until one year it looked like a cross between a knock-off souvenir stand and an extravagant inflatable Christmas display. Today, either calmer heads or their wives prevailed, and each side has toned down their visual support.
Lately, I’ve seen a particular flag-turned-sign promoting a presidential candidate with a memorable tagline. Not content to have the message lost as it hangs from a pole, the ones I’ve seen have it prominently staked out in their front yard to spell it out: “NO MORE BULL—-.”
I, too, am in favor of a world with no more bull—-, but it’s more of a goal and less of a passion. I’ve been to that circus. It’s exhausting to invest so much emotion in someone or something that rarely reciprocates in kind. So, I’m going to pass on putting bull—- signs on my lawn.
Besides, no matter who wins in November, someone probably will have a sign that says it stinks.