Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A Sign Of Things Past

I miss the old Welcome To Bakersfield sign on the 99 freeway just south of town. It was only around for about a decade, quickly replaced by a prettier, younger sign. The old sign was great, though. There was a hole in the sign, just under the To. At night, the entire sign would be lit, save for this gaping black spot in the middle. As if to say, “Welcome To Bakersfield, The Black Hole Of California.”

The sign was often a topic of conversation with Bakersfieldians. Just about any discussion about traveling back to Bakersfield from the Los Angeles area could lead to that sign. Just about everyone had an idea for slogans revolving around it.

* “Welcome To Bakersfield, Fill Us With Goodness

* “Welcome To Bakersfield, We Could Only Afford 90% Of The Sign

* “Welcome To Bakersfield, Not A Bong

* “Welcome To Bakersfield, We Only Approve Of The Use Of One Hole

* “Welcome To Bakersfield, We Asked For Something Holy And This Is What We Got

* “Welcome To Bakersfield, Our Order For Welcome To Hell Was Misinterpreted

* ”Welcome To Bakersfield, God’s Glory Hole

* “Welcome To Bakersfield, Guess Where Los Angeles Sticks It?

Admittedly, the vast majority of slogan ideas involve the hole and what it could be used for. I like to think that it was just a reminder of how flawed the city is. Even our sign is incomplete. Maybe the slogan should have been, “Please Come To Bakersfield, Complete Us.”


  1. Wow that sign reminds me of the cheezetastic 80's era sign for our second rate mall.

  2. oh god the new is that "life as it should be" sign isnt it?

  3. Tyrell Bratton stuck his bare ass through the hole in that sign. It was bigger than it looked.

    The hole, not his ass. His nads hung low though. Oopsie.