(Brookfield, NY – Jan. 2013) There was anguish and deep sadness in my good friend and a bottomless contributor to this community Jeff Mayne’s face when he told me the very shocking news that someone had ripped out of the ground the “Guideboard” and removed and stolen the arrow pointing direction signs. The heavy 6”x 6” white post having been rolled over the nearby bank out of sight of passing motorists.
Five years ago the late Carol Kalinowski Perrigo’s dream became a reality, thanks to the cooperative efforts of her family and many friends. Her dream was to recreate and duplicate an historic road sign at the busy country intersection of Ouleout and Skaneateles Turnpike.
The Guideboard’s origin dates back to the horse and buggy era and continued into the 20th century with its automobile age; no doubt a very welcomed assistance to confused and lost travelers seeking a way out of the sometimes perplexing maze of Brookfield’s roads. Imagine the community’s happiness five years ago when after an unexplained 50 year sabbatical, the second Guideboard arose on the precise corner of its predecessor.
In the age of GPS’s, road maps, Madison County and township road signs galore, the beautiful and artistically duplicated new Guideboard was a calming and nostalgic reminder of a simpler America. When society’s members generally had greater respect and yes even for often necessary objects like this unusual road sign.
Times change and so do the people and their society. Far too often now we are witnessing mind stunning random, senseless violence, unexplainable property destruction, etc., often fueled by both legal and illegal drugs. There is also a shallowness of interest in the past and insensitivity to others and a self centeredness that places them at the center of the universe. Occasionally the people of such a mentality take out their real and perceived frustrations and insecurities on harmless objects. In this instance the object has great historic as well as practical value to this community.
Shame. Someday, hopefully, the perpetrator will realize how utterly foolish he has been. Even an unsigned apology would be gladly appreciated.
Knowing Brookfielders and their basic kindness and determination, I am supremely confident that before long, like the mythical Phoenix, Carol Kalinowsky Perrigo’s dream will rise once again on the corner of Ouleout and Skaneateles Turnpike. Be sure to watch for it.
But then again, these are only the musings of a simple country man who needs signs in his own life to point him in the right direction. How about you?
Hobie Morris is a Brookfield resident and simple country man.