Following up on the previous post, I wanted to mention an interesting, hilarious book by one of America’s greatest nature writers, Edward Abby, called The Monkey Wrench Gang. Really a great read. (A caveat: Environment Memo and its publisher and writers in no way advocate monkey wrenching or law breaking of any kind.)  This book is fiction.  Here are reviews of the book, along with a lot more about Abbey, and a way to buy it.  As it says there, “The book fueled a new generation of angry young environmentalists”…  I’m not sure if I would go that far.  Environmentalists have a lot to be angry about, but it’s best to channel that anger into productive approaches.

As I remember, the book starts out with a couple of people who are sawing off the legs of a billboard.  It is interesting to think about how billboards have evolved.  Now, it would take an acetylene torch to cut the legs off of the heavy metal billboards of today.  Some instructions on installing a billboard come from one of the apparent billboard kings, one Frank Rolfe, who gives advice such as:

Measure the depth of the hole
The driller may get lazy and not drill quite as deep as the plans recommend. This compromises the safety of the sign and throws off your height limit. Even a 6” difference can be a huge problem. Watch him measure the depth, and make sure that he does not cheat.

Choose the “V”
Once the pole is placed, it is time to choose the “V”—the angles of the sign faces in relation to the traffic. You never want to leave this decision to the installer: They never as good as job as you can do yourself. The correct way to choose the “V” angles is from the adjacent road or highway, ideally from the middle.
Monitor the concrete pour

Yes, indeed, those old billboards on wood supports of yesterday have given way to very large diameter metal poles. That’s progress.


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