***Names have been changed to Mr. and Mrs. X to protect privacy
One yard in Fredericksburg, Texas is attracting quite a lot of attention—and not for the landscaping.
At the home of Mr. and Mrs. X, two large signs sit blatantly in the front yard. They’re hard to miss, and townspeople have taken notice.
The first, placed in the yard approximately two years ago, features a picture of former president George Bush waving and the words “Miss Me Yet?” underneath. The second, introduced about a year later, shows a picture of President Obama and reads, “Voted Obama? Embarrassed Yet? You Should Be!”
Mr. X was prompted to create and purchase the signs after being disappointed by the 2008 presidential election. While he discovered the Bush design through an e-mail thread, he designed the Obama sign himself.
The signs, a familiar sight to Fredericksburg residents, are now attracting the attention of visitors.
“Lots of people come by to take pictures,” Mr. X said. “Many tell me the merchants on Main Street are sending them by, like a tourist attraction. It’s actually very difficult to get yard work done on weekends. Everyone wants to stop me to visit about the signs.”
In conservative Fredericksburg, the signs have received a lot of support.
“We’ve only received two negative comments in two years,” Mr. X said. “One unsigned card from a Chicago resident passing through, and the other from a lady I go to church with.”
While Mr. and Mrs. X have been lucky to receive relatively little backlash, both signs have been vandalized once. On the Bush sign, it appears that George may have a pink mustache, while there is a hole near Obama’s eye in the Obama sign.
“Some kids drove by late one night and shot at the Obama sign with a paint ball gun. They missed twice, but hit once in the eye, making a hole,” Mr. X said. “I suspect some kids from down the street marked on George with a Marks-a-Lot. When my wife cleaned it off, the cleaner lightened the picture in some spots.”
The sun, too, has faded the Bush sign from its original bright pink color. Currently, Mr. X is working on a new sign to replace it, featuring both George and Laura Bush with the words, “Miss Us Yet?”
While plans for the new sign are underway now, Mr. and Mrs. X did contemplate removing the signs after about a year of having both displayed.
“To our surprise, everyone we mentioned it to begged us not to because they had someone they hadn’t been able to show the signs to—kin from out-of-town, things like that,” Mr. X said.
So for now, the signs will remain a Fredericksburg landmark. But despite their touristy aspects, the signs deserve recognition as political statements. Furthermore, they foster political awareness and have generated a good deal of political talk in the community.
“We get to meet a lot of folks that come by. All have been fun to talk to and hear their take on the current political situation…even if they keep me from getting my yard work done,” Mr. X said.