What's missing from this picture?

Posted: Tuesday, September 30, 2003

For more than 20 years the intersection of K-Beach and Funny River Road and the Sterling Highway in Soldotna has featured a unique SBS sign. A signboard not dedicated to advertising the latest sale prices on building materials, but rather a weekly line of wit or inspiration.

A message that would take your mind away from the summer tourist traffic, being late to school, slippery winter roads, or a hurried life, and change it with a thought of appreciation or humor. Indeed the SBS sign became part of the quality of life on the Kenai Peninsula. Then seemingly overnight a few weeks ago the SBS sign disappeared and with it the institution of reading while waiting for the light or green arrow to appear, "It was a bummer, it took me a little bit to figure out what was wrong, it was a naked kind of feeling while waiting for the light to change, then I realized the SBS sign was gone," commented one motorist. Within a few days, other signboards in Soldotna were reading, "We miss you SBS," and a malay of distraught people were stopping in the store or calling to find out what had happened to their sign.

According to Rick Abbott, Spenard Builders Supply Soldotna Store Manager, and veteran SBS sign guru/poet, the sign was taken down due to pending construction at the intersection, "The State of Alaska is going to do a change at the bridge here in Soldotna and they needed to have the land exactly where our sign was located, so we're in the process of moving the sign to a spot closer to our front door," said Abbott.

Construction is underway for the new sign, but going a little slower than anticipated, but Abbott estimates that in another week or so the new sign should be erected in its new location, "It wasn't something that we wanted to do, but it was one of those things that has to be done as we progress as a town. We'll end up having a newer, fresher looking sign, that will continue to be used to encourage the town," added Abbott. In considering what to put up on the new signboard when it debuts, Abbott said, "I've been thinking possibly, 'Patience is a virtue,' but I'm working at it."

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