|Looking east on U.S. 6 this past weekend|
Well, it looks like the end of an era, because the property was recently sold – meaning that the sign will almost certainly be coming down.
For decades, James and Doreen Hart greeted passing motorists with their large, colorful sign, whose theme changed with the seasons. (The Thanksgiving version had a pilgrim hat, the July 4th had a firecracker, etc.)
Each sign has the family's "signature," THE HARTS enclosed in a red heart.
I've always watched for the Harts' sign during my commutes on Lake Road, going back to the 1980s. It was sort of a checkpoint that indicated what kind of progress I was making on my commute, since much of the route between Avon Lake and Bay Village looks much the same.
There was something reassuring about seeing that sign year after year, especially in an era in which people are constantly on the move, and lakefront properties are rapidly changing hands. Plus, it was fun watching to see which version of the sign was currently on display.
So, I'm going to miss those signs. They were not only a unique touch of roadside Americana, but also a reminder of a simpler, more innocent time.
I recently had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Hart, and was informed by him that although the house on Lake Road has been sold, the tradition of the seasonal HARTS sign will happily live on. His son Jeffrey and his wife plan to install the sign post at their home on Deerfield Drive in Avon Lake and continue to offer curbside greetings to the community.