Tuesday, May 5, 2015

A sign

Huntington had the first modern riverfront park here in this section of the Ohio River. Other cities near here have copied most of its design elements when they built their own parks, but they all added one thing Huntington's Harris Riverfront Park has not had in its thirty years of existence.

There has been no sign letting people on the river know they're passing Huntington. There are signs warning you that you are under police surveillance, and there are signs warning that parking is for park users only. But looking for something that welcomes people to the city or even identifies the city was a fruitless search.

I always figured that Huntington officials thought if you were smart enough to get here, you were smart enough to know where you were.

But there may be another reason, which I will get to later.

What brought this on is the fact that a few months ago, the city opened a skate park at the lower end of Harris Riverfront Park for kids to enjoy their skateboards and such. And someone out up a plywood sign with the word "Huntington" in letters big enough to be seen from the river.

The lettering on this sign is graffiti style. And that may be why Huntington has never invested in a sign at the park or murals on the floodwall or anything like that to spruce the place up. This city is plagued with graffiti vandals, er, graffiti artists, and any effort to add anything nice to the floodwall or elsewhere will likely have an ugly graffiti tag on it before the sun rises the next morning.

It's a shame, but it's the way life is here.

Having said all that, my thanks to whoever erected this sign. It was a thirty-year wait, and it's not as nice as what you see in Portsmouth, Ironton, Ashland, Gallipolis, Point Pleasant and elsewhere, but it's a good start.

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