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Cheerful sign goes missing from Jasperite’s front yard

This spring, Barry A. Gelfand created a bright, cheerful sign to give people a laugh and put it on his front lawn for passers-by to see. 

It’s been looked at and photographed many times, including by people in vehicles who would stop to read the message and take a photo of the sign. 

And when Gelfand hit the sack about 10:30 p.m. on Sept. 26, he looked out the front window first, as he always does. 

All was usual, including the sign. 

When he looked out the window the next morning around 8 a.m. though, the sign was gone. 

“I said a couple of choice words,” Gerland said. “Then I jumped in my vehicle, did a little cruise around the neighbourhood. I figured it would be deposited somewhere.” 

But the sign was nowhere to be seen.

“Honest to God, I don’t have a clue (about where it is),” Gelfand said. “It took some effort to take it. It was hefty.”

Gelfand’s friend, Aldo, built a stable base with an upright post that was about seven feet tall, to display the message on.

Matt Quiring at Tekarra Color Lab Ltd. formatted Gelfand’s message into a legible, eye-catching script on a two foot by three foot sign. 

It was later mounted on a quarter-inch piece of plywood that Gerland painted blue to signify spring. 

With all that local help, Gelfand said, it was “a Jasper creation”. 

Later, Gelfand changed the background to a bright green and the new arrangement, along with a variation in the message, was displayed on June 18. 

The sign’s heading is, “Hello Jasper!”, followed by  “Spread the word – not the virus!” and friendly, humorous advice to wash your hands and keep your distance from others.

“Give thanks to those who keep us supplied and going day to day, week to week,” the sign read.

“We are extremely fortunate to live our lives in a fantastic place on this old plant! … Love it AND appreciate it eh?!”

“I thought it up in my fertile, old fart’s mind,” Gelfand said about the message. “I was thinking, ‘I gotta do something on the COVID virus,’ I sat down… it took a while to get things rolling in my mind.”

Gelfand said he’s “more than pleased with the amount of people who laughed and chuckled – all ages”. 

And his neighbours are just as miffed as he is about the disappearance of his positive message.

“I’m hoping it’ll be returned, he said.

Joanne McQuarrie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Jasper Fitzhugh

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