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Ramblin' Man: Colorful Colorado and other signs of the times

By: Garrison Wells, The Gazette
March 15, 2014
Caption +
Colorado's welcome sign gets a 'C' from The Gazette's Garrison Wells.

Colorado is "colorful."

Maryland welcomes you and tells you who their governor is.

Texas says drive friendly, "the Texas way."

Every state has,some type of logo or motto on their state border signs.

And it's likely that, somewhere in your photo albums, you have pictures of one. And you are standing next to it.

Border signs are the places where people just love to stop, get out of their vehicles and have their photos taken.

And because Colorado Springs is a military community, we're probably a well-traveled bunch. There are probably tens of thousands of these photos in albums out there.

And not photos at state borders, but at the gates of military bases, the borders of nations.

If you have some of these photos, The Gazette would like to see them.

We'd like to create an online photo gallery of Colorado residents standing next to city, state or country signs.

Send digital copies of photos to, If you don't have digital copies of the photos, ask a friend or family member to scan them into a digital file for you. Or, take a digital picture of your picture and send that. It works!

Include a little note with your photo. Tell us why the sign was important.

Sign pictures somehow became a lifelong hobby and passion for a man named James Teresco, who has posted all of his sign photos to his website.

The site starts with a Thanksgiving 1977 photo on the border of New Mexico and Colorado.

He's got welcome signs from every state. He's got airports, professional baseball games and 13 countries.

Teresco has eight Colorado welcome signs ranging from 1999 through 2008.

It's as if his sign photos are the mile markers of a life well traveled.

And, while Colorado is a great state to live in or travel through, it's welcome signs don't do much for me.

I'd give Colorado's welcome sign a C.

It says almost nothing. We have Pikes Peak. We have the Rockies. We have great skiing.

We have the USOC.

And all they could come up with was, "we're colorful" - on a sign that has almost no color?

But, we're not the only ones with lackluster state signs.

Massachusetts' simply welcomes you, and Minnesota's tells you how old it is.

Alaska's is the "last frontier," a little like Star Trek.

Everybody welcomes you, when you know darn good and well some states would prefer that you slow down, stop, turn around and go right back where you came from.

If this Ramblin' Man column had a sign, it would say "Thanks for reading. And, please, leave a comment."


So, with that, here's a reader comment about a recent column about other types of signs, billboards.

Larry B. Barrett, President of Barrett Consulting Associates said:

"Thanks for the column in the Gazette today on billboards. As a board member of Scenic Colorado, and supporter of Scenic America, it is heartening to see items such as yours. As you noted the evidence shows that billboards distract. The evidence also shows this increases the risk of accidents, although causality has not be proven.

Of particular concern are electronic or LED billboards.

There are about six in El Paso County and none in Colorado Springs. LED billboards were permitted in El Paso County several years ago.

In Colorado Springs, the planning commission and the council decided against permitting LED billboards about two years ago. LEDs are even more distracting as research shows people glance at them, even when they try not to. There are more LED billboards in El Paso County than the rest of the state of Colorado."


Elayne and Ashten Prechtel had this to say about a column on the beautiful driving views we have in Colorado Springs:

"Saw your article this morning and it made us think about the breathtaking view we see most mornings so my daughter and I decided to capture it on our drive to the gym this morning. The photo was taken from our car using my daughter's phone. We were driving west on Flying Horse Club Drive just before the final roundabout entrance to the Club at Flying Horse.

Thanks for the wonderful article! You are right, vantage is everything!"

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