When I bought my home, I inherited with it a rustic sign bearing the words W. Va Fur and Root complete with bullet holes. I find the sign appealing and it hangs in my kitchen. The previous owner ran a salvage, tanning, and ginseng business out of this structure which I refer to as a former barn, but was more accurately an outbuilding. Rumor has it he expanded too quickly and during the 80s recession was forced to file bankruptcy. I dislike that his misfortune gave me the home where I was finally able to put down deep roots.
The sign hung from a homemade bracket on the front of the barn for a good while. It wasn’t until I stumbled downstairs one day in my nightgown to find a good old boy standing in my kitchen holding untanned deer hides that the sign came inside. The chains that attached it to the barn still swing in the breeze. I suppose I should hang wind chimes on them.
Over the years the sign has come to have a personal meaning for me. In some respects, it channels Kate Long’s Root Hog and an old t-shirt of mine bearing the slogan West Virginia: No Place for Wimps. I like the old wood and simple lettering complete with the old-style abbreviation. Mostly, it reminds me that life is a comedy and you never end up where you think you will.