The Signs They Are a Changin’ – Outside Burger King, That Is

Burger King Blair Nebraska Signage
Members of Blair Boy Scout Troop 143, working to replace rusted bolts on the signage outside Burger King.

This story could be titled, “Local Boy Scout Troop 143 Provides Maintenance on Signage Outside Burger King.” Maybe too long, but probably a good description of what happened tonight at 7PM in Blair. Scout leader, Rich Groves had his scouts replacing rusty nuts and bolts on the backs of signs. This was a project requested by the local Lions Club (sponsors of Boy Scout Troop 143). As I spoke with him and others, scouts arrived, and work continued.

There is, though, more to this story.

First, a little history: The original signage placed in front of the Burger King was part of an Eagle Scout project by scout, Derek Bonello, back in 2001. 22 years ago, the frame and signage for local organizations was added to the south east corner of what was a Hardees and batting cage – now Burger King.

22 years later, though, the signage is woefully, I would add embarrassingly in a state of disrepair. The “Blair, a Promise of Quality” sign, in particular is non-positively, ironically, maybe in the worst shape of all the signs. It is not hyperbole to say the signs need more than bolts changed on the backs.

In fact, when my friend, Craig Bachtell – a scout leader with troop 143 – told me there was a project to work on the signs this evening, I thought it would be to change the signs, clean them up, take them down, or paint them… Or something. And, I thought the city was taking care of it.

From my conversations with folks at Burger King, their parent ownership group, and the City of Blair, it seems the city is responsible for the land on which the sign resides (and for the trash which has accumulated around the area). In multiple phone calls and emails, with city officials, over the last month, I was ultimately given the contact information with someone who, I was told, “said they are starting to work on (the) sign.”

So, when I arrived this evening and saw the scouts working hard to remove the bolts I was both proud of the work of the scouts (my oldest son being a former cub and boy scout for a decade), and yet wondered why bolts were being changed, not signs in disrepair being removed, replaced, or refurbished?

What the signs look like today.

The scouts do great things. As a side note, if you have a young man in your home, I – and my son – believe the Boy Scouts are the premier organization for your sons to learn many great life skills. My son tells me that his time with the scouts absolutely shaped him and pushed him to be the man he is becoming every day.

With such a great tradition of hard work, honor, and willingness to serve, I hope the city of Blair will give the scouts a chance to do even more with that signage. A new plaque can go at the bottom of the sign – next to the original – dated 2023.

Plaque below signage in front of Burger King. It reads, “Derek Bonello Eagle Project-2001, Special Thanks to: Jim Waugh – Eagle Project Advisor and Scout Leader, Mike Simmonds – Simmonds Restaurant Managment

Blair is a promise of quality. It’s a town I’ve made my 2nd home. It’s where my wife is from, kids grew up, and I now see as my “home” home. So, in the spirit of love for Blair, a belief in the great work of the Boy Scouts, and the hope Blair can see new, colorful, and welcoming signage there once again, I say thank you to Rich Groves, the Boy Scouts of Troop 143, and the Eagles Club for their work this evening.

I have no doubt with busy schedules, higher priority issues, and passage of time, the repair work needed just slipped under the radar. To be blunt, I believe the good folks who run the town would love to see the signage cleaned up. And, I bet they would happily receive input from you on what you want there, too.

So, let’s look to the city to move forward. Let’s bring that spot back to the former glory first seen when scout Derek Bonello used his Eagle Scout project 22 years ago to brighten the entry to Blair.

Written and Edited by Don Harrold for BlairToday. Email for corrections or questions.

What the signs could look like again.

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