Unhamper our Hamptons

Written By: Cindy Lou Wakefield

Unhamper our Hamptons is my underlying mantra. Understand me, it is not a complaint, yet, an undertaking. Signage overload is an understatement and I bring it under scrutiny before you. Call me an “undercover nonfiction agent” as my intent is to uncover an awareness, unearth possible solution, and uncompromise our UNiverse. Yes, the present task at hand is writing a nonfiction (could it be an unfiction) piece.

I am an educator in the Southhampton School District and teach my students that nonfiction is synonymous with real events and real people. Unhamper the Hamptons is also synonymous with a real events, real people and really lots of inground signs filling up parking lots, street corners and even our highways causing a  “signache”or visual pollution.

Quoting the lyrics from Five-Man Electrical Band, entitled SIGNS, hits the note Home. “Signs, signs, everywhere a sign. Blockin out the scenery breakin my mind. Do this don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?” Our scenery undeniably becomes blocked with the numerous signs in our grounds.

The signs along our roadways are informative about real events. I choose the
word, “UNHAMPER ” as I wish to unclutter our magnificent landscapes. Usually I do not choose prefixed “un” words. They typically elicit visions of negativity. Sad words such as unhealthy, unhappy, unsuccessful, unreliable, and the dreaded “unfortunately.” You can be sure when in a hotel or restaurant and hear that overused word, “unfortunately,” the news following it will be unpleasant.

Once, I asked my students sitting before me to think of the positive prefixed word beginning with “un.” The very next day, un, oops, I mean, one ,young lady returned to my class and greeted me with the word, “unpredictable.” The signs freely stuck in the ground before us are unpredictable. We do not know where they shall appear or how large they will be. At some corners it seems as if there are sign wars. Mind you, real events are an asset, however, lots of signs are not.

I would like to unveil a possible solution for you to ponder. Let our townships administrate the manufacturing, distribution, and timely collection of inground signage thereby regulating the process. A fee would be under written by event promoters. This is an idea which could unhamper signage pollution in the Hamptons and benefit all.

Join me in the brainstorming of further beautification of our Hamptons, join me at these real events with real people, and join me in appreciating our Hamptons understanding the power of un.