Only in Mammoth Lakes, with a multimillion dollar lawsuit judgment hanging over our heads, do we have the time to argue about welcome signs.
We currently have three very serviceable signs; one on 395 and two on 203.
The Public Arts Commission, whose primary claim to fame involves giving developer Chuck Lande a tax credit for a drainage ditch disguised as an “art feature,” wants to build a gateway sign on 203 to replace the existing sign. They say the new sign tells a story about Mammoth’s mining history, which is so much more compelling than the old sign, which obviously doesn’t have a history.
So here’s our idea. Let’s invent a history for the old sign and not replace it.
Suggestion: The old sign was birthed by a mature elephant in the African Congo back in the late 1800s. It was transported via ship by Somali pirates and sold to Jon Bon Jovi, a resident of Monmouth County, New Jersey, in 1987.
Bon Jovi met groupie Pam Murphy while touring through California two years later. As a token of friendship, he shipped the sign to Mammoth on condition that Monmouth and Mammoth would become sister cities and that he be granted a lifetime Black Pass once the Black Pass was actually invented.
Murphy then had the spelling of the sign changed from Monmouth to Mammoth using an FAA grant in 1993.
The sign was the inspiration for the song “Livin’ on a Prayer,” which has described Mammoth’s government for the past 25 years.
Seriously, we don’t need two gateway signs/monuments/pieces of “art” and frankly, Tenney’s idea is a whole lot better than what the Public Arts Commission came up with. So if you feel compelled to do this, go with Elizabeth.
… Though if we had a choice, we’d say build neither, disband the Public Arts Commission and use the savings to hand out doughnuts and coffee at all chain-up areas. Now that’s a welcome to town. And will increase police presence on the highways during storms.
… MMSA CEO Rusty Gregory was the featured speaker at the Lions Club luncheon on Wednesday. Among items of note: Mammoth is on pace to record its best-ever year in terms of company revenue, and is 6.5% ahead of last year.
He also promised that MMSA was planning to invest some money into Canyon Lodge this year, including an upgrade of the circa 1938 lockers, though he acknowledged that Canyon will still be “a brick sh*thouse.”
The Bear Whisperer premiere last Sunday at the Mammoth Lakes Arts Center was terrific. The Mammoth Lakes Police Dept. came out looking like heroes. Can’t say the same for the Forest Service.
Favorite one-liner came when a woman talked about how the bears kept going for her birdseed even though she was out on her deck barbecuing all summer. LMNO Producer Eric Schotz joked, “Well, maybe it’s because you’re a bad cook … ”