Very Good Sign
The joy of standing on a corner with an ad for hours.
Thursday, June 5, 2008
The best sign holder in Monterey County stands at the corner of Abrego and Fremont streets in downtown Monterey wearing a yellow T-shirt, khaki shorts and rose-tinted sunglasses. Suddenly Ty Colson spins an arrow advertising apartments for rent like he’s twirling a baton at the national high school band championships. After completing that unique feat, he holds the arrow above his head and shakes it manically back and forth like a rock star wringing feedback out of an electric guitar. Then he points the sign in the direction of the condos for rent and gives the passing traffic a thumbs up with the same unabashed enthusiasm.
The Seaside High School sophomore admits that he had an even more outrageous way to get people’s attention when he started the job six months ago. Colson says he used to run halfway out into the streets– until the police informed him that he had better cut that out.
While the police might not be fans of Colson’s unorthodox sign holding, two members of the community seem impressed by the young man’s passion for his job: A pair of young men drive by and quickly flash him a thumbs up. They aren’t alone in their admiration– Colson says he has been offered other sign-holding gigs for a sushi restaurant and a construction company. He also recently worked in Castroville during the Artichoke Festival doing sign work advertising another set of condos.
“We had signs,” he says. “They weren’t as good as these.”
He’s also earned two raises since he started working for MJAD Directionals, a San Diego-based outdoor marketing company.
“My friends all have real jobs,” he says. “They make $8.50, $9 an hour. I get $12.”
Unfortunately for Colson’s fans, the area’s most active sign holder is moving back to his hometown of Danville, Ky., in mid-June. Until departing, Colson plans to hold signs every day he isn’t in school.
“I feel if you put effort into it,” he says, “it pays off.”