Crane, sign talk of town

Published 5:08 pm Monday, March 22, 2004

By By Arthur McLean Editor
An unusual form of sign rose above downtown Atmore this week, and curiosity surrounding it is even higher than the 4-story crane from which it hangs.
Sometime around March 13, a 4-story basket crane with American flag attached, rose above downtown Atmore in a parking lot near the corner of Trammell Street and Louisville Street.
A pair of red longjohns hung from the basket for about a day before they were replaced with a sign.
The sign is a list of words arranged vertically. It reads, from top to bottom, "Jesus, G. Bush (43), me, Farrar."
The sign's been a topic of intense curiosity since it was erected. Many people who spoke to the Advance wondered at the message behind the sign. Some were unable to read it clearly, filling in the blanks with differing interpretations.
"I've tried to read it a couple of time, but I wasn't really able to see what it said clearly," said Mayor Howard Shell.
Other people downtown worried that the crane might be unsafe, and fall over in a high wind.
Farrar Barnett is the man who owns the crane and hoisted the sign over downtown Atmore. The crane is parked behind a building he is currently renovating. Barnett has a permit to turn the building into four apartment units, but he said he is mulling his options of what to do with the building with his wife.
As for the sign, Barnett explained. "George Bush is our 43rd president, and I hope he wins a second term, although I know not everyone agrees with me," Barnett said. "I think the rest is pretty self-explanatory."
He said Jesus Christ inspired him to put up the crane and sign, and gave assurances that it was indeed safe.
Mayor Shell said it did not appear that the crane or the sign were endangering anyone or any property, and, as far as he knew, was not in violation of any city ordinance.
"Farrar marches to the beat of a different drum, but, as far as I know, he's not violating any ordinance, or trying to hurt anyone," Shell said.

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