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Online finds

Signs of craziness

Email|Print| Text size + By Dennis Fisher
Globe Correspondent / February 25, 2008

mycrazyhobby.com

If you've ever pulled up to an intersection and wondered what happened to the street sign that used to be on the corner, wonder no more. It's probably in Steve Salcedo's house.

Salcedo has a serious affinity for road signs and traffic signals of all kinds and his site, mycrazyhobby.com is a shrine to his, well, crazy hobby. The site includes pictures of dozens and dozens of street signs, speed-limit signs, stoplights, stop signs, and directional markers. What it does not include is stolen property. Salcedo has picked up much of his collection from flea markets and antique shops, but some of it also has come from friends in the street department of his former hometown.

Salcedo remembers having his mom read all of the signs to him on road trips as a youngster, but he's still not sure how his love of signs came about.

"It's unexplainable, really," he says. "It's always been kind of a fascination for me. It sort of started when my brother gave me a sign that he had found on the side of the road that had bullet holes in it and it went from there."

My favorites were the various graphic depictions of owners cleaning up after their dogs and the placard from the mayor of an Indiana town reading: "Sorry to inconvenience you. A sign of progress."

As odd as Salcedo's collection might seem, he is not alone. There's a pretty sizable section of eBay devoted to traffic signals, and Salcedo says he regularly gets e-mail from people looking into the history of signs and traffic lights and college students doing papers on the subject.

"It's weird for sure, but I have plenty of company," Salcedo says.

Got an idea for Online Finds? Contact Dennis Fisher at df1855@gmail.com.

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