It took me a few days to figure it out, but I found a not-so-obvious difference between Amarillo and the place where I was vacationing for the past week with my wife.
We didn’t see a single billboard anywhere in Hawaii.
OK, we’re aware of the clear differences between the High Plains and the Island Paradise: We have, um, the big sky; they have heavily forested mountains that obstruct the view of sunsets and sunrises. We have sparse rain and relentless sunshine; they have abundant rain and intermittent clouds day and night. We have wide boulevards and miles and miles of straight-line driving; they have hair-pin turns and narrow two-lane roads that turn into one-lane roads.
We also have billboards that advertise everything. Hawaii gets along quite well, apparently, without them.
I actually thought of Bill Ware, the big-time Amarillo banker who also is a well-known advocate for limiting billboards and other outdoor signage in his hometown. I’m guessing he’s been to Hawaii already, so he knows of which I am writing.
I didn’t miss the billboards. They would have messed up some very beautiful scenery we saw for the week we were tooling around the islands.
And I wouldn’t miss them here at home if they tore them all down immediately. Our big sky also is quite easy on the eyes.