A couple of weeks ago, I was in a swivet about the signage debacle involving Hokus Pokus on St. Andrews Boulevard. As always, there's another angle to the story. Here it is:
"My name is Jeffrey Mc-Kinney of Architectural Antiques and Design, and I'm the 'business owner who complained.'
"I have never had an issue with all the inflatable displays. The problem occurred when the Hokus Pokus owner put his flags and banners further past his store frontage and completely hid my sign from view. My business dropped to nothing, and I'm sure that you'd agree it's difficult to pay bills, mortgage, etc., with no income.
"My sign is difficult at best to see due to all the brighter banners and props that are at Hokus Pokus. I fail to see why one business is more important than another.
"I did not complain to the county. I simply wanted to have them look at the area and see if I could improve my visibility. It was not up to me to make sure the signage was legal before I called. Was it a bad thing for me to try and protect my livelihood?
"Business is hard enough without adjoining neighbors making it more difficult to find my store. Not a day goes by that I don't get phone calls from disappointed customers who have traveled up and down St. Andrews Blvd. searching for the store and unable to find it. Or worse, customers coming to the store suggesting we put signs out at the street.
"When my business drops to nothing, is it not up to me to try and improve it? It makes me sad to think that reporters and well-meaning individuals have gotten involved without knowing most, if not all, of the story.
"We have been struggling to bring the store back to life and I am very proud of what we have accomplished. I invite you to come visit and see for yourself."
It's appropriate that the clock should revert back to Eastern Standard Time around Halloween because the transition is truly a horrifying experience -- for me anyway. I hate it. HATE it!
Although I love the fall in general, the shorter days don't suit me and the change to standard time just makes it worse. I've concluded I must have seasonal affective disorder and should probably start taking Prozac until the end of February or so.
But there's a solution to this problem! Rather than falling back an hour, we should actually jump ahead an hour this time of year and then give it back when daylight saving time resumes in March. Of course, the sun won't come up till 8:30 or 9 o'clock and all the schoolchildren will be waiting in total darkness for their buses, but that's OK. They're resilient and can handle this sort of thing and I'll get an extra hour of afternoon daylight during the shortest winter days.
We can call this new time Vitamin D Enhancement Time, or Insanity Prevention Time, or Osteoporosis Awareness Time, or some such. Yes, I'm being facetious, but I always grouse about the change this time of year and then slowly get used to it. Some people -- and I find this incredible -- cannot stand daylight saving time and wish there were standard time year-round.
People north of us have it so much worse. A working stiff in Boston, for example, can expect to go to work when it's dark, leave work in darkness and effectively not see the sun at all between Sunday evening and the next Saturday morning. And I imagine the sales of straitjackets go through the roof!
On the political front, it's clear that I needn't give up my day job. As a would-be political analyst, I predicted something of a protest vote in the mayoral election. Well, I blew it. There was nothing of the sort. Congratulations, Joe, and I wish you well during the next four years.
Edward M. Gilbreth is a Charleston physician. Reach him at email@example.com.