The Tourism Commission got its first look at a concept sign Thursday afternoon to replace the fondly remembered “Hope: A Slice of the Good Life” one that stood on the side of Lynn Heckman's Hope Outdoor Power & Equipment building at 217 E 3rd. the past couple of years.

The Tourism Commission got its first look at a concept sign Thursday afternoon to replace the fondly remembered “Hope: A Slice of the Good Life” one that stood on the side of Lynn Heckman’s Hope Outdoor Power & Equipment building at 217 E 3rd. the past couple of years.
Hope Artist Micheal Sherbet’s themed concept is called “Hope is… looking up” with a blue sky and a cascade of figurines, presumedly to depict famous people from Hope was presented to the Commission as a first draft.
Sherbet said, “Hope is one of the most beautiful words out there; it is a great concept to work with and can mean so many things. I liked the idea of highlighting the optimism the town and its name inspires.”
The proposed figurines would be facing north, which from the Heckman building, would be towards what will eventually be the new County Courthouse, according to Sherbet.
And, he said the figurines should reflect diversity, not just the obviously choices of Bill Clinton, Mike Huckabee, and Paul Klipsch.
The original sign itself, of course, faced the oncoming Hwy. 67 traffic moving in town from west to east, and its original intent was to be mounted on a HWL water tower, but it ended up on the side of Heckman’s building instead.
While the Commission asked questions, particularly about the figurines, the overall sentiment expressed was still leaning towards an update with the original idea of the famous Watermelon slice.
Sherbet said he could present other concepts at a future meeting, and he quoted the Commission a price of $2200 to design and paint the new sign. Heckman had previously committed to underwrite part of the replacement for $1,000 of his own money.
Earlier in Thursday’s session, another new sign, one for the old Yeager School was discussed, but the Commission decided to table the issue, when they learned that the Hope School District already had plans in place to replace the sign for $1,200.
The Commission expressed an opinion that another use for the Tourism dollars may be to replace a museum sign instead.
Paul Henley also told the Commission that the Hope swimming pool was back in operation Thursday after a water pump malfunctioned and inadvertently allowed water to drain completely from the pool, leaving it empty.
“It takes two full days to fill that pool back up, but it is back in business today,” he said.
Henley added the pool’s lifeguards ended up assigned to other duties, including pumping gas at the Hope airport, which had its own problems with a malfunctioned gas card machine.