SHELDON—A few weeks ago, a lot of people at Northwest Iowa Community College in Sheldon held there head low and shared condolences after walking past and reading a sandwich board sign posted outside the campus’s College Store.
The sign read, “The man who invented Velcro died. RIP.”
NCC receptionist Linda Kreykes, whose work area is positioned around the corner from the College Store, had a front-row seat to this.
“I would see people walk by and they would take it serious,” she said. “People would go, ‘Oh, that’s too bad,’ and then they’d walk away and go, ‘Ohhhhhh,’ and they’d get it afterward.”
Since the fall semester, College Store associates Robbi Hoekstra and Mindy Albrecht have been updating the sign outside of the retail space with funny and often punny messages, some of which are taken more serious than others.
It is always Albrecht, who has excellent penmanship, who writes the musings.
The duo started posting the messages around the beginning of the fall semester just for fun, or as Albrecht jokingly put it, “because I got this great sign.”
They had seen similar signs in other places — most notably Bouma & Co. Construction in Orange City, which has a visible sigh off Highway 10 — and wanted to do something similar.
Albrecht finds the jokes online, although she does not keep track of them. She always double checks with Hoekstra before she gets to work on her latest chalk masterpiece.
Their favorite sign was the one they put up Monday, Feb. 4, which reads: “I like cooking my family and my pets. Use commas, they save lives.”
The one before that read: “Well . . . to be Frank. I’d have to change my name.”
Kendall Bunn, an NCC student from Brooklyn, said he notices the signs on occasion. The ones he remembers most vividly are the Velcro one and another one that promoted a contest that offered a discount to whoever could find an Elf on the Shelf hidden somewhere in the store.
NCC students Macie Cammann of Sanborn and April Lauer of Hartley also have noticed them, most specifically the Velcro one.
“I look almost every day now when I walk by to class,” Cammann said. “I think they are unique.”
“They have cool, interesting facts,” Lauer added.
Albrecht and Hoekstra have enjoyed seeing the reactions the sign get out of people and plan to keep it up.
“It’s been fun to see,” Hoekstra said.