Perry, Oklahoma: Folk Art Protest Signs (Gone)Hand-made signs expressed one man's anger at those who've done him wrong. In 2012, a new road was reported obliterating the property and the signs were gone.
- I-35 exit 186. Drive east around six miles on US 64, through Perry. North side, between CR 140 and CR 160.
- Oct. 2012: reported gone.
Visitor Tips and News About Folk Art Protest Signs
Those signs have been there for a long while. Everyone refers to the man who owns them as the crazy sign guy. I haven't had the chance to read all of the signs. Most of them aren't legible. I personally don't feel need to read all of them -- the first sign explains most of it. 70 years ago this guy's cattle were poisoned and a member of his family was killed. He curses the town and then goes on a twenty-thirty sign rant.
I wouldn't stop in Perry for the signs. The Cherokee Strip Museum, maybe. If you want to see what Perry is really about, come to a wrestling match sometime. We love it and rock at it. Everything else pretty much sucks, so if you don't like wrestling, museums, or folk art protest signs, I would stay away.[Ella, 01/30/2007]
Don't know that only a few of these signs are still standing, but there are several of them in serious disrepair (peeling paint, etc). However, many of them are still completely readable.
I agree with the poster who felt like he was being watched from the house. I wouldn't quite describe it as a compound or whatever term he put on it, but I did feel a little uncomfortable walking in the ditch and taking pictures of this display (The whole time I couldn't help but think, "Wow! This is one P.O.'d dude!"). I don't know the whole story from reading the signs -- cause I didn't stay in one place out there very long if you get my drift -- but got the jist that this gentleman feels put upon racially, legally and so forth.
As for the harsh, zero tolerance road signs, they didn't seem that harsh etc to me, but given the speed of the 2-lane road, I can see why they don't want cars parked just over the crest of the small hill where cars could come over the top and smash into 'em. However, I parked just east a bit at a crossroads and an OHP trooper passed by while I was walking around and he just waved so must not've had a problem with doin' it that way.[Pablo Tanglewood, 11/25/2006]
Being a Perry, Oklahoma native, I've seen these signs my entire life. However, the signs have fallen into disrepair. I don't know why. There's not really much to see anymore as only a few signs are still standing.[BH, 08/24/2006]
Saw the signs and looked it up in the archives of The Oklahoman. Apparently in 1993, the sheriff, accused in the signs of wrongdoing, won a libel lawsuit against the Nemecheks and the next year had their property seized to satisfy the judgment. According to the signs, Mildred Nemechek was murdered, but I could find no obituary.[T. Pemberton, 09/06/2004]
I drove by the signs on the way to Hooker in Aug of 1994. What the signs are, (I spent at least half an hour reading and filming with both 35mm and video). The guy is saying there was some kind of conspiracy as to which some of the locals killed his cattle and if I remember correctly, one member of his family. Apparently, he thinks that local law enforcement was in on it and did nothing.
In order to make any sense of all the signs, you have to take the time and read all of them. There are about 25 or 30 of them. They run about an eighth of a mile. The old man was plowing his field the day I was there, and he just kept up and didn't pay me any mind. I also parked on the side road where the other guy did. However, it was just to get off the main road. I don't remember seeing the other signs put up by the authorities. It was an interesting and entertaining half hour. That is why I travel the back roads...to see the Real America...[Jerry Scott, 06/30/2003]