Archive for Sunday, August 2, 2009

Colby Couple raise billboard of Jesus on I-70

August 2, 2009

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A painting of Jesus in a wheatfield hangs along Interstate 70 last month in Colby. Tuffy and Linda Kay Taylor erected the billboard for Colby residents and motorists who travel down Interstate 70 at all hours of the day and night.

A painting of Jesus in a wheatfield hangs along Interstate 70 last month in Colby. Tuffy and Linda Kay Taylor erected the billboard for Colby residents and motorists who travel down Interstate 70 at all hours of the day and night.

— For Tuffy and Linda Kay Taylor, it’s a billboard with a powerful message.

Not just for them, they hope, but for Colby residents and motorists who travel down Interstate 70 at all hours of the day and night.

It’s a billboard with no words, however. Only a picture of Jesus Christ in a golden field of wheat, holding up a sheaf — the bounty of life.

‘Something very special’

“It’s a silent message,” said Tuffy Taylor, one of the key people behind the sign. “It’s something very special to my wife and I. To me, it’s one of those things that were so positive in my life.”

The Taylors are the ones behind the construction and installation of the billboard. They weren’t alone, however, as Commercial Signs of Colby helped assemble the pipe and put it up.

Now, it ministers to those passing by, in whatever form they want it to be.

“Everybody has their own beliefs,” Linda Taylor said, and that’s why there’s no message on the billboard.

The Taylors have had to put quite a bit of faith into what they are doing, considering they bought what had been an outlet mall, Southwind Plaza, on the southwest corner of Colby just weeks after 9-11 happened.

“It’s been a battle,” he said of taking such a large property and turning it around from near zero occupancy to what it is today. They’ve also built a Dodge dealership on the property, near the Jesus billboard.

Billboard inspiration

Tuffy Taylor said he has been inspired by photos and billboards in different areas.

“The one that inspired me was one by Norton,” he said.

When he returned home to Colby, he told his wife about it: “Maybe that’s something we need to do?”

That set in motion a series of moves. Linda Taylor runs the Kansas Country Store in the shopping center, and has a woman from Concordia, Phyllis Shanks, who paints on a variety of mediums, including rocks.

“We called her and asked her if she would draw that,” Tuffy Taylor said of how the artwork developed.

Then they had to figure out how to display something that could be seen by so many other people. That’s where Commercial Signs came in. Tuffy Taylor was told what materials would be needed, and so he contacted a brother in Oklahoma who found the pipe for the billboard.

Tuffy Taylor made the drive to Oklahoma to get the pipe and returned to Colby. “My wife and I did the majority of the financing,” he said.

But he’s not so willing to say how much that ultimately was, instead giving credit to donations coming from others. He did, however, admit that had they hired the whole thing done, it would have cost $34,000.

The Taylors are paying the monthly light bill, which amounts to about $200.

But they aren’t taking credit for the billboard. No place will you find any indication that the Taylors are behind it, and Colby officials are in the dark as well.

“My idea, people can look at that and they can make up their own mind,” Tuffy Taylor said of the message the billboard sends. “They don’t have to be told.”

Comments

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 12 months ago

I think this is really stupid and mocks Jesus. It borders on blasphemy. All is does is make drivers think all Christians are idiots. We really need to have more in the paper about other faiths that are practiced in Lawrence.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 5 years, 12 months ago

"Everybody has their own beliefs," Linda Taylor said, and that’s why there’s no message on the billboard."

The message is that Jesus apparently was an Anglo-agrarian.

mrf 5 years, 12 months ago

Why is Charles Manson in a wheatfield?

Deb Stavin 5 years, 12 months ago

I think I'll put up a billboard of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

jonas_opines 5 years, 12 months ago

If it was a true billboard of Jesus then all they would have to have done was wait three days and it should have raised itself.

Chris Ogle 5 years, 12 months ago

At least we still have some freedom left....


"“My idea, people can look at that and they can make up their own mind,” Tuffy Taylor said "

Boosh 5 years, 12 months ago

Ahh I seem, it is the white Jesus. Not the black or middle eastern one. Ahh

Stuart Evans 5 years, 12 months ago

would it be wrong to have a billboard about 5 miles down the road, same picture but with a combine harvesting jesus?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 12 months ago

"a combine harvesting jesus"

That would be great, along with a "Screaming Lead Guitar Jesus" and a "Great White Buffalo Jesus." Let's plaster Kansas with a plethora of Jesi.

Charlie Sabotage 5 years, 12 months ago

"They’ve also built a Dodge dealership on the property, near the Jesus billboard." Jesus says, buy American. No really, do they have to mention that the billboard is there day and night for drivers to see? It's a billboard, we get that. Go buy one of their Dodge cars so you can drive back and forth by their billboard. this is so gay

beatrice 5 years, 12 months ago

It looks like the displaced head of a hippie in a wheat field. Kinda creepy in a surrealist sort of way. It is there money, and they are free to spend it how they wish, and if they wish to promote Farmer Jesus, fine with me.

Love the ad that appears to the side of the story when I clicked on it for the t-shirt that shows Jesus with a hockey stick, and says "Jesus Saves. Passes to Noah ... He shoots. He scores!."

Nice way to insult your Christian readers there LJWorld, all in the name of advertising dollars. Funny.

yourworstnightmare 5 years, 12 months ago

Very Dali-esque.

A disembodied head and hand floating above a wheat field.

Where are the melting watches?

It would be a good ad for a bread company, though.

Fresh, like Jesus, our bread was risen this morning

jpryor 5 years, 12 months ago

mrf (Anonymous) says…

"Why is Charles Manson in a wheatfield?"


Thanks for the laugh!

Remember, ya'll. Jesus wasn't black, white or middle eastern. Jesus, was a jew.

kusp8 5 years, 12 months ago

If you wanted Colby officials to be in the dark granting a request to the LJWorld probably wasn't the best way.

riverdrifter 5 years, 12 months ago

Damn right, Autie. Where's the OTHER hand, BTW?

labmonkey 5 years, 12 months ago

Man, you liberals are sure showing that tolerence you always preach.

jonas_opines 5 years, 12 months ago

Why should they be tolerant towards people going against Christ's words, labmonkey?

Anyway, the pursuit of tolerance is pointless. And with few exceptions, you probably couldn't cite any of these people as complaining about lack of tolerance for something, could you?

twaldaisy 5 years, 12 months ago

As stated it is their money and their view. So, when some satanists or an adult store buy space on a billboard out there, will the couple be tolerant of their free speech? I am not a fan of billboards in general, just curious. Seems this could really open up a can of worms. If Jesus can be advertised, why not Satan?

jonas_opines 5 years, 12 months ago

"If Jesus can be advertised, why not Satan?"

Well, for one thing, Satan would love it. Jesus would be ashamed.

wait. . . . .

Bob Gent 5 years, 12 months ago

nobody's pointed out the apparent height of the wheat. I'm no farm boy, but either that's mutant wheat, or Jesus is lying down with it growing out of his chest

dumas 5 years, 12 months ago

Billboard Jesuses on Parade throughout Kansas!!!!

Kris_H 5 years, 12 months ago

If someone wants to put their beliefs on a billboard with their own money, why not? (Except for the general ugliness of blilboards...)

I think one with a combine harvesting Jesus would be perfect, since after all he is a dying/resurrecting god like so many other deities...he grows, he's cut down, he's planted, he rises again. Perfect.

jimmyjms 5 years, 12 months ago

"Mary, Jesus is out in the wheat again!"

cthulhu_4_president 5 years, 12 months ago

Good for them. As long as I don't have to pay the christ-toll then they can have it. The faithful will be happy, the skeptics will just laugh a little harder on that stretch of road. The billboard isn't likely to change many people's alliances.

The world keeps turning......

Danielle Brunin 5 years, 12 months ago

I knew the comments on this thread would be worth reading! Thanks for the laughs!

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 12 months ago

As a Catholic I find the billboard very offensive. These people are to Christians what the Birthers are to Republicans. I guess I should be used to people on here making fun of religions although most of the negative comments seem directed at the Christians. I don't seem to have read any about Jews, Mulims, Buddhists, Hindu, Natives, etc.

trinity 5 years, 12 months ago

exactly, rodentgirl! i'd be willing to bet that the comments on these pages are making the ol' JC smile, too! ingenious. funny. smart. lovvin' 'em! oh by the way-i guess it is a bit sacreligious (sp??); i love jesus, too. :)

jimmyjms 11:39 comment, hands down winner. :)

SofaKing 5 years, 12 months ago

It says to travelers, "WELCOME TO KANSAS, HOME OF THE CRAZIES."

SofaKing 5 years, 12 months ago

OK, then, it says to travelers, "Welcome to Kansas, we're still crazy."

puddleglum 5 years, 12 months ago

I would like a billboard of jesus cradling george bush, while sucking on a lollipop.

Lacy Mohler 5 years, 12 months ago

The first time I read about this billboard the writer referred to it as Jesus "walking" in a field of wheat. Which meant either Kansas grows the world's tallest wheat or Jesus was only 4 foot tall. Now I see it is Jesus "in" a field of wheat and I hope he pre-treated himself for chiggar bites.

jimmyjms 5 years, 12 months ago

"I guess I should be used to people on here making fun of religions although most of the negative comments seem directed at the Christians. I don't seem to have read any about Jews, Mulims, Buddhists, Hindu, Natives, etc."

Yes, because you see so many huge billboards along I-70 for the mascots of those other religions, right?

Satirical 5 years, 12 months ago

HA HA, people are so funny….In order to discourage similar displays of a beliefs which are different from my own beliefs, or lack thereof, I will persecute those who created it, and mock this display, as well as all those who don’t agree with my point of view.

If I continue mocking everyone with whom I disagree, I can shame or scare everyone into thinking and believing exactly what I do. Pretty soon there will be a world of people who only think the way I do. After all, those who don’t think and believe exactly the same as I deserve to be mocked and punished, right?

Congratulations to all those seeking praise of the world and of their fellow man who have already mocked these “different” people. Once we mock them sufficiently we should find something else to distinguish ourselves to make ourselves feel superior.

jonas_opines 5 years, 12 months ago

Was that the hyperbolic equivalent of a poker raise, Satirical?

Persecution. chuckle, right

puddleglum 5 years, 12 months ago

satirical-"Congratulations to all those seeking praise of the world and of their fellow man who have already mocked these “different” people. Once we mock them sufficiently we should find something else to distinguish ourselves to make ourselves feel superior."

are you mocking those who mocking others?

that kinda makes you a double mocker, ya know?

Satirical 5 years, 12 months ago

jonas_opines...

You know me jonas...always looking to raise the stakes.

Oh btw, your comment at 10:25 a.m. yesterday was really funny.

Satirical 5 years, 12 months ago

puddleglum.... "that kinda makes you a double mocker, ya know?"

Hence my name : )

beatrice 5 years, 12 months ago

Sati: "HA HA, people are so funny….In order to discourage similar displays of a beliefs which are different from my own beliefs, or lack thereof, I will persecute those who created it, and mock this display, as well as all those who don’t agree with my point of view."

Sati, are you suggesting you don't mock people who have different views than you? Really? (How do we notify the editors that it appears that someone has taken over Satirical's account?)

"Praise White Jesus!" Praise Wheat Jesus!

puddleglum 5 years, 12 months ago

beatrice is now becoming a tri-mocker

I guess that makes me a quad-mocker

Satirical 5 years, 12 months ago

beatrice... "Sati, are you suggesting you don't mock people who have different views than you? Really?"

Often I simply engage in a debate and leave the mocking to the trolls. I have never mocked anyone for their religious beliefs or lack thereof. But on some occasions, like today, I like to act as a mirror so people can see how ridiculous they are being. Not liking what you see beatrice?

cthulhu_4_president 5 years, 12 months ago

I mock at all of your feeble attempts at mockery.

beawolf 5 years, 12 months ago

Judging by the numerous comments the billboard is doing exactly what it was intended to do.

handlon 5 years, 12 months ago

I saw the face of Jesus in a sandwich once.....

beatrice 5 years, 12 months ago

Sati: "I have never mocked anyone for their religious beliefs or lack thereof. But on some occasions, like today, I like to act as a mirror so people can see how ridiculous they are being."

Oh. For a second there I thought you were saying you don't mock others. Ever. I knew that wasn't the case. Glad to know you clarify that you don't cross the religious (Christian) line. Good for you.

Well, I do not hold back my mocking on the basis of religion, race, gender, political persuasion, or disability. I am an equal opportunity mocker.

Actually, I think the image is wonderfully bizarre and worthy of being mocked as a work of art, but I didn't belittle the people who put it up. I said that it was their money and they should be free to do this if they like. (Actually, I wrote "there" money the first time, because sometimes I mock my own lack of knowledge about the English language.)

However, even if I were to mock them for their religion, so be it. That is what they get for putting it on a billboard! I wouldn't bother mocking them if they kept their religion to themselves, but once they start plastering their beliefs in "Farmer Jesus" for all to see, then they should prepare to be ridiculed. Same is true for those who come knocking on my door to tell me about the made up stuff they believe in.

In other words, I don't mind what I see at all in my posts above at all Sati.

Mirror, mirror on the wall ...

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 12 months ago

It is offensive to me as a Catholic because it is treating Jesus as a joke. I take my religion very seriously. I also respect those of other faiths and listen to what they have to say. To me the kind of christian who would put up this billboard represents the Christian faith in the way that the Birthers are representative of the Republicans. They are on the fringe.

jumpin_catfish 5 years, 12 months ago

Obama scares the hell out of me but Jesus doesn't scare me. I feel he loves me, so mock me it won't change my mind.

jonas_opines 5 years, 12 months ago

"Obama scares the hell out of me but Jesus doesn't scare me."

Why not? Critical of the workings of the organized religious groups. Saying to give up all your property. Turn the other cheek. Jesus makes Obama look like a conservative.

blindrabbit 5 years, 12 months ago

That fits in with the parochial image of Kansas held by most outsiders; along with: The Goat Gland Doctor, Sam Brownback, Dorothy, Todd Tiahrt, Flatness, Fred Phelps, "As Bigoted As You Think", no naturally occurring lakes, anti-evolution teaching, etc, etc. Interestingly, these Jesus images are popping up all over the country; including a big cross along I-35 in Iowa and the really large one with the 12 stations on I-40 near Groom, Texas; this one is so tall it actually reaches heaven. Scared the hell out of me when I spotted for the first time, about midnight!

Robert bickers 5 years, 12 months ago

Pywacket (Anonymous) says… ...

Since Islamic law forbids images of Allah, Muslims could simply place plain empty billboards out in the fields and we'd all get the message. ...

Actually, only recent (last 600 years) rulings prohibit it. There are several striking depictions of Muhammad pre-dating the ban. Of course, those wouldn't last long on a billboard...

labmonkey 5 years, 12 months ago

I want to see a picture of Muhammad having a cup of tea with Mr. T.

I hate to say this, but excellent post Pywacket (12:41).

Autie- Have you ever tried Old Rasputin beer? That stuff is so stout that it is nearly black...like 9% alcohol.

SofaKing 5 years, 12 months ago

If you look real close you can see a grilled cheese sandwich.

Left_handed 5 years, 12 months ago

SofaKing, your comment was SofaKing stupid.

lawthing 5 years, 12 months ago

people might mistake it for a warning not to run over the hippies coming out of the field.

slang4d 5 years, 12 months ago

well, at least it's artistic (although silly) and doesn't have some written message about sinners needing repentance and going to hell. this is jesus country, who could be surprised by such a thing? be happy it isn't covered in hellfire and brimstone nonsense.

gimpypad4 5 years, 12 months ago

I do not know what the billboard looks like (I have my own picture of Jesus), but I do respect the Taylors for exercising their right to free speech. It may be offensive to some of you and a joke to others but it may also be a port in the storm for someone.

westernkansasfarmer 5 years, 11 months ago

OMG....$34k to erect that billboard. Nice to see a local company took advantage of a non-profit situation. Had a billboard (14x48') erected on our property in Colorado just like it for $22,550.00. Got a bid from Commercial Sign for the same thing for $40,500.00. Glad to see they're following their "Christian Values!"

thelastbob 5 years, 5 months ago

This isn't original to Kansas. The same sign has been used in other states for several years. If they're suggesting they came up with the design, they're lying.

jbjohn 4 years, 4 months ago

I am from Colby and was horrified when I was out driving and saw this sign had "sprouted". My concern is most people passing down I-70 will not know "Jesus in the wheat field" was one couples idea and jump to the conclusion that it is reflective of the community.

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