On 202 in Westtown there is a giant T.V. screen, oh I am sorry, billboard. Or is it digital advertising? Or is it “ground-mounted electronic-display system”? Incredibly ugly, incredibly distracting I think. I have written about this billboard a couple of times now.
I still don’t understand why it was that Westtown officials sold out over this billboard, but on our way to Dilworthtown’s Blue Pear for dinner last night as a passenger in a car on 202 I was once again struck how distracting this signage was.
It floats over 202 like a GIANT disembodied television screen. And like a T.V. it seems to change channels. And last night there was a giant ad called “a kidney for Aretha.”
So I googled and found an Inquirer article about this. I mean no disrespect to this Aretha, but I did my time at billboard hearings in more than one municipality and while I want to believe this is being done for the greater good, the jaded community activist in me wonders if he is trying to repair a tarnished community image in multiple municipalities? How many of us were picked on in a questionable manner by his legal team at meetings? Did Bartkowski seem to care about the resident after resident from all walks of life at multiple meetings in multiple municipalities who begged for their communities?
I really,really hope this lady gets her kidney, however, I really wish officials would start keeping tabs on that billboard, especially at night. It’s awful. And distracting. And why is that good for any community? I wish I could believe the King of All Billboards was merely being a good son, and altruistic, don’t you? But I was at those meetings, and so were a lot of people I know, and the dueling images just don’t quite fit.
The billboard up and back in the dark was so bright. Thank goodness it wasn’t hovering over the Blue Pear like a neon full moon. That would have totally ruined a thoroughly enjoyable evening.
June 07, 2012|Ronnie Polaneczky Daily News
HOW MANY billboard owners does it take to snag a kidney?
Ten — if one of them is an obedient son. Luckily for Aretha Swift, Thaddeus Bartkowski is a very obedient son.
A few months ago, Bartkowski’s mom was listening to KYW radio while driving and heard a story about Swift. Swift’s kidneys had failed, but no one among her family and friends was a suitable match to donate a kidney to her. So she was placed on a waiting list to receive one from a cadaver or living donor. The average wait is five years.
The KYW story was about a fundraiser that Aretha held to buy space on a billboard to advertise her need…..”My mom called and said, ‘You should contact this woman,’” says Bartkowski, 32, co-founder of Catalyst Outdoor Advertising, in Devon. “She never calls while she’s driving unless she thinks something is really important. I thought I should listen to her.”
And that’s why, as of Friday, Swift’s cause now graces 24 digital billboards in places like King of Prussia, Reading, the Jersey shore and even — ta dah — Times Square.
They show a lovely photo of Swift alongside the words, “You have two, I only need one to live.” Viewers are then directed to a website, http://www.AKidneyForAretha.com, to learn more…..”Thaddeus didn’t know me from Adam and he’s done all this,” says Swift, 52, who is separated, lives in Roslyn and has three children. “And he’s only 32! He’s so impressive!”