There are three main highways that run through Austin. There’s I-35, the largest highway in the area, running the entire length from San Antonio, through Austin, all the way up to Dallas. There’s Route 1 — also known as MoPac because it runs alongside the Missouri-Pacific railway line — which provides access to most of Austin. Finally, there is 183, a smaller road that primarily serves areas in North Austin. It also continues on down south to the airport, but it becomes less of a highway at that point.
My commute to work involves 183, and there are a few billboards dotted along its length. One that popped up recently was quite simple: the word “healthcare” in all caps and a colorful font. A week later, it changed. The billboard looked like it was split into two, breaking the word down the middle. And then finally, another week later, the billboard returned to its normal rectangular shape with a band-aid down the middle. The word “healthcare” had been replaced with the word “humancare”, and a local hospital’s logo was in the bottom right. At last, the mysterious series of ads made sense.
It’s not really the message that grabbed my attention though. Rather, it was the billboard itself that brought back memories of my childhood.