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Billboard Messages Inspire Drivers On I-95

4:17 PM, Jun 26, 2007   |    comments
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By Ashley Coleman First Coast News JACKSONVILLE, FL -- A certain billboard is catching the eyes of drivers along Interstate 95. This week it reads: "Be true to your teeth or they will be false to you." Every week the message changes on the sign above Tom Trout Jr.'s contracting office on Bowden Road. The 79-year-old has been posting the message in big, black letters for the past 24 years. There have been 1,596 messages so far. Sometimes he repeats a message, but usually it changes. His favorite is: "If you're at the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on." It's these kinds of messages that have been inspiring drivers in Jacksonville and across the globe. Trout has received hundreds of letters from people thanking him for the words of wisdom. A few years ago, Trout heard from a truck driver who travels from New York to Miami every week. "He wrote me a letter that said my highlight is when I go through Jacksonville to see what you have on your board," Trout told First Coast News. He has only received two complaints; one was from his daughter. He never runs out of messages. Sometimes people bring him ideas and other times he thinks of something clever. Trout has retired now, and his son, Tom Trout III has taken over the family business. But every week, Tom Trout Jr. posts a new message above the office. It's his reminder to drivers to slow down and enjoy the ride.

First Coast News

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