Westward travelers greeted by new Philip sign

The Pioneer-Review printed a story several months ago regarding the Philip City Council's efforts to find "signage" to welcome people to Philip.

As many of you know, Virgil W. (Dobby) Hansen was a sign painter in Philip for many years. He and our mother, Vivian (Palmer) Hansen, raised 10 of us Hansen kids in Philip through the efforts of his sign painting and her teaching school. Our dad has been gone for almost 17 years, but "Mama" still lives in Philip. We siblings spanned a period from 1957 to 1974 in our years graduating from Philip High School. To each of us, Philip is our home town.

Now we are looking back at a community observing its Centennial. One hundred years - it is amazing, especially to those of us who recall (however well) the 50th anniversary celebration.

It seemed fitting that there would be one more Hansen sign saying "Welcome to Philip." The "old man" had painted several of these billboards over the years - my recollection on that is clear. Being brush cleaners as we all were, some lucky little kid or other would often get drafted into going with Dobby on painting trips. The specific memories regarding the welcome signs are, within my heart, quite dear. It's funny how time can remove the harshness of kerosene, linseed, and neat's-foot oil smells, but leave the ringing delight of the "old man" hollering at us to shut up while he's trying to concentrate.

Those wooden signs have weathered away with time, but the welcome is still there. It's part of the town.

For me, it's fun to cut things from iron, weld them up, and make them presentable. This "Welcome to Philip, Est 1907" is borne of that desire and I'm happy to put it forth, on behalf of my brothers and sisters: "Given to the citizens of Philip - past, present and future" by the Family of Virgil and Vivian Hansen.

A phrase our folks used for many purposes seems fitting: "The finest things in life are the friends along the way." Happy anniversary to our hometown.