Please join me in a moment of silence.
I am in mourning.
The best sign in the history of modern dentistry has been demolished by a careless motorist who lost control 12 days ago while trying to pass another vehicle.
The 6:15 a.m. crash wiped out the sign in front of Valley Dental on Merriman Road in the Merriman Valley.
You know — the sign that was designed to look like a dentist working on a patient but to many of us looked a lot more like someone getting another type of cavity filled.
The good news: The dentists say the logo will be back.
Valley Dental’s trio of docs — Mike Kimberly, Tyler Rogus and Peter Paraskos — inherited the sign from a previous practice.
Kimberly, who has been there the longest, said he didn’t think much about the logo when he arrived and only picked up on the alternate meaning when people started to talk about it.
Clearly, he is not nearly as perverted as most of my readers.
But the dentists do have a sense of humor, and they are well-aware that their little wooden sign had become a local icon.
“Every time it’s in the news, whether you write about it or it’s on some other website, patients bring it up,” says Rogus. “We get the joke. I think we’re more of a laid-back office and we can take that.
“When it gets publicity, we hear more flak to not change it. Nine times out of 10, the patient will say, ‘Well, you can’t change it now!’?”
And they won’t.
Last week they were waiting for a sign company to provide a quote they could pass along to their insurance company. But it’s only a matter of time until we can smile again.
Replacement is expected to take at least a month, says Kimberly, an Akron native who went to dental school at Ohio State.
“Everybody knows the sign,” he says. “?‘Oh, you’re the building with that sign.’ People stop and get their picture taken by it.”
Kimberly says not a single patient has complained.
Notes Rogus, who grew up in Madison and earned his dental degree at West Virginia, “Now you’re kind of in the spot where we say, ‘Golly, if we change it, it would seem like we couldn’t take a joke.’?”
He says the sign was originally placed in 1974, using materials appropriate for the location, which is very close to both Sand Run Metro Park and the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
“The original intention was to pay homage to the parks,” Rogus says.
“You notice the [dark brown] color, to blend in with and work with nature because of the creek going underneath the office and those kinds of things.”
Nothing wrong with also paying homage to an activity that has been performed in parks and dental chairs and every other conceivable location on the planet.
Bob Dyer can be reached at 330-996-3580 or firstname.lastname@example.org. He also is on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bob.dyer.31