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Plea issued for missing Ponderosa sign

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By The Staff

By TERRI LIKENS

tlikens@roanecounty.com

About 40 years ago, Sydney Woodlee went door-to-door in her Ponderosa development collecting money for an attractive sign to designate the then-relatively new neighborhood.

The large, wooden sign has since been a Bluff Road landmark until two weeks ago, when it went missing.

The sheriff’s office has been contacted, but based on previous experience, Woodlee is taking an extra step — making a public plea for the sign’s return.

About 25 years ago, the sign was stolen, but after a well-publicized plea for it return, Woodlee got her wish.

“They brought it back,” she said. The thieves, probably teenagers, she said, just propped the sign back against the post.

Although the sign has been gone about two weeks, she’s hoping for a similar outcome this time.

“It’s a real beautiful redwood sign,” she said. “I just hate to see it gone.”

Woodlee said she was one of the first to live in the neighborhood, which was named for the mature stand of pine that graced the landscape at the time.

She had seen a similar sign at Fort Southwest Point and learned that it was made in Gatlinburg. She found out how much a similar neighborhood sign would cost, and collected money from other residents.

If the sign is not returned, the development across the lake from Kingston may have to sit signless —unless someone else champions the cause.

“I’m too old to go around knocking on doors and collecting money again,” Woodlee said.