DALLAS — No one ever accused Linda Marie Ford of staying silent. Ask her about anything and she’s got a lot to say.
But when the world shut down right before her dad’s 80th birthday, she was at a loss.
“It was the beginning of the pandemic, you can’t have a party, you can’t do anything, so I figured, ‘OK, I’ll put up happy birthday pops in the window,’” Ford said.
What started with a birthday message to her dad is now a megaphone to the world.
For nearly two years, Ford has hung signs in the front window of her Dallas home.
She puts up everything from good news to bad jokes. Although, most of the time, she’s not afraid to speak her mind, displaying her thoughts on politics and current events.
Some people aren’t afraid to tell her how they feel, either.
Her poor husband was mowing the lawn when one passerby gave him an earful.
“It was so funny, he comes back in, ‘I am never going out there again,’” Ford laughed.
Ford believes everyone should do what she’s doing.
She says not everyone has a visible window, but they do have a voice.
“A big thing was trying to get people to register to vote and get involved instead of just sitting around and complaining and screaming about it,” Ford said.
That’s why she posts regular reminders about elections and other important deadlines. One of her recent signs was a note about the March 1 primary election and Jan. 31 voter registration deadline.
She plans to keep hanging signs mostly because it’s fun, but partly because she hopes her window becomes a door, inviting people to walk across the aisle and respect each other again.
“I hope this opens up a civil discourse,” Ford said. “And we all need more of that. Definitely.”
Indeed, Ford says her messages have led to some meaningful conversations and if civility is what we’re after, that’s a very good sign.
“Democracy only works when everybody’s involved,” she said.