This Christmas, I thought it would be a good idea to sublimate some of my holiday cheer into a welcome plaque for my home–a greeting for the front door–and here is the result of that effort:
How did I arrive at this particular expression of hospitality? Since I lack the Hallmark gene, I needed to find the text for my plaque in an external source. I was inspired by a sign that I’ve noticed almost every day since I began living near the Boston Harbor Shipyard and Marina. This sign appears at the shipyard’s security gate, and in that prominent spot, it is a recurring visual prelude to all of the many things one might do inside: take a walk on the pier, ogle the yachts and houseboats, visit the outdoor sculpture garden, sign up for scuba lessons, grab a bite to eat at the Aussie restaurant KO, or watch a cargo ship being repaired:
The sign is so familiar to me by now that, in a twisted way, it really does signal “home.”
So who wrote that scintillating text? A quick search leads to this section from the Code of Federal Regulations:
Title 33 – Navigation and Navigable Waters. CHAPTER I – COAST GUARD, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY. SUBCHAPTER H – MARITIME SECURITY. PART 105 – MARITIME SECURITY: FACILITIES. Subpart B – Facility Security Requirements.
The code states that all facilities operating at MARSEC (Marine Security) Level 1 must decorate as follows:
Conspicuously post signs that describe security measures currently in effect and clearly state that:
(i) Entering the facility is deemed valid consent to screening or inspection; and (ii) Failure to consent or submit to screening or inspection will result in denial or revocation of authorization to enter;
Notice that the code only specifies the points to be conveyed but does not mandate any specific wording. Nevertheless, the makers of the sign at Boston Harbor Shipyard took this text verbatim from the CFR, not even changing the phrase “Entering the facility” to “Entering this facility.” Their only customizations were to remove the (i) and (ii), replace the trailing semicolon with a period, and engage the caps lock key.
For my own plaque, I thought a friendlier font was in order so I chose the very gracious Janda Celebration Script by Kimberly Geswein. Minimalists may prefer the version I offered above, but here is a second version–my personal favorite, as it is enhanced by 25 butterflies, 5 swans, and 19 floral ornaments:
And here it is on the wall: