Traverse City Record-Eagle

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March 1, 2013

Sign in front of store sparks controversy


“Stop in and get your M-16 soon!”

Playing around with the sign is “just part of what we do,” said Bob Hentschel. His wife keeps a running record of the phrases they put up, and has for years.

“It’s such a good sales tool for us,” Bob Hentschel said. “We’ve learned if you don’t change the sign twice a week, people quit looking at it.”

Bruce Odom, who lives in East Bay Township and drives by the Hammond-Three Mile road intersection twice a day, said he has long admired Roy’s for surviving through construction of a large grocery store nearby and for filling a niche with repairs and parts for snow blowers, lawn mowers and the like. He also enjoyed the humor they inject into their signs.

As for this week’s sign, which had the “Eat Here-Get Gas” on one side and the latest M-16 message on the other, he said, “On one side of the sign, it works really well.”

He didn’t have the same reaction to the M-16 message, even after learning that it promoted a grill igniter, not a real machine gun.

“If the M-16 is a military rifle, that’s a military weapon,” he said. “It’s designed to take your enemy’s life. It’s not anything that anybody who’s ever had to use one would joke about.

“Now that we know the explanation, OK, it’s almost funny. But not really.”



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