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80 Things to Love About Alabama: The best roadside sign in America

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And there’s not a close second

C’mon, you had to know this one was coming.

Anyone who’s been on I-65 Northbound out of Montgomery, white knuckling from the never-ending construction and bumper-to-bumper semis going 85 miles an hour, has seen the sign in tiny Deatsville, Al.

Perched on the most scenic little hill you could want, with a little waterwheel, lush pastures, still pond, and billowing old growth trees, you spot this truest slice of rural Alabama.

This reminder of the wages of sin is cared-for, maintained, and well-lit day or night.

Erected by Sam Newell, and owned by the Newell family in Prattville, the sign stood sentinel over Alabama’s interstate sinners for decades before Old Scratch had enough of the do-gooders and blew it over in 2016.

The Lightbringers’s work wasn’t done either. No sooner had the Newells decided to build another one, this time near I-85, then the skies opened up with heavy rains and flooding, causing significant delays. Undeterred, the forces of good (and a little sunshine) prevailed, and the new sign was erected close to the same spot on I-65NB where it originally stood, only in a higher location for better visibility.

I wouldn’t suggest making a trip to Prattville just to see it or anything, but if you’re there, definitely be on the lookout for it. And, if you’re like me, you can always take a piece of the devil with you no matter where you go — many companies sell t-shirts of the billboard, but why not support Prattville’s own Hometown Company? I got one a few months ago — and have been giving them as gifts. Each has been the best $25 I’ve spent in a long time.

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