The Elk is Back - 'The Grove' Gets its Elk, 'Sliced Bread' Celebration All in One Day!

July 7, 2015 | As Mayor Gary Davis said when he and two of his current Elk Grove City Council members enabled the erection of the fir...

July 7, 2015 |

As Mayor Gary Davis said when he and two of his current Elk Grove City Council members enabled the erection of the first of several massive billboard that will dot the two freeways running through town, this first one certainly is "quirky," and that is being nice.

The city's first of several massive, and many would say tacky, billboards is being crowned today with that quirky element the Mayor said would give the city, or "The Grove " as he has tried to refer to our fair city as, character.

Yes, Bruce Bishop's first-in-the-city massive billboard, also known as the invisible eyesore (see video below), is today being topped with that gigantic plastic elk. The elk is now back in Elk Grove!

Call it a happy coincidence, but today also marks an anniversary of, you may have guessed from the headline, the introduction of sliced bread. It was on this day that the product that everyone likes to compare itself to first hit the marketplace.

Invented by Iowa baker Otto Rohwedder in 1912, sliced bread made it's marketplace debut on this day in 1928 by Chillicotte, Mo.-based bakery Chillicotte Bakery Company. On that same day, the expression used by every self-promoter and snake-oil salesman proclaiming their product to be "the best things since sliced bread" was also born.

Which brings us back to today's installation of the Mayor Davis' quirky landmark plastic elk on the invisible eyesore. The whole billboard movement in Elk Grove was brought to life by Elk Grove's gas station and fast food impresario, and let's not forget major cash contributor to those three council members, Gil Moore.

As a result of his tens-of-thousands-of dollars in cash donations to Davis and his fellow council members Steve Detrick and Pat Hume, Moore was able to get the city's environmentally friendly sign ordinance gutted like a pig and pave the way for the onslaught of billboards all over Elk Grove.

In the work-up to the approval of his gas station, fast food and beer store now under construction on Sheldon Road and Highway 99, Moore made some pretty outrageous claims. Not only did Moore say would his development would be "one of its kind" in California, he also said in one interview, and you may have guessed by now, "I'm the greatest thing since sliced bread." 

So as we celebrate the introduction of sliced bread, the topping of The Grove's invisible eyesore billboard with its character-giving plastic elk, our only regret is that Moore's gas station, convenience store and beer shop aren't yet open for business. If it were, we could grab a loaf of squishy sliced white Wonder Bread, a quart or two of Mickey's Malt Liquor or some Thunderbird wine from the beer and fine wine store and have a toast to the man who brought public art to The Grove and more importantly, the greatest person since sliced bread, Gil Moore.

Give money to the right people, and you can get anything you want in Elk Grove. Such is life in The Grove.

Thanks to the readers who provided the tip and snapped the picture.  

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Anonymous said...

OMG, Elk Grove finally has character... Thank you, thank you, City Council! All this time, all we needed was an Elk on top of a freeway sign!

Anonymous said...

A huge plastic elk gives the city character???

Another sign that Elk Grove is a steaming dumpster fire of a hick valley community.


Anonymous said...

I've just got to see this, only in America can we have such a sight. Jumped in my pickup with a Brat on a slice of Wonder Bread and a Mickey's between my legs and hit the road. The excitement was building as I rolled down 99 trying to finish my sandwich, washing it down with a big slug of Mickey's and keeping an eye on the horizon for the big plastic elk. Only 3 miles to go...time for a camel. Windows down and the darn ashes are blowing back in my face... I looked straight ahead and over the tree tops I think I see something. My eyes teared up, not because the sight was so beautiful, but because the beauty was so sudden. I see it, the big plastic elk!

Rudolph said...

Yay, we finally beat Roseville! Granite Bay, lookout, we're going after you next! Be careful if he starts to lift his tail...

Anonymous said...

Wonder how long it be will before it's missing one of it's antlers? BTW...when is hunting season?

Capt. Benjamin Willard said...

When I clicked through on one of the stories Mr. Gougherty linked, I notice in the original photo simulation, the elk's snoot was pointed away from the freeway and her south end was pointed toward the freeway. It looks like the south end of the elk is now pointed towards the city.

On a positive note, I think the elk is so far above the ground that pigeons will probably not roost on him. If they do, chances are the plastic will not stain as bad as they do on a bronze statue.

Anonymous said...

Geez, here I thought the idea for the sign was to guide travelers to businesses here in Elk Grove. Not to put the elk back in Elk Grove...whatever that means. If people are looking for a stopover, they're not going to be looking at some ornament on the top. You only have a few seconds anyway.

Forever hopeful said...

Maybe the whole goal here is to drive out our young people. Driving down the road with a carload of teenagers fresh from their Freshman year at college and the comments were less than favorable. Gave them a little history lesson of how the sign came to be, along with the dumba$$ elk,....let's just say their opinion of our local government and elected officials was less than favorable. They are all registered voters and active in student government on their various university campuses. Told them not to forget when it comes time to vote and to come back after graduation and save us from the mediocrity that is Elk Grove.

Anonymous said...

Forever Hopeful ~ I wonder what a group of college freshman think about a monument sign drawing in business from travelers? I'm no longer that age but I suspect they would laugh. This is the digital age and locations of everything is readily available on their phone while traveling. On a recent road trip I knew the location of the cheapest gas station and every McDonald's with a play place without ever looking for a stinking sign. This is 20th Century technology.

Anonymous said...

This exact argument was made on the record at both the Planning Commission meeting and the city council meeting...obviously to no avail.

Is anyone listening??

Forever hopeful said...

Anon 7:47.....EXACTLY!!!! Millenials are all about technology. You want to get their attention, pass on information, etc., you had better send it via technology; Instagram, Twitter, Snap Chat, etc. I know slowly but surely this oldster is gravitating more and more to technology; especially when it comes to moving about this world. All the apps, GPS and Google makes travel so much easier. Finding what we need, where we want to go has become not only easier, but allowed us to adventure easier and more confidentially.

And no, Anon 8:50, no one on the council is listening. I would say it's just a bunch of old white men, but that's obviously not true. However, the council has proven themselves to be old and stagnant in their outlook and thought processes. We need young thinking, creative thinking individuals on the council. We also need individuals on the council who understand they don't know it all and their way is the only way.

Although it can be discouraging when we see some of the violence and such that has occurred across the country within the last 12 months, I do have hope. There are a lot of parents here in Elk Grove that have done, and continue to do, an excellent job raising their children. While they can be typical teenagers that annoy us at times, they also are thoughtful, questioning, and bright. So I am hopeful for the future of Elk Grove and many other cities that face the same as us. But I do sometimes wish they would hurry up and grow up!

Anonymous said...

Not being of the younger, high tech age, we still find those signs totally useless. When we're traveling we are looking for an on-premise sign for a stopover for food or gas, not a quarter mile drive looking for it. I believe those dollars could be better spent locally by marketing your business to what your community wants and how you can better serve them. They are the repeats. If they can't draw local traffic to make the payroll, that highway traffic is a loss cause. Not only that, but it makes Elk Grove look desperate to the nearby communities.

Can you imagine what this city could do if our leaders would just let someone else do the "bling?" FOCUS...FOCUS, if possible.

Anonymous said...

The young people with brains leave Elk Grove to finish university and don't return.

Who would want to return to the land of bland suburban sprawl, soccer moms, fast food joints, nail salons, big box stores, etc when you can get a great job in the Bay Area, LA, Seattle, New York....

Anonymous said...

Instead of signs, fast food and other assorted projects, when are the city fathers going to deliver on all the past promises? Civic Center, Aquatics Center, Senior Center, Veterans Hall and other unfulfilled promises. When are the citizens going to realize that real results speak louder than empty promises. How about we the people of the 'Grove' elect our officials on what gets done rather than empty promises?

Anonymous said...


More new homes will lead to more low income housing down the road.

The city council is clueless that Elk Grove is becoming a big sprawling dumpster fire of a suburb.

A plastic elk brings character?

Elk Grove = Modesto north or Stockton north.


Anonymous said...

Unless you pull to the side of the highway you're not going to have time to see the elk that gives Elk Grove it's "character" and read the billboard for a stopover for some gas or grub. How many travelers driving down 99 do you think are basing their stopover on a plastic elk and what it represents, in the Mayors words? Oh, that city has "character", that's where I want to stop for some grub.

I looked up the word "character" and no where does the word "Elk Grove" appear in the definition.

Anonymous said...

Just out taking a drive to Sacto for some shopping and got my first look at the billboard yesterday. N/bound I was checking out the elk and didn't have time to read the advertisers...S/bound I checked out the lonely 3 advertisers, but had already passed the exit had I wanted to make a stopover. What a waste of time, money and energy that billboard is!

Steve L said...

Great master planning. SB 99 can't read the sign until I'm already past the exit. NB 99, hidden by trees until too late to read and exit the freeway. BTW: Who looks for a car wash while traveling down a freeway?

This monument sign looks ridiculous and serve no actual purpose for the advertisers. - Another botched EG fiasco.

CC was warned this wasn't a good idea. Sarah Johnson is turning over in her grave.

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