Bluejays! We're making a new, limited edition "THE WALK SIGNAL TO CROSS 24TH STREET IS NOW ON" T-shirt.
Want to get one? Here's how.
By Micah Mertes
Last week we wrote that the walk signal to cross 24th street is now gone and that its fate remains uncertain. And we got a bit of a reaction.
We heard from many, many Bluejays expressing nostalgia and sadness and that vague sense of longing that turns nostalgia sad. We collected a few responses here.
We also heard from Father Larry Gillick, SJ, who recalled the days before the signal found its voice, and the many times that voice shepherded him safely across 24th Street.
Fr. Gillick and many others actually still have T-shirts that say, "THE WALK SIGNAL TO CROSS 24TH STREET IS NOW ON."
Those shirts came from Left on Dodge Supply Co., owned by Patrick Murray, BA'12. The business, now defunct, made Omaha and Creighton apparel. Shirts included abstracted illustrations of St. John's and Billy Bluejay. Another one said "Brandeis Enthusiast."
"But the 24th Street shirt was our bestseller by far," Murray says.
Given our response from alumni, faculty and staff, Creighton has made a new walk signal T-shirt inspired by Murray's.
Murray isn't surprised by the reaction to the (potential) demise of the voice — whom he referred to as an "old friend and unofficial mascot."
"For your four or more years on campus," he says, "it was the first voice you heard in the morning and last voice you heard at night.”
Bluejays pay tribute to 'the Voice of 24th Street'
Bluejays everywhere shared their sadness/nostalgia at the (potential) loss of the walk signal voice.
Here's what a few of them had to say ...
(Also, we should mention, if the voice of 24th Street does have to retire, she's making way for a great cause. The renovation of the 24th Street corridor is both making campus safer and transforming our front door beautifully. You can learn more here and here. Also, check out these photos!)
"Say it isn't so!," says Linda Antonelli, assistant to the President of the Institute for Priestly Formation Foundation. "Could a new voice recorded in 2020 possibly be as trustworthy as the woman behind the voice who has been telling us for many years that it’s safe to cross the busy intersection?" Nevertheless, maybe "it will be a new voice leading a new generation across the street safely.”
Father Larry Gillick, SJ, agrees: "Maybe it's time for a new voice, anyway, a new kid in town. That poor woman was scrunched up in that little speaker box all these years."
Twitter user @shellieschaf said — "I’d come back to campus just to hear (the signal voice). It was like a hug."