Philosophical phrases catch the eye

Published 5:47 pm Friday, March 20, 2009

Tedo Twisdale’s philosophy on life can be viewed easily enough.

It changes often, can be seen by many, and you’ve probably driven by it before, pausing a second to ponder the meaning. It’s there morning, afternoon and night. It sparks both conversation and smiles.

It’s right beneath the Shell sign.

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Twisdale, a Mobile native who has worked at Greenville’s Shell Depot for seven years, says her uniquely individual statements on life reflect a lifelong love of famous quotations and sayings.

“I just try to focus on things that wouldn’t be offensive and would be uplifting to people,” says Twisdale. “I look around a lot at signs when I’m traveling around and I look to the Bible. Then I try to rearrange words to come up with something good.”

Store manager Tom Matthews changes the signs at least once per month, says Twisdale.

“I’m just not physically able and Tom does it so fast,” she says. “I also try to look at the holidays and build a saying around that.”

Twisdale says one of her favorite signs was “Feed me fish and I eat today; Teach me to fish and I eat tomorrow.”

“I had a lot of people calling me asking me what it meant,” she recalls. “It’s not the kind of saying you can understand real easily, but to me it means you should learn how to do things for yourself so that you can take care of yourself and not have to rely on others as much.”

I-65 travelers and store patrons are constantly complementing Twisdale on the signs, she says.

“They say ‘It’s nice that you put that up,’” she says.

Jim McGowin of Max Oil Company agrees.

“They’re certainly eye-catching,” he says.

Twisdale says if anyone has a saying they believe deserves to be “up in lights,” they should give her call or come by the Shell Depot to see her. She works the day shift during the week, but is also there on Saturday.

“If someone has something to put up, I’ll certainly look at it,” she says.