Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

November 8, 2010

Restroom Hall of Fame

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

Restroom Hall of Fame!  You’ve got to be kidding!  But there it was! Heading west on I-10 out of Tallahassee I spotted this large billboard with giant letters “Restroom Hall of Fame.”  There were only two other words: 714 miles.

It must be a joke I thought.  No one would spend that much money on such a billboard.  And especially not to reveal the location!  I couldn’t let this go.  You know I am curious and so I investigated.

Yes, there is a Restroom Hall of Fame.  My immediate conclusion was that it was an advertisement for a collection of restrooms.  But not that they had been located and moved for an exhibit, but perhaps there were models by a company from which you would chose what you wanted in your new home.  Or even perhaps, it was a place to obtain many plans from architects about a luxurious bathroom.  If so, why not tell the location or contact?

But my mind began to click.  It may be from where I come, but I usually think of a restroom in a public place and at home it is called a bathroom.  So I began through my mental process of narrowing down the possibilities of a Restroom Hall of Fame.

And I discovered — there is a legitimate Restroom Hall of Fame!  Each year America’s Best Restroom is chosen.  It is then listed in the Restroom Hall of Fame.  Videos of the winning restroom are available on line!  (This might interest some folks that just look at everything on the internet.)

So, I solved part of the mystery.  But what about 714 miles?  What direction?  Did it mean that on I-10 straight ahead for 714 miles I would come to the Hall of Fame?  Or at least to the location of the winner?  I began to dig deeper for an answer.  From that billboard I began to calculate 714 miles west and north.  I could limit my direction since the billboard was intended for those headed west — at least at that point.

I discovered three possibilities.  St Louis, MO,  Branson, MO, and Fort Smith, AR.  I jumped immediately to choosing Branson.  Why not?  It has all types of structures and sites to appeal to a tourist.  I couldn’t pin anything down.  I eliminated Fort Smith believing that it did not draw tourists like Branson —  or even St. Louis.

But I would discover that the Fort Smith Regional Airport had been a previous winner!  Also, The Shoji Tabuchi Theater in Branson had been the 2009 winner!  Now I knew.  St. Louis was now my target. The billboard was advertising American’s Best Restroom found in St. Louis for The Fountain on Locust restaurant!  I even saw the videos! One of the features of this restaurant was “The Best Ice Cream Parlor in the City of St. Louis.”  But the billboard did not advertise that.  Of course, it could have a picture of ice cream that made my mouth water . . . but I still would not have driven that far for an ice cream.  And I would certainly not drive that far to use the best restroom in America!

But if I did go there for ice cream, I would expect a free ice cream since I have given them such publicity through this blog.  I gave them more than what they got for the price of that billboard!

With the time I spent in research . . . and writing this blog, there must be some redeeming value.  And perhaps there is.  I reflect on that billboard . . . the cost . . . the location . . . the lack of information . . . failure to give directions . . . etc.  I can see no returns for the restaurant.  Even if I had been traveling to St. Louis, I probably would not have known about that restaurant among so many in that city.

It behooves me to realize that I am a “walking billboard” for the Kingdom of God.  Am I giving enough information to those who see me?  Am I giving directions to the Kingdom?  For what it cost God (His Son) to make me into a billboard, is He getting the return He expected? 

I must reflect on this responsibility.  I may make some folks curious as that billboard did me, but most folks are not going to investigate.  I must be direct so that others can find that wonderful destination call heaven!

“Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel . . . as I should.”  (Ephesians 6:19,20)




  1. I just passed that billboard and had to get on the internet to find out what the heck it was. And that’s how I stumbled onto this blog. And irronically my grandmother and I were thinking the exact same thing as your opening paragraph. I am totally grateful for your blog or I would be spending my entire trip trying to figure it out myself. Thank you 😀

    Comment by roxanne — December 10, 2010 @ 11:51 pm | Reply

  2. We passed the billboard this week on our way to Alabama…and our Google search brought us to your blog. Thank you for helping us solve the mystery! Even better, we loved your analogy for how we reflect and represent Christ every day.

    Comment by Brooke — February 17, 2011 @ 10:22 pm | Reply

  3. We just passed that billboard, and like you, wondered “huh?”. So I got on my Blackberry and googled it and got your blog. However the sign now says 797 miles – must be the 2011 winner! Today is March 25, 2011. We’re on our way to Colorado! Follow our trip at

    Comment by Juli Anna — March 25, 2011 @ 11:46 am | Reply

  4. We just passed the billboard about 5 minutes ago and I have already looked it up and found out what is was and then read your blog and it summed in up perfectly. Thanks! It does say 797 miles now so while we are heading home to Reno along Hwy 10 I will keep my eyes open for more billboards and maybe the destination of the 2011 winner!

    Comment by Misty Ericksn — April 13, 2011 @ 11:40 am | Reply

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