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Sign of the times? McGregor Boulevard's 'God Is Love' message withstands Ian's wrath

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Special to WGCU
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The fairly recently refurbished "God Is Love" sign along McGregor Boulevard, a stalwart landmark for thousands over the years, remained standing late Wednesday hours after an blew through Southwest Florida leaving a wake of death and destruction behind.

Kenneth Walker was flabbergasted.

A sign that holds a lot of meaning for him, as well as for many who live in or have visited Fort Myers, was left untouched by the wrath of Hurricane Ian. The recently refurbished "God Is Love" sign along McGregor Boulevard, a stalwart landmark to thousands over the years, remained standing late Wednesday, hours after Ian blew through Southwest Florida leaving a wake of death and destruction behind.

"Isn't that amazing," said Walker, who is president of the philanthropic John E & Aliese Price Foundation of Fort Myers. "It's a sign that God is still in control.”

Walker's daughter in Montana glimpsed the sign's survival posted on Facebook and sent a copy to him.

One Facebook site, Daily Bible Verse, posted a photo of the signage, adding: "Wow this 'God is Love' sign in Fort Myers, Florida, survived both Category 3 Irma and now has survived the high-end Category 4 Hurricane Ian! 'Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever.' (Psalm 136:1)”

Walker couldn't have agreed more: "God still loves us even though we had this terrible hurricane."

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Michael Braun
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WGCU
Brandon Yountz of Lee Design works on the God s Love sign on McGregor Boulevard in 2021

Walker has been instrumental, in 2021 and previously, in helping get the sign refurbished and back to shining its green neon light on McGregor motorists.

The original sign at a home at 1402 S. Grove Ave. and McGregor goes back nearly 80 years and has been an indicator for many traveling the thoroughfare to and from Fort Myers Beach.

It stood on that spot since it was erected by George Gruesbeck in 1943 after he bought the circa-1925 house and has been the subject of several repair efforts over the years

The most recent effort more than a year ago worked more than sufficiently to keep the sign upright, despite Ian's best efforts.

Walker marveled that, not far away, huge metal traffic and utility poles were laid low, but not the God Is Love sign.

"It's very important," Walker said. "People just love looking at it."

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