Behind the airport’s “We B Smokin’ BBQ” signs |

Behind the airport’s “We B Smokin’ BBQ” signs

Samie Cretney

F.M. Light & Sons isn’t the only Routt County business with a corner on the roadside billboard market.

Drive to Yampa Valley Regional Airport, and you’ll notice a series of curious yellow signs on your final approach. Each is printed with a poem verse warning against traffic offenses, with the stanza ending with the signature “We B Smokin’ BBQ.”

After some investigative sleuthing, Steamboat Living discovered that We B Smokin’ was the name of a tasty, but short-lived, barbecue restaurant that opened in Hayden in 2013 and closed shortly thereafter. The signs, 26 in all, are reminiscent of the 1940s Burma Shave ad campaign and its limericked signs that littered the back roads of America.

“It’s kind of funny that they’re still there and advertise a closed restaurant,” admits Hayden Mayor Jim Haskins, who’s not sure when the signs were first put up. “In any case, I love the old Burma Shave signs — they had a cowboy poetry feel to them.”

Since it’s hard to read their rhymes when you’re late for your plane, we dispatched a photographer to catalog them for your reading pleasure. And with Haskins in no hurry to take them down, it could be that “We B Smokin’” has found a quirky niche in Routt County history.

The BBQ Stanzas

Drinking drivers, enhance the chance; To highball home, in an ambulance.
Passing cars, when you can’t see; May get you a glimpse, of eternity.
‘Twould be more fun, to go by air; If we could put, these signs up there.
No matter the price, no matter how new; The best safety device, in the car is you.
We know how much, you love that gal; But use both hands for driving, pal.
Thirty days hath September; April, June and the speed offender. The blacken forest smolders yet; Because he flicked, his cigarette.
The one who drives, when he’s been drinking; Depends on you, to do his thinking. 
Substitutes can let you down; Quicker than a strapless gown.
Drinking drivers, nothing worse; They put the quart before the hearse.

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