The Secret L-O-V-E House in Memphis



Giant crop circles that appeared overnight in English wheat fields were — some people believe — coded symbols for aliens approaching Earth from distant planets. The mysterious Nazca lines that stretch across the desert in Peru were, perhaps, designed to be landing strips for extraterrestrial spacecraft. And, in our own country, the massive burial mounds formed in the shape of snakes and other creatures by Native Americans more than a thousand years ago were — well, archaeologists are still scratching their heads over those.

Closer to home, for years a house in Midtown carried a secret — a brightly painted message to aliens, airline pilots, helicopter news crews, and anyone else who happened to fly over it: LOVE.

One day, it seems, homeowners just west of Rhodes College in the Vollintine-Evergreen neighborhood (who were reluctant to be identified, as you might expect) found themselves with some leftover paint after a renovation project, and a nice flat roof on their Midtown bungalow. So they clambered up there and painted the huge letters L-O-V-E for all to see. It was their little secret; the sign isn't at all visible from the ground.

Do you see it in the picture here? Just look very carefully at the third house down from the corner. (Thanks, Bing, for the nice image!)

Okay, is the sign still there? Hmmm, hard to say. Some views from Bing or Google don't show it, and in others the roof is now obscured by trees.

I wonder how many other cryptic and not-so-cryptic messages may be displayed on the roofs of Memphis houses and other buildings? Next time I get the Lauderdale helicopter out, I'll fly over our city and let you know.

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Ask Vance

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About This Blog

Ask Vance is the blog of Vance Lauderdale, the award-winning columnist of Memphis magazine and MBQ: Inside Memphis Business.  Vance is the author of three books: Ask Vance: The Best Questions and Answers from Memphis Magazine's History and Trivia Expert (2003), as well as Ask Vance: More Questions and Answers from Memphis Magazine's History Expert (2011) and Vance Lauderdale's Lost Memphis (2013). He is also the recipient of quite a few nice awards, the creator of several eye-catching wall calendars, and the only person we know with a vintage shock-treatment machine in his den. 

You can find him from time to time in the pages of the Memphis Flyer and MBQ, on WKNO television, and on Facebook. When he is not exploring the highways and byways of Memphis, he spends his time sleeping, napping, and dozing.

Got a question for Vance?  Email him here.

Find Vance's old blog posts (pre-April 2011) and comments here.

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