This weekend you may have passed over the obituary of a turkey farmer named Alfred Hamilton, age 84, who died on November 9 at his home near Chehalis. But you almost certainly know who he was, even if you didn't recognize his name.
If you drive between Portland and Seattle then you will know him for his "Uncle Sam" billboard that stands near Chehalis bearing pithy Main-Street-Republican messages that have skewered communism, the United Nations, prominent Democrats, and many other things since 1971. Bill Clinton alone must have inspired 50 messages from Mr. Hamilton.
For many of those years, Mr. Hamilton fought against Lady Bird Johnson's Highway Beautification Act to keep his billboard in place. He had to move it twice, but he eventually won his fight on free speech grounds. And he occasionally showed off a puckish sense of humor: during the worst of the court battles, his message (always in capital letters) read: "THERE ARE NO BILLBOARDS IN RUSSIA, CUBA, OR COMMUNIST CHINA."