Graffiti at the Ladies Literary Club

Walking by Ypsi’s historic Ladies Literary Club building this afternoon, I noticed that someone had tagged the front. As I hadn’t noticed it an hour or so earlier, when I’d first passed, I knocked on the door to see if everything was alright. I noticed a person peaking at me through the window, and I walked over to ask if she was OK. She motioned me back toward the door, and came outside to talk with me. She told me that she was the caretaker, and that the spray painting must have happened last night. (I hadn’t noticed it earlier, because she had put a piece of poster board over it, which had since blown away.) We talked for a while about the neighborhood, and the fact that neither of us had seen graffiti of this type in the area. She said that the police had been out, with a book of gang tags, trying to identify it. As I didn’t get the sense that they’d had any luck, I thought that I’d post a photo here, just in case someone out there could help decipher it.

[Note to self: Write a children’s book entitled, “It Takes a Village to Interpret a Gang Tag”.]


I did a little poking around online, but didn’t find much. Apparently “272,” which is what the bottom line looks like to me, is a new area code in northern Pennsylvania. It’s also an area code used in Mexico, in the region of Veracruz. I doubt it’s related, but 272 is also the year that Emperor Aurelian sent his commander Marcus Aurelius Probus to restore Roman rule in Egypt.

Oh, and the caretaker for the building also mentioned that the police had offered to help her paint over it. And, another man had stopped that morning and offered to help with the painting as well. Hearing that made me happy. I like living in a town where people look out for one another, and offer to help in situations like this.

[The women who run the Ladies Literary Club have already arranged to have it painted over, but it likely won’t be done for a day or two.]

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  1. Edward
    Posted April 17, 2011 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    The first part could be “our’s” with some flourishes.

    I also think it’s unlikely, but it could have something to do with the sitcom 227, staring Marla Gibbs.

  2. Bob
    Posted April 17, 2011 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    “Shoo-fly Pie Boys,” Pennsylvania Dutch bangers.

  3. Edward
    Posted April 17, 2011 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    “All you seimaaga belong to us”

  4. Gene
    Posted April 17, 2011 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    i HATE taggers. so stupid, so unoriginal, so ugly. i appreciate graffiti and murals, but i see tagging as a lame attempt at immortality and ego. start a blog or inscribe your gravestone – spray painting someone’s private property is ugly and anti-social. at the very least – make a fucking stencil and keep it interesting. Tagging is beyond stupid. At least when my friend Cynthia got busted for spray painting an elementary school during high school – she wasn’t tagging, she was expressing herself: “I love Madonna!” Scrawling your name or gang will not make you bigger and badder – it’s the modern version of carving in trees, picnic tables or restroom stalls. I know i’m preaching to the choir here, but i HATE tagging – it just creates work for someone else to clean…stupid.

  5. dragon
    Posted April 17, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    “The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.”

    -that’s 21 of the 272

  6. Mr. X
    Posted April 17, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    I’m not sure what you’re getting at, Dragon. Are you suggesting that it was a Gettysburg Address enthusiast? If I’m not mistaken the 150th anniversary of the Civil War was a week or so ago. Are you suggesting a connection?

  7. Mr. X
    Posted April 17, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    OK, I think I get it. You’re saying that the Gettysburg Address had 272 words, right? I wasn’t aware of that.

  8. Erf
    Posted April 24, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    Folks Nation vs. Peoples Nation?

  9. Jen
    Posted July 8, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    Came across this post searching for the meaning of “272” as graffiti, which apparently has been used as a tag elsewhere in A2 & Ypsi. Some just tagged up a park down my street in A2 with a bunch of anti-272 graffiti. Tagger war?

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