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Mark Gubin is an artist and photographer from Milwaukee who lives along the flight path at a local airport. Realizing how visible his roof could be from any flying aircraft above, Gubin thought of a brilliant idea. Why not paint his roof with a welcome sign?
Thus, “Welcome to Cleveland” was painted on his roof. Cleveland, did you say?
Gubin was simply planning to messing up with people coming to Milwaukee. The sign has caused passengers on planes to freak out about boarding the wrong plane or caused confusion among passengers who thought the plane must have landed on the wrong airport.
The sign has been there for many years, but it was just recently that it gained popularity after being shared many times on Twitter.
According to an old Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article, Gubin himself had let on then Common Council president Ben E. Johnson how the sign caused “outrage and panic” for some air passengers, but the city planned to take no action.
“I was in Cleveland not too long ago, and I agree with Mr. Gubin that anybody who wants Cleveland is welcome to it,” Johnson wrote. Since no one from the airport or airlines ever really complained about this humorous misdirection, the sign stays up. Instead of freaking out, people would have to improve their sense of humor.
“It was all tongue-in-cheek, just for fun. Living in the world is not a dress rehearsal. You better have fun with it,” the 62-year-old Gubin said.