Messages on chalkboard inspire Chesterfield residents

By Melissa Correa - bio | email
Posted by Eric Blackstock - email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) – It's nothing fancy - just a chalkboard on the side of Winterpock Road. Yet the daily inspirational messages are enough to slow traffic and rally support all over the world.

What was once an advertisement for homegrown veggies is now a perpetual poster for all phrases positive.

"I just try to inspire people and encourage people," said chalkboard owner Penny Proudfoot.   For nearly a year she's scripted these simple sayings on her homemade chalkboard.

"I never face the road. I duck and I change it real quick," said Proudfoot.

VDOT reports 9,300 cars cruise past the chalkboard every day. Penny knows she has supporters.

"At first I started getting letters. And then people would stop by. I've gotten chalk- cinnamon rolls," said Proudfoot.

But she never expected to have fans across the globe. Wednesday, our cameras rolled as Penny met her biggest fans: Heidi-Hessler Allen and her daughter Tori. They started a Facebook fan page. At last check 1,047 people are in support of this black board. Some live in Bangladesh and Spain.

"My absolute favorite, my daughter and I agree is, 'impossible is only in the dictionary,'" said Heidi Hessler-Allen.

"If I'm about to think negative about something I think of a quote on the chalkboard," said Tori Hessler-Allen.

But not everything Penny writes is deep.

"When it was snowing so much, of course I put, 'don't eat the yellow snow!'" said Proudfoot.

And sometimes a spell check is required. But there are no plans to upgrade the board and a peace sign will always grace every saying: chalk is cheap, so Penny's messages will always be free.

"If I just touch one person's life, that makes it worth it," said Proudfoot.

Penny's veggie season is about to start, but don't worry - the daily motivators aren't stopping. Instead, a second sign will go up to advertise her harvest.

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