The bottle-glass "M" in this picture, between the monster-ship and the little white lamb, is from an old homestead dump a short walk from home where John and I sometimes walk to see if frost heaves, run-off, or ground squirrels have turned up any new treasures.
The things we find aren't antique or remarkable in any particular way - except that they're time-travel machines, a way of taking a gentle sail into the past that was peopled by those who lived before us in this neighborhood. Below is a photo of a time-travel machine in situ.
For a number of years I was a reporter for the local newspaper and came
to be fascinated by the role of the newspaper in a rural town of 800 people - where the mayor is also the vet, and you can just go downtown across the street from the bar and the barber's into
his animal clinic and complain to him all you want if you think your water bill is too high, or have
an idea for putting a tank with a turret gun in the city park for kids to play on.
I became involved in a collaborative project to write a play based on Letters to the Editor from 1903 to the present, which was staged to the delight of the populace in the recently abandoned courthouse. This led to a collection of letters I put together that is being posted on Robert Frost's Banjo, John Jack Poetry's blog where a number of writers are graciously hosted and there's always blog-adventures afoot. Check it out! Here's the last paragraph of the introduction to the book:
"Sorting the Adams County newspaper material has been, for me, archeology of a very amateur kind. I have enjoyed it in the same way that I like to poke around in an old homestead dump near my house—where tin cans and broken bits of china spark my imagination, not because of their rarity or exoticism, but because of the opposite. Their everydayness and their proximity to where I live are what intrigue me. This book comes from my curiosity about what is near instead of what is far—from seeking for the mystery in what is close to home, the beauty and value of what is close at hand."
The bottle-glass "M" is part of this cigar-box shrine I put together to take with me before spending 4 years in Brazil and Bolivia. I brought a rock I found in the driveway when I was 11, a strange little owl-bottle I bought at a flea market when I was 13, fossilized bits of a giant ancient fish that used to swim in what is now the Idaho desert. The figure is St. Dymphna. Many things have been added - bits of pre-Incan pottery from Bolivia and fossilized claw from the giant ancient sloth that used to roam those hills and valleys. This is also where Pirate Goat's sword is kept when he isn't in battle!
One last photo: another bottle John and I found at the little homestead dump along with a piece of "Wonder Stone" I got from an extraordinary man named Red who has a roadside rock shop in his garage in North Idaho - an ex-logger, long retired, who now writes poetry dictated to him by trees. I think of him quite often.