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December 27, 2005

History, In the Gutter


Have you ever walked with your eyes to the ground, scanning bits of paper as you pass them on the street? Have you ever stopped to examine something, even if it might be city trash? I do. It is an old habit from childhood, sprung from the hopes that I would one day unearth an arrowhead (I never did).

During a routine Beard Street walk past the Todd Shipyards (aka the future Ikea), I spied a yellowing square of paper at my feet. At closer inspection, I discovered that it as an old ID card from the shipyards. The find caused us to look at the ground more carefully, whereupon we discovered bits of old records strewn across the street, collecting in the gutters, and intermingling with Cheeto bags and beer cans. The receipts, old checks, and other pieces of the shipyard�s history dated between the early 1940�s and the late 1970�s.

I know that we cannot save everything. This is also a habit of mine�the need to hold onto anything that can help shape a memory, fueled by the fear that history can be so fleeting and that, like last Wednesday, pieces of the past might find their final rest inside an anonymous gutter. Waste hurts, no matter how small the artifact.

Posted by callalillie at December 27, 2005 4:43 AM | Found History , History , Red Hook


Wow that is a cool historical find!

Posted by: JP at December 27, 2005 12:04 PM

I can't believe that Red Hook is getting a Ikea!

Posted by: Rachel at December 28, 2005 9:44 AM

I always watch for money when I am picking paper at my landscape job. Found 100 bucks once. :)

Posted by: Lauren at December 30, 2005 8:04 AM

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