Last night, I lugged home the granddaddy of all throwbacks as my worlds collided in a delightful crash of divine will upon the more mundane aspects of my life. The result of that collision was this 18.8-pound beauty:
Pictured is a hunk of long-disused trolley track, which was removed from a crossroads about a quarter-mile from my home. Two state roads intersect there, and they are each in really bad need of repaving. It got so bad, in fact, that the old street car tracks were clearly visible in the crossroads, so when workers were finally dispatched to effect repairs they first had to remove them. Road-milling machines don’t take kindly to big hunks of steel, or so I understand.
The state workers took it upon themselves to cut them into roughly foot-length pieces, and passed them on to the mayor to do with as he wished. I go to all the village board meetings because I’m a reporter and it’s part of my beat. The mayor brought up the idea of using the pieces as a fund raiser — for the village or a local non-profit — or giving them to local museums, or at least the one area business owner who had expressed interest. Board members mostly didn’t care, and decided that the mayor could dispose of them on his own.
“I want one,” I said from the front row. It’s not my job to talk at these meetings. What I do is write down what other people say. Nevertheless, I was looking at a piece of a friggin’ trolley track that had been sitting under a major crossroads for over a century, and I wasn’t going to keep quiet. Nope.
The bad news is that I walked to the meeting last night, and had to carry my baby home without so much as a papoose. The good news is that I got this amazing Hermes artifact for my home shrine. It wasn’t until this morning that I remembered that it happened on a Wednesday, which some Hellenic polytheists (including myself) keep sacred for Hermes. I had the days scrambled up all morning, and very nearly did not make him an offering. I’m glad I did, because this is exactly the kind of super-local polytheism that I want to be about.
Things to do:
- Come up with a thank-you offering worthy of this gift.
- Figure out how to preserve this artifact as part of my outdoor Hermes shrine.
- Pay for it. Scrap metal is about two cents a pound, and I have every intention of paying the village treasurer. It was a gift from (or to) Hermes, but I feel the secular books ought to be balanced.
- Take more pictures of the shrine once I figure out how to include this upgrade.