Thursday, July 12, 2007

Bowling With T-Rex

When I was young my dad had a part time job planting trees on abandoned strip mines to help in the reclamation process. I didn't know much about the job other than the fact that our pickup now had a gimungous tank of water in the back of it and had lots of shovels, spades and other tools for planting. One day dad brought home something he'd found at one of the mines. It was a rock, perfectly round and smooth, slightly smaller than a bowling ball. I wondered what geologic forces had been at work to form something like that, but being a kid of about 9 or 10 at the time I didn't think on it too hard, instead taking advantage of this odd sphere to have fun with it. My sister and I would roll it down the hill and try to knock over "pins" we had set up. As the years went by I used it as a shot put - albeit a rather oversized one, and by and large it got put into the coal house where it was shuffled around, tripped over, dropped and broken in half, and finally disappearing somewhere down the road, probably the pieces of it ending up as part of the lane.
About two years ago my wife dragged me to an antique mall just outside of town. The "antiques" there are mostly things that people were about to throw in the garbage but then said "Hey, I'll sell these at a ridiculous price to some sap who's never seen a plastic Disney lunchbox with a broken latch from 1978 before". So as my wife cooed over all the furniture which supposedly had a finish of some kind at one time but now looked like it had been dragged behind a truck and struck repeatedly with a ball peen hammer, I migrated to a large glass case with arrowheads, ancient pottery and fossils. Something there attracted my attention and I immediately realized that the round stone ball we played with as kids was probably a valuable dinosaur egg, as I was staring at one comparable in size to it sitting in the case with a hefty price tag on it labeled "Dinosaur Egg". I had to smile.... Like so many other things that I'd thrown away or lost over the years, here was a reminder that some of the things I thought were worthless and had discarded or lost turned out to have a value unseen by the untrained eye.


Blogger Michelle's Spell said...

Hey Tim,

I loved this post! I agree with your view on antiques (usually beat to hell crap), but it's so exciting to find something from the past. You're dinosaur egg is sweet!

11:52 AM  

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