The gas company is putting in new lines in the neighborhood. They have been working in the neighborhood all summer running pipes down the entire block. Today they dug a trench through our front yard up to the house. Sometime in the near future they will drill through the house and attach the new piping to the meter in the basement. (The first phase of this work was documented in this blog in “Getting Gas.”)
Today’s digs from beneath the sidewalk surfaced a beer bottle from the Independence Brewery and a fragment of a beer bottle from the United Breweries, both representing Chicago breweries from before Prohibition, as early as the late 1890s. There was also a bottle imprinted with “Dr. Price’s Delicious Flavoring Extracts.” (Early research has revealed several cookbooks downloadable online from this company from 1903-04.)
JB also found a large bone in the pile of dirt the workers heaped up. We joked about it being human, fantasizing a mysterious murder, but my guess is it is the hip socket of a large animal like a cow or bison. (I will take the bone to school to see if a science teacher can help me to identify it.)
This is all to say that there are many layers to all that we see and experience. Revealing these layers is often very hard work. It is even harder, though, to pay attention to and to value these revealings. Who would have thought the gas company could leak artifacts and history as easily as gas?