Every so often I find that my curiosity gets the best of me. I’ve always been an explorer at heart and when I see a piece of junk left behind my inner child wants to play Indiana Jones. I have passed this old drilling rig for thirty years and kept telling myself one day I’ll go down into the overgrown field and check it out. It’s not as simple as it sounds. I live in rattlesnake territory and they absolutely love to make their dens in old machines. It was still winter I figured that they were still hibernating if not frozen stiff and so I made my way to the rig. Since there’s a fine line between bravery and stupidity, I moved cautiously through the briars and winter grasses. I used my tripod to push back the brush and make sure I actually wanted to step there before moving forward. When I finally reached my goal a took a few minutes to appreciate the object before my eyes. I was touching history. Maybe not Earth shattering history but someone’s history. The drilling rig was more than likely used by miners to get core samples for the coal industry. I looked over the broken gauges and switches. The key that turned the machine on was still in the ignition. Levers that were frozen with rust had not been touched by human hands in decades. The steel cables sagged and the wheels had rotted away. I think about the men who operated the drill. I imagine the hot July and August days on the job site. The dust rises from the bore hole turns into mud when it lands on their necks due to sweat. The type of men who do this kind of work are hardy and take pride in the job. They deal with the misery of labor by laughing when it’s over. I would not be surprised if break time included some pranks here and there. There always at least one person on a crew like this who is afraid of snakes and a cheap rubber snake left near a lunch box is better than T.V. These men are not just coworkers. They’re family. They say that history is really his story . But it’s their story and our story. And when you come in contact with one of the relics, it’s your story too.

8 thoughts on “Relics

  1. I’ve seen small broken walls when walking in the woods. I wonder why they were built, who used the area and why did they stop.
    Thinking about histories like that can make you feel like the world is special so I do know what you mean.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Oh. My. God. What?!?!?! 😂😂😂 You must do a blog post on that prank one day or include the story in the award post (as one more question for you!). I love all things pranks. Definitely, a prank compilation post on April Fools is a genius idea!

        Liked by 3 people

  2. I am terrified of snakes, real or otherwise, luckily in Wales we only have the non venomous grass snake and the venomous adder. My uncle was just ad terrified- as a prank one day whilst he was waiting at the quarry he took his lunch box out of his bag while he waited for hisl Lorry load of stones. Him and his colleagues took their lunchboxes down to the nearby stream to eat their sandwiches in the sun. Unbeknown to my uncle his colleagues had put a fake snake in his box some time during the morning break. Expecting the snake to more or less fly out of the box they all sat down near the river. Uncle Derek opened his box and to his horror this rubber snake lazily uncoiled out of the box and up his arm. I cannot repeat what he said as it was mostly swearing in both Welsh and English.
    He pitched the snake and his lunchbox into the river in fright, whilst his mates laughed hysterically. When he had finished threatening to kill everyone in sight and his heart slowed down enough to realise he had just thrown his perfectly good lunch in the river he all shook hands and shared their food, but plotted revenge for months.

    Liked by 2 people

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