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13 November 2012

Fence Lines, Hamilton, Montana

This well-worn metal fence borders the yard of a historic brick house built by a founding member of genteel society in Hamilton, Montana. In one of her walking tour books, a local historian tells the story of a much revered horse-less carriage safeguarded in a small barn set back from the main dwelling. One dark and stormy night, mischief gone awry ended with an explosion that marked the spectacular demise of the barn - and of the owner’s pride and joy stowed inside. I’m sure there’s a lesson from Ecclesiastes in there… “Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, all is vanity.”
This story reminds me of barn story from my mum’s youth, an era before video games and television. For their amusement, young men often inspired each other to new heights of creativity and feats of strength. The result of one such bout of thinking was intended to teach a small lesson to a crabby neighbor. One morning when Mr. Crabbypants went out to hitch up his wagon, it was no where to be found, and no tracks indicated it had been driven away. Scratching his head, he happened to look up, and there beheld his wagon - on the roof of his barn. The head scratching continued along a new vein, I’m sure.

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