The Baystate Objectivist

The Baystate Objectivist

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Lost Artifacts

Crimes against history.

Greetings and salutations on the Feast of Fools.

Here's something that really pisses me off. I was over by the Academy of Music in Northampton when I noticed this commemorative stone and decided to check it out. It turns out that beneath the stone is a time capsule planted on the bicentennial in 1976 and due to be opened in 2076. I'll be sure to mark my calender. The stone also commemorates something else, but I can't tell what it is because someone has swiped the other plaque!

Who took it? Most likely a crack addict or some kind of junkie looking to sell the plaque for scrap metal. I don't know who to have more contempt for, the druggie that stole it or the dealer who bought it and who must have known full well what it was. This kind of crime is sadly common. In Springfield, a compelling rumor persists that a lot of the copper from the old Tech High was stolen by a politically connected person. In Amherst, someone stole half of the two plaques commemorating the old Elm Grove that had to be cut down to make the Fine Arts Center and Herter Hall at UMass.

It's so hard to come up with the money and the will to preserve the past. On the rare occasions when we do, it is an unforgivable outrage to have the displays vandalized.

However, sometimes things that vanish reappear. For example, last month I wondered what became of the bus shelter that used to be in front of the Amherst Post Office.

I never did find out what caused it to go away, but I noticed the other day that it's back.

I will be happy to make use of it on my frequent trips to downtown Amherst.

Meanwhile, on this street in Northampton, I noticed an odd form of vandalism done to a street sign. Someone had drawn a hoola hoop on the image located on a safety sign.

I saw another such image over on West Street.

What on Earth? Suddenly it occurred to me what it was. The images are part of a campaign by the fans of the psychedelic jazz-rock fusion band The String Cheese Incident. One of their promotional icons is the hula hoop.

Captain Skypilot Ken Babbs the Intrepid Traveler (below left) was second in command to Ken Kesey in the Merry Pranksters.

Here is Captain Ken Babbs with the String Cheese Incident.

Yesterday I got a package in the mail from Captain Ken. Photo by Shane.

In the package was two discs and this note.

I will watch these discs and then report to you what was on them.

Meanwhile, let's listen to The String Cheese Incident in concert.


Anonymous said...

Sign stealing seems to be an issue as of late. Here's a link to a news article about someone stealing the signs at the Stanley Park enterance.

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