By Jack Fernard
Ever dig somewhere and discover a little glass bottle? Those things are everywhere! Most of the ones I find are shorter than a smart phone. Occasionally, I’ll find a clear one, but a lot of them are brown — why brown? Stout and heavy, they lay hidden in the ground for who knows how long; a message bottle lost in the sea of time.
Where do they come from and why do I find them so often? Every now and then I’ll find one that stirs my curiosity. It’ll be oddly shaped or in pristine condition; unique in some fashion so that I have to show it off. People ask me what it is, to which I usually reply, “I don’t know!”
After soaking it in the sink for a good clean, I’ll swing by my trusty old-timer with my new treasure. It’s fun to see the recognition in their eyes. “That’s an old ink bottle,” or “that’s an old medicine bottle,” they’ll inform me, usually accompanied with a fond tale of a grandmother or grandfather long past.
I confess, I’ve spent far too much time looking at these translucent treasures, wondering about their story. If it was a medicine bottle, then did whoever take the medicine get better? What was the name of the company that manufactured it and who was the soul that worked to make it exist?
They really are amazing, these remnants of trash long discarded. Disposed by people who knew nothing of massive landfills or the term ‘biodegradable’, these little lost treasures are a reminder of who we were and where we came from.
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