An old boxcar stands in a clearing in the woods, riddled with bullet holes in many areas. It’s obvious that someone lived here but not recently. Remnants of an old mattress can be found, and rusty old empty cans of food are strewn about. The cans have the old lithographic images on them, not modern wrappers. A large rusty old sign that has fallen off the car says “Kingston, NH.”
How an old boxcar got all the way out here is anyone’s guess. But the clearing itself is interesting because it is surrounded with pretty thick woods and just a few trails. The clearing, however, is only beginning to be encroached by small trees. Someone kept this clearing quite clear, and there is grass growing throughout it, not the normal forest vegetation that grows everywhere else. It’s almost as though it were a lawn, and most likely it was a vegetable patch as well.
But then there are the bullet holes--lots of them. The old boxcar could just have been used for target practice long after its occupant had left, but somehow that doesn’t seem right to me. Why shoot an old boxcar and risk ricocheting? No. Something happened here, and after it happened the boxcar was abandoned, the occupant gone forever.
I find bits of history here and there: old bottles and cans; old antique square raisin head nails, rusty and twisted; an odd bit of pottery here and there. Sometimes I leave them where they are, and sometimes I pick them up and bring them home. I clean them up a bit, and if they’re not in bad shape, I’ll find a use for them. Meadow flowers sure look pretty in old antique bottles.
There’s history all around us if we pay attention. Sometimes you have to really look for it because our “modern” society doesn’t want you to get too familiar with it. You’re only allowed to get familiar with controlled history--what you’d read about in a magazine or see in a museum. The last thing in the world certain elements of society want you to have is a sense of continuity and the knowledge that this same fight has been fought for a very long time. The connection is kept a secret.
Rest in peace, boxcar man.