Monday, April 5, 2010

Dangerous Book - Episode 36

Sunday night May 23
“Here’s to Kate and her fifteen minutes of fame!” Peter raised his gin and tonic and bowed. We were celebrating the almost instant success of Kate’s archaeological find and subsequent fame in this morning’s Tuscaloosa Times.

            “Longer than that,” snapped Jacob, waving the newspaper where a full page spread had been dedicated to the Gorgas Library archeological dig and, in particular, Kate’s curious discovery. “Once she writes this up, her career is made.”
            “It’ll be made when I publish,” Kate laughed. “If I publish. It’s not that big a deal.”
            “Will you have to share with Eleanor?” I asked.
            “Oh yeah, she was right there with me.”
            The dig is Dr. Ruppel’s baby, funded through the department and the museum.  Students worked three hours a day (8-11) and submitted a journal for their grade.  What the dig revealed was the site of a dormitory used for cadets during the war and burned down by Union troops in 1865.  A cornerstone that has remained visible ever since is the focal point for the site. Two weeks into the dig, Kate, and an undergrad named Eleanor Moser, uncovered the doll’s leg, which ultimately became the prize find (and the only one discovered by a student.) 
            The archaelogy department displayed the leg in a glass case in Smith Hall along with a glass doorknob, three bone buttons and the inevitable bit of unidentifiable pottery. The Tuscaloosa News ran a story and picture.  The class ended last Friday, but the site would remain as is through Homecoming.

             “Makes you wonder why we’re here, doesn’t it?” I said, drifting toward the croquet mallets.  I selected green.
            “No! It lets us know why we’re here,” she said, taking the blue mallet and ball. “We’re here to find each other. And know each other. That’s how we’ll know ourselves.”
            “That’s all? That’s all we’re supposed to do?” She made life seem to simple.
            “Know and love. And love, anyway. Hey! Here’s Professor Sargeant. Do you think he’d like to play?”

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