Monday, February 9, 2015

A Round Hill in a Rectangular Yard

My grandparents house was built on a lot carved out of a field just outside of town.  Like most of Indiana the lot was a perfectly rectangular two acre patch of grass surrounded by corn or soybeans, depending on the crop rotation.  The house was aligned perfectly with the lot, as was the workshop in back, the garden and the driveway.  In the middle of this collection of straight lines and right angles was a perfectly round hill.  It sat on the edge of the flat back yard, about four feet high and a perfect hemisphere.

I never though much of it until my early twenties when it came up in conversation.  I asked my grandfather why it was there and he answered "Jon, that is your hill."

As the story goes, I was around four years old and visiting them.  We were watch in a Jerry Lewis movie, The Geisha Boy.  In the movie is a scene, parading The Bridge Over the River Quai, where a man was building a ridiculous bridge in his back yard.  I had commented that I too would like a bridge, so I could sit and look at the fish.  My grandfather then set out on making it happen.

The yard, being once a field, was too hard to really dig into, so he brought in dirt to form the hill.  His plan was to dig a pond at the top and build a bridge to go over it.  By the time the hill was done I had already moved onto the next thing and the bridge was never finished.

That hill stood for years, a symbol of a grandfather's love and the fickleness of children.

Be good, have fun,

Bonus Track:
Most of you should know my friend Phil Plait as the Bad Astronomer.  He has teamed up with Hank Green to produce the Crash Course Astronomy.  Here is the first episode, you should watch it.

No comments:

Post a Comment