Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Cutting Edge (in 1917, that is)

About six years ago, while cleaning out my mother's garage, I came across an unusual-looking paring knife. It caught my eye because it had a date engraved on it---1917--- as well as the initials "US" and the additional abbreviation---R.I.A. Through the miracle of the internet search engine, when I typed in "R.I.A.", I found out that it stood for Rock Island Arsenal, which was a place in Illinois along the Mississippi River, and it had been making munitions for the US Army since the time of the Civil War. I taped a note to the knife, and forgot about it. Then about two years ago, while doing some additional clearing out at my mom's house, I came across a vintage postcard that had a photograph of the Rock Island Armory. Wonder of wonders----I was able to locate the knife, and put the two relics together on my shelf at home. I am sorry to say that stories like this is how I have learned geography for the last several years. You see, when I was in the seventh grade, taking geography, a terrible flood hit my town, and the school closed prematurely, without my finishing out the course in geography I was supposed to have completed. Ever since that time, I have blamed all my deficits in knowing where various places are located on the globe, to this incident. Are you feeling sorry for me yet? Well, if you are not, it is okay because in the wisdom that comes with my advancing years, I have discovered that it is just as well I never memorized the names and locations of every place in the world, because for the last several decades, it seems that thousands of countries/towns/streets have changed their names! I will give you just a glimpse of this in a future post. Miles of Smiles! Tricia
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