The story of the Starshine Way sign continues. When I last wrote to you about it, I had poured the concrete, and the sign was setting overnight in my laundry room. The next day I checked and the pole seemed very solidly set in the concrete. Unfortunately, the sign itself was just screwed on with metal hasps holding it in place. So although the pole was set, it would still be easy to steal the sign!
To solve this problem I had dabbed some concrete over one side of the screws, hoping it would make them unscrewable. But in the morning I noticed that I had daubed the wrong side. Aarrghh! So what to do? My Krazy Glue was all dried out, so I couldn’t use that. All I had was ABS pipe glue, so I dabbed the other ends of the screws with this glue, and hoped for the best. Of course these white blotches somewhat spoiled the aesthetic values of the sign, but shikata ga-nai, as they say in Japan.
Anyway, I felt very excited about installing the sign, and put it in the back of the Tracker, together with shovels. It was very cold out, so I wore my parka and thick gloves. The propane guy was coming later in the morning, so I wanted to get it done right away, before he got there. I drove up to the corner of Starshine Way and Dillard Forestry Road. Woohoo! There was the hole I’d previously dug. I’d covered it with a tarp, edges weighted with stones, and scattered dirt to conceal the hole, but had accidentally stepped on the tarp and fallen in the hole (yes, I really did fall in the hole I had dug and had specifically reminded myself not to fall in), so the tarp was half-in, half-out of the hole, and some snow had covered everything.
I took the snow shovel and cleared away the snow in the hole and around the hole. I took out the garbage can with the sign in it, and then was the magical moment: I put the can and sign into the hole. Voilà! Beauty! I’d brought six sand bags, which I used to fill the gap around the edges of the can, as well as rocks and dirt from digging the hole. Likewise I filled in the can. Then I built up a slight mound all the way around the pole, stamping on the dirt frequently to pack it down. There was just one problem: The sign company gave me an eight-foot pole instead of the ten-foot pole I’d asked for. The hole I’d dug (before picking up the sign) was slightly over three feet deep, to accomodate the garbage can. So the sign is shorter than I am.
I kept cracking up as I looked at the sign. All that work, planning, ordering, digging, and what was the result? A Spinal Tap sign! (Due to a confusion between inches and feet when they drew their design on a paper napkin, the infamous heavy metal band Spinal Tap got an eighteen-inch-high Stonehenge stage prop—not quite the ominous, looming stones they had envisioned!) The propane guy later took my picture with the sign, so you can see for yourself. Ha!
Anyway, hopefully no one will steal it, and it will have an uninterrupted winter to set solidly into the earth. I’ll let you know if it’s still there when I go back in the spring! To complete this story, though, I need to draw the parallel between the story of the Starshine Way sign and the turning of the wheel from West to North. I’ll tell you about that next time. To be continued…
This entry was first published January 19, 2009. I’ve made a few edits and moved it to the first page to help potential buyers know a bit of the history of the place.