Saturday, October 01, 2005

Letterboxing


Yesterday's weather was what keeps New Yorkers being New Yorkers. Just when everyone was ready to call it quits here, someone pulled a lever and the hot summer went down the hatch. It was finally perfect outside and so I agreed to follow Elizabeth on one of her kooky adventures, one that didn't involve a landfill, a toxic canal, or a canoe. I brought Em and Boo along.
Elizabeth and I dragged the kids up to the highest earthen point in Brooklyn (not high at all) to meet her husband and young daughter. Apparently last summer in Massachusetts or Upstate or someplace unlittered, she and six year-old Lucy had come across a half-hidden box in their outdoor travels that upon inspection was found to contain rubber stamps and a pad with instructions to sign in, stamp your own pad (like a passport), and re-hide the box. A web address was included in the box. Intrigued, they followed the link and now had made their own letterbox which Peter and Lucy had just hidden. The base of a lamp post, a log, and a bunch of leaves were employed after we decided the raw wires dangling inside the lamp post where it somehow had a nice hole bored into it made it an unsuitable hiding spot for the box. The clues for their letterbox will be posted (in verse, I’m told) on the website so other letterboxing enthusiasts will track it down, indulging a contagious want for seeking and discovery. The why of what we were doing was never completely answered to nine year-old Em's satisfaction, but I do believe we will end up on the answering end of this question soon even though I don't believe we will ever come up with any solid answer.
I checked the website and found verse-y clues for other Kings County letterboxes such as:

Did the Butler go to Sterling Arms?
Oh my, I’m afraid he did.
In Prospect Heights, Brooklyn this box he hid.

A nearby hydrant standing guard
Makes your search not very hard.
A deuce and alpha mark the yard.

(etc.)

For some reason, this makes me want to drop my brushes and seek boxes. Why?
Evidently, a whole subculture exists devoted to this British game. Look in your hometown.
I think you will be surprised.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Julie Turley said...

I'm having to read this several times in order to get the concept. Not your fault. Mine. I'm kind of dumb. Maybe I'm just tired. Probably both. Sounds very intriguing, though.

10:11 PM  

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