Tuesday, January 05, 2016


The clouds moved out yesterday leaving a clear blue sky. I walked a few hours before sunset and at one point, when I peered up through a thicket of trees,  a vapor trail as thin as a thread stretched almost to the horizon.  A low-level wind blew out of the north which made 40 degrees feel more like 20.

I fell into a rhythm as my fitness tracker silently ticked off the steps. When I rounded the barn on my last lap, I noticed something I hadn't seen before at the edge of the path. Stepping over, I realized it was a piece of newsprint. It was as fragile as onion skin, but I managed to get a look at the page and the date at the top of the page. It's from the Birmingham News Wed, July 25, 1979.

How this little tear of newspaper ended up behind my barn 38 years after it was published is a mystery to me.

It could have been a harbinger. As you can see from the two stories visible on the page, the House was wrestling with gas rationing, and big oil companies were enjoying huge profits. When I drove by the gas station this evening, gas was as low as it's been in years. I think this phantom clipping was telling me not to get used to low fuel prices.

Your thoughts?


  1. Coincidences. In most novels the hero says, "I don't believe much in coincidences". Could be a reminder that things do not remain the same. I hope it is not foretelling of soon RISING prices!! :-o.But besides that, I love to run across an old newspaper.
    But weather wise, it is Cooling down all round, it seems!!!

  2. Anonymous7:03 PM

    Today's post reads like something from "The Twilight Zone"!!

  3. That is strange, and I wouldn't count on gas remaining low in the long term.

    Too bad the paper wasn't the business section from July 25, 2017.

    1. Now, that would have really been cool!

  4. I remember the gas crunch in the U.S.-one of the few times the Americans came to Canada to fill up. I love that you found this clipping. Wouldn't it be even weirder if you suddenly realized you had been transported back to that time for a few seconds

  5. Very interesting...I like to read old news papers. I find old news papers and ads usually in packing. We have old glassware stored away wrapped in newspaper, I find it interesting to look back at how simple the news was or how low sales ads were.

  6. You never know what the wind of fortune brings. Someone must have done some house cleaning and this old newspaper fell out of the recycle truck. It's always interesting finding an old newspaper.
    I remember finding an old newspaper clipping last year in a file in my office, from July 1966 and the hourly wages had gone up to $.90 an hour from $.75 the previous year. Unbelievable... It's now $10.30.

    Have a great day.

  7. Okay, where the paper came from... hmmm...
    I think someone was doing a January purge. The new year is a time when people resolve to get rid of clutter, so an old stack of newspapers might have been the target of a zealous declutterer....
    ...Or maybe an old, out-of-use out house finally blew over in the wind and the stash of papers used either as toilet paper alternatives or insulation to cover the walls, was subject to the vagaries of the wind....
    ...Or maybe it was dropped by a modern day Rip Van Winkle on his way to get his morning coffee after a 36 1/2 year nap.
    ...Or maybe a young woman unwrapped the china she just inherited from her grandmother and bits of paper blew from the wrapping....

  8. To find an old newspaper that wasn't yellowed beyond reading is interesting....
    I cannot imagine where it came from (pardon that preposition at the end of the sentence. ) After wind storms, papers and other items have been found in strange places.
    I love to read the thoughts of those posting. I hadn't thought of someone unwrapping china and the paper blowing away. Such interesting posts.
    I used to line my cabinets with newspapers. I have also used them to wrap fragile items.
    Thank you for this article and for inspiring the responses; reading them made my day more enjoyable.

  9. It is definitely something to ponder. I don't really believe in coincidence. Everything has a reason.

  10. The cost of petrol has been really cheap in Sydney but not in Newcastle and since I live in Newcastle that sucks, just saying.


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