Friday, January 20, 2012

Thick as a Brick

I attempted to buy a brick today. It’s been over twenty years since I bought the last one. In 1990 the Columbia Association first sold bricks around the People Tree to help defray the costs of renovating and restoring the sculpture. At the time my office was on the top floor of the Teachers Building with a window overlooking the icon of Columbia.

Back then it was a fairly common sight to see a pair of shoes hanging from one of the outstretched gold leaf arms. I didn't know then what I know now.

Anyway, we had a company called Noel-Lane so we purchased a company brick in the plaza below. I thought about that brick when I heard that CA was selling bricks again. I like this. It is a way of placing your own personal marker on Columbia’s timeline.

I had been thinking about what marker I would lay down this time so when I arrived at the CA offices this afternoon I was ready to complete the transaction. I had the copy, cash and credit cards.

“We only take checks,” the attendant at the Maggie J. Brown Welcome Center desk (and yes, it is actually called that) informed me.

Of course that was the one thing I didn’t have. I mean really, a check?

That is so nineties.

I took the forms back to the office.

By the way, the People Tree was commissioned by The Rouse Company and designed and built in 1967 by Pierre du Fayet. He actually called it “Tree of Life.” Another of du Fayets sculptures can be found in the Wilde Lake Village Center, also commissioned by The Rouse Company. The Wilde Lake sculpture, called “Family” was originally a fountain but was later transformed into a planter as a way to trim maintenance costs.

And finally, if you've bought a brick over the years and forgotten where it is, there is this handy little online app.
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