2nd Globe Ideas piece: Disappearing roadside markers!

July 26, 2012

From Oct. 2011, my second Globe Ideas section piece! It was the first time I got to work with the Globe’s News Graphics team. The inimitable Patrick Garvin designed the graphic. Excerpt:

 Robert Briere first remembers seeing the sign as a teenager in Sturbridge in the 1940s. Eight feet tall, it bore witness in bold capital letters to TANTIUSQUES, a local graphite deposit “valued by Indians for face paint, and by the white men for pencils.”
Sometime in the intervening years, Briere, a rural mail carrier, noticed that the sign had vanished. After retiring in 1989, now the president of his local historical society, he decided to investigate.

The state is scattered with historical markers like the one Briere had his eye on — sturdily constructed, painted black on aluminum, and prominently featuring the Commonwealth’s coat of arms. Instantly recognizable to most people in Massachusetts, they stand outside town greens, by cemeteries, on the sites of old battles or long-vanished mills.

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