Every Little Once In A While

Sep 6, 2022 | 0 comments

I don’t like to argue with tourists.  Mostly, I don’t have to. When visitors to Oysterville happen to ask me questions and I happen to be able to answer, I’m usually met with respectful interest and often with a righteous exchange of information.  Learning something new is the part I enjoy most.

But sometimes the questions and answers don’t go so well.  Like today.  An older man — though probably a good deal younger than I — stopped in front of the house as I was waiting by the gate for  a friend.  “Whatever happened to that Manx sign on this house?” he asked.

John Crellin House, 1857

“I beg your pardon?” was the best I could do.

” You know — the Manx sign.  It’s three legs running in a circle.  It used to be on this house.”

“No, I told him.  There’s never been a Manx sign on this house — not in my lifetime, anyway.”

“Well,” he said, “It was on some house around here.  This place was settled by Manxmen you know.”

“No,” I said.  “Two of the old houses were built by the Crellin brothers from the Isle of Mann — this one and the one up the street that has all the bottles in the windows.  But that was more than a decade after the town was founded and they were the only two Manxmen to settle here as far as I know.”

Tom Crellin House, 1869

“Well,” he said, “I’ve  been coming here for a number of years and I remember that sign clearly…”

At that point, my friend arrived and I tuned out of the conversation.  The visitor went over to the churchyard to sit on one of the benches.  Maybe he’s waiting for the sign to appear…

This is certainly one of those times that I wish Uncle Cecil was still around.  His memory went back to the 1880s.  On the other hand, I’m not sure that this was a visitor that had ever been mistaken about anything.  There are people like that, I’m told.  Go figure…

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