I mentioned that my frequent trips to Athens inspired my desire to pick a few bricks as a memento or connection to place for my second Ohio home.  I am not the only one struck by this notion.  Generations of OU grads have carted home a Nelsonville, Hocking or Athens Block to mark their time at Ohio University.  It makes sense.  These bricks are ubiquitous to the city.  The desire for these is so strong that students even buy a foam brick (safer to hit someone on the head with, right) souvenir.

I think there is a deeper connection to place here.  The students walk over these bricks everyday.  Noticing them and not at the same time.  The bricks were made with the clay soil of the area, hardened in fires made my the coal and hardwood from the region and crafted by hands that lived and died in Hocking and Athens counties.  It would be hard to find something that is more truly a reflection of the city. This squarish block of history keeps the connection alive – it’s just a brick?  No, it’s a block, the base of the city.

I found this mini brick collection by the greatest hot dog shop in the world – O’Betty’s on State Street.  Just a few storefronts down, right at the entry way, you can see a living brick collection showing some of the bricks of the area.  It seems someone long ago saw value in these everyday objects and gave them a home.  I can’t think of a better place or tribute.

I have some of these in my collection.  Several have eluded me.