Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Notes From My Knapsack 8-07-05
Jeff Gill

Downtown Newark’s new Police Department offices on South Fourth Streetare an attractive addition to a cityscape where there recently wasemptiness and decay. The building is bright and airy, simple but withsome classy touches.When I walked in the main lobby a few weeks back to work on some of thelogistical arrangements for this fall’s Moonrise event at the OctagonEarthworks, I had the delightful and eerie experience of walking rightalong the axis through the connected circle and octagon that points tothe northwest horizon maximum moonrise point.You may know that the departmental insignia, on their uniform patchesand across the door of their police cruisers, is of a Hopewell-periodspearpoint, patterned as if made of our local Flint Ridge flint, andacross it is a green outline of the solid circle and octagon broken ateach corner with a small interior mound dotting each gap.This badge has been reproduced large scale in the flooring material, sothat one walks directly along the central alignment towards the moonrisewe’re celebrating this year, as you walk up to the information window.Drop by and see it: the staff is quite friendly, and there is also ahistorical display about Newark officers killed on duty which I hope towrite about later.Monday, August 8, is the last "golf free" day out at the actual OctagonEarthwork (off 33rd St.) before the Oct. 22 Newark Earthworks Day atOSU-N and Moonrise event that night at 10:14 pm. This Monday, by brightdaylight, you may walk around the 30 acre interior of the circle (a bitsmaller than the "Great Circle" over by Heath) or the 50 some acresenclosed by the octagonal works stretching from Raccoon Creek to 30thStreet.With the Ohio Historical Society committed over at the Ohio State Fairand many local volunteers tied up with our own Hartford Fair, this willbe another low key, quiet time of access to the site, thanks to theongoing work OHS and Moundbuilders Country Club are doing on publicaccess. You might want to drop by after 9 am before you head up toCroton (or Hartford, or Croton P.O., or whatever) for the fair, sincethe access on Oct. 22 will be necessarily tightly controlled and, ofcourse, after dark.If you can’t, the next day, Sunday, Oct. 23, will be a golf-free day onthe site, and you can return after experiencing the awe and wonder ofthese massive works pointing out a complex astronomical occurrence bymoonlight, and more closely examine the structure that records andpredicts this 18.6 year cycle by daylight.Of course, keep reading this space for ongoing updates about the widerange of activities on the OSU-N campus through Oct. 22, and shuttlearrangements from OSU-N to the Octagon that evening.If you enjoy mysterious sights in the sky showing the power of scienceand the human mind against the backdrop of the infinite cosmos, you canget up Monday morning, Aug. 8, before 5:45 am, and look to thesouthwest. There you’ll see, if the flight plan doesn’t changesignificantly [and it did - editor], the paired steady lights cross the sky for three minutesof the Space Shuttle Discovery and the International Space Station. Andthen you’ll be up, so you can make a lunch to take by the Octagon StateMemorial that golf-free day, enjoying a day where earth and sky areconnected by human ingenuity through both technology and time.

Jeff Gill is a writer, storyteller, and supply preacher around centralOhio. You can share your stories with him through

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