Thursday, April 28, 2011

What Has Vanished

Our building is 100 years old this year. Much has remained the same but the night watchman is gone.

When I moved here in 1978, his ghost was still on duty. On our landing was the call box where he checked in. The heavy brass key turned and clunked as he logged his time. Next he turned off the gas jet on the second floor landing. He straightened the air raid shelter sign when he remembered. He walked down to the first floor, then the basement, making sure everything was secure.

Sometime in the mid 1980s, the ghost was gone. The gas jet was clipped off and capped. The call box was removed, and the banister shaved clean. The chain that held the key was gone. Some job security!

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