Foreword: I recently posted a story about my collection of photos which I mistakenly discarded before I had a chance to use them. Today's entry was one of those stories that will not have photos due to my inadvertent mistake. I apologize, because they were great photos taken by my granddaughter Camille.
It was an ordinary day. Just got back home with my youngest granddaughter Camille from taking a few photos that I had planned to take for a story about the Lancaster Brick Company that was located on a 55-acre farm in Manheim Township. The company began operations in 1919 and finally closed in 1979 after a storied existence. The nearby Franklin & Marshall College bought the land for future expansion. My original plan was to travel to the wooded area where the brick company used to be, but when my grandkids arrived for an Easter visit and I began to talk with Camille about my upcoming photo shoot, she grabbed my camera off my desk and said she was ready to go with me. We had the best time walking the many unmarked trails on the wooded property that I must admit I was reluctant to explore since the property had a NO TRESPASSING sign along the edge of the small parking lot where I parked. Recently there was a story about the brick yard in the local newspaper and the writer of the article said it was OK to disregard the sign if any readers wanted to explore on their own. The sun was high in the sky as we roamed the acres of land searching for the old kilns and reported piles of old bricks. Even though the trees were just beginning to bud, the forest was thick with fallen trees and made the going rather tough at times. Up and down small hills and past a meandering stream we traveled until I told Camille I'm not sure where to look anymore. I told her about the article and how the writer had told of the items he had found. Camille suggested we use my phone to pull up the newspaper's story and re-read the article. Wow, why didn't I think of that! I handed my phone to her and told her the name of the site and shortly she was reading to me where we should be looking. Within five minutes she was snapping a few photos of what I suspect was the old kiln of the company. After a short search for piles of bricks I told her we best be heading back before we get lost in the woods. She agreed and led the way back. Only problem was it wasn't the correct way. I noticed a house within a short time and told her we never passed a house before. After backtracking, we finally passed the stream once again. As we were just about out of the woods, she pointed to a few bricks off to the side in heavy brush. After examination, we found hundreds of old bricks. No identifying features to tell us they were from the Lancaster Brick Company, but where else could they be from? She snapped a few more photos for me and we headed back to the car. As we emerged from the woods I pointed out a Police cruiser sitting next to my car with an officer sitting in the driver's seat. "Now what do we do?" she asked. "Walk to the car and see if he wants to talk with us," I told her. She relied, "Will we be in trouble for taking photos?" she asked. I looked at her with a concerned smile and said in my most troubled voice, "You're the one with the camera around her neck, not me!" Then I laughed, much to her relief. "You might have to pull up that article on my phone again and show it to the officer if he says anything. Well, nothing happened. I waved at the officer, we got back in the car and drove home. We had to tell our story when we returned home and it was then that my wife said, "You're lucky he didn't confront you. Someone might have seen you entering the woods with a young girl and a camera and wonder what the heck you were going to do in the woods." "Geez, I never thought about that," I said. But, I guess in today's troubled society, I should have thought more about my actions. What was meant to be a fun time with my granddaughter could have turned out to be something much different. It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.