Posted on November 23, 2007
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
While driving to Maryland this Thanksgiving, I decided to stop at the rest areas that my bladder schedule usually compels me to pass over. That meant an early stop just south of Wilmington Delaware. Why this change of routine? Because I knew I’d find this:
For anyone out there who might possibly care in any way about this, this Delaware tile appears identical to a tile found 25 miles south at the Chesapeake House rest area.
I also stopped in Aberdeen and Edgewood, MD to see the tiles reported in those towns. Unfortunately, not visiting the Edgewood tile in the year that we’ve known of its importance has proven to be the greatest blunder in the history of tile science.
Route 40 through Edgewood has been completely repaved in the last few weeks. The construction signs are still up and traffic cones still abut the shoulder. The repaving is still warm. Lines haven’t even been painted into the crosswalks. At any rate, the tile is gone.
But why was this tile so important? A year ago, I contacted the man who originally reported it to Toynbee.net, and he was nice enough to send me some fresh pictures. Here’s the tile as it appeared in October of 2006:
What’s so important, is that the message in the subtext most likely read: “Work for the holocaust of media.” (remember that the tiler often split words across 2 lines… for example the word Tile is split into T-ile on the Delaware rest area tile. In this case the word Holocaust, was split into Ho-locaust)
But you can’t quite tell because of damage and because of that bit of tar that never wore off the top of the tile.
The “holocaust of media” message has only ever appeared on “copycat” tiles. The Edgewood tile was 10 years old and clearly old school. If it could be proven that this tile had that message, the final nail in the single vs. copycat tiler could finally have been driven into that stubborn-ass coffin.
Even Justin Duerr, who wasn’t swayed to the single tiler theory by the recent appearance of 8 old-school tiles in center city Philadelphia wrote: “If the Edgewood tile turns out to say “holocaust of media”, I’ll be swayed…!”
Unfortunately, now we’ll never know. To add insult to injury, the Aberdeen tile is also gone. No photos exist.
My tile sense kicked in at the “Maryland House” rest area and I was led to this tile fragment in their southern lot. I’m convinced that there’s a second tile at this rest area, but I couldn’t find it on this trip.
And the rest:
In other news, new tiles have appeared on City Ave. on the western edge of the city and on Route 1 up in the great Northeast. This photo from City Ave. was contributed by board member jp215: