BOYD CRAI

Corroded barge with markings.

All I saw was the tasty corrosion and the artful strip of hanging metal. These things reliably catch my eye. Of course I’m going to take a picture.

It is always a delight, however, when I’m prepping an image for posting and I discover something about it I totally missed when I opened the shutter. In this case, it turns out that there is an inscription scratched into that dangling tongue of metal. It’s shallowly incised, upside down, and possibly incomplete. (Boyd Craig, Boyd Crain? Is that a faint lower-case “n” at the end?)

Here’s a crop, turned right side up (click to view larger):

I will never know who incised these letters, or why. But the impulse to mark, to leave an indication of one’s presence that persists after one moves on—this is an original human impulse. In fact, it’s probably an atavistic animal impulse, originating in territorial marking or advertising for a mate.

Kilroy was always and forever here.


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