It’s something I usually do not have time for – it’s all I can do to get a couple of posts up per month – but today’s daily word prompt from WordPress was irresistible: Fork.
First thought: Pasadena’s 18-foot wood fork in the road, erected on a traffic island in the dead of one night in 2009 as a gag birthday gift between two friends. It was subsequently taken down and then approved by all the proper authorities including the state transportation department whose land it sits on. (When that happened, the Los Angeles Times headline read “A Fork Whose Tine Has Come.” No end to the puns here.) Today Pasadena’s fork warrants mention and directions on travel sites such as roadsideamerica.com and atlasobscura.com, and provides the setting for food and toy drives, as well as special events like a visit from a touring 6-ton potato belonging to the Idaho Potato Commission.
Since my husband Ed and I are at the stage of life where visits to medical facilities tend to overwhelm our social calendar and since many of those facilities are in Pasadena, we pass the fork frequently. It always makes me smile.
It also reminds me of another fork in the road, this one up the street from the home we moved away from in Montclair, New Jersey 11 years ago. That home was up the street from the now late, always great Yogi Berra whose malapropisms delighted baseball fans and everyone else throughout his life. Hearing him say, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it,” they’d smile and say, “Oh that Yogi,” but what many didn’t realize is that a lot of Yogi’s supposed malapropisms contained much truth. That was certainly true of the fork-in-the-road comment, made while giving someone directions to his home on our street. It was reached by traveling up a hill on a road that divided – a fork – that led either way to Yogi’s (and our) street.
(Our younger daughter trudged up that street every day after fourth grade, muttering curses under her breath toward her parents and their penchant for living on hills. It was just that year, after which came middle school and buses, followed by high school and cars. After college and graduate school where presumably some walking was involved, she moved to Los Angeles and never had to walk again unless she really wanted to.)