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Tuesday, August 20, 2002
By Paul Ford
Clay at Milton Hershey.
“Matt,” I said, “I have often wondered....”
Christine, the young art teacher, walked by. We appeared diligent, sculpting animals out of clay.
“I have often wondered what would happen if you simply threw clay into the air.”
“It would come back down.”
“Would it? Or would it stick to the ceiling?”
Art was in an old vocational workshop. The girdered roof was 18 feet above us.
“I think that's an interesting question.”
“A question which allows us to mix the questions of aesthetics with the noble pursuit of science.”
Matt was no mere theorist. He nodded, and a piece of clay, a half-pounds-worth, flew into the air from his hands, struck the ceiling, and didn't come down.
The other boys became excited with the discovery. In a minute, gravity reversed itself. About 8 pounds of clay adhered to the ceiling.
“It's going to dry,” I said.
“At which point it comes down,” said Matt.
“Some of it is very heavy.”
“It could damage something. It's very sad.”
“Who could do such a thing?”
“Orphans,” said Scott, who had put two full pounds of clay on the ceiling.
“Social orphans.” Which is how we were defined - those left in the cold by poverty. Only a percentage of us had dead parents.
“We can't even be orphans right,” said Matt.
“Paul,” said Scott.
“I enjoy making love to your mom.”