This story from Foxnews about a live World War II shell in an Oregon’s women’s shed reminds me of when I bought the bomb at the garage sale.
Yup, I bought a 90 mm solid brass artillery shell at a garage sale in Shoreview for $3.25 to use as an umbrella holder in my entry way.
It looked like a huge solid brass 22 shell. The fellow had brought it home from WWII. The shell had been in his living room for over 60 years.
When I got it home, transported of course in my red Corolla with my daughter in the car, a neighbor boy looked in it and said, “Pat, there is shit in there!.”
So, we got a flash light and sure enough, the detonator was still in there and when I flipped it over the percussion cap was still intact on the bottom.
My neighbor, the one who has the brain tumor now who is a veteran, happened to be outside and hollered to keep that thing away from his house.
That was when I realized, I was $3.25 and a bang away from paradise.
I went indoors and called an army surplus store to see if it was dangerous. The nice fellow that answered the phone gently and calmly explained that explosives explode. Large explosives explode largely.
So I called the police, who called the bomb squad. It’s just how things go some days.
They told us it was safe as long as it was laying on its side. We all took a step back.
A discussion commenced. It was pointed out that I had no fear of the thing when I was driving all over with it in the trunk of my car.
Reality changes perspectives.
I tend not to lose arguments, if I decide to take one on. As former Secretary Mark Ritchie once complimented me after I learned that I was too short to be a Civil War soldier, without missing a beat and with a big smile on his face, he responded, “Oh, they’d take you, you’re a fighter.”
Recognizing when a cause is truly lost is a gift. The gifted officer, a true credit to his department, demonstrated an exemplary commitment to public service and bravely, and as soft as a feather, laid it on its side. He put it into the trunk of his car and hauled it away.
I arrived back in the house just in time to hear a television news station announce that a woman in Centerville had bought a bomb at a garage sale. My ever dignified and quiet husband said he was going to his room as the phone rang. It was his grandmother from Pine City who just said, “It was you, wasn’t it!”
The bomb squad had to blow it up and I never got back a single piece of brass. A shame! It was a nice piece of brass. It had 3-5 dynamite blasting caps worth of powder still in it.
After that I did see more bombs for sale at garage sales in Shoreview,. People had stolen them from the Arden Hills arsenal. I never purchased any more, not even the homemade dumb bells made with large live artillery shells, much like the one pictured below, duct taped to each end. A situation that clearly illustrated the difference between a dumb bell and a dumb ass.
Necessity may be the mother of invention, but DAMN!