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of wars and rumours of wars

They’ve been somewhat eclipsed by the eighteenth-century documents, but there is a large pile of newspapers that have come out of the floors and walls of the Allin house, mostly between layers of floors — a squeak preventative? There are a few sheets from Providence papers from the 1880s, and several full or nearly complete issues of the Saturday Evening Post from 1915. I haven’t read through them all — this will reward my leisure time if I ever have any again. They are quite supple and fresh, and will be easy to read.

But now, as I monitor the flow to the dumpster, occasional bits stuck to wood catch my eye. This one is a scrap spanning two planks of beadboard:

women and children
being sent away from
the Verdun district.
The city of Verdun was
evacuated by the en-
tire civil population …
February, whe[n the]
attack began, and
now a mass …

A little scrap speaking of one of the costliest battles in human history, the grim stretch of World War I which was the drawn-out fight over Verdun from February to December of 1916. My grandfather was in later action around Verdun (there’s a medal to show for it), but that was in 1918, once the Americans had finally arrived. By then the heroic and costly defense of 1916 was a distant memory.

I’m sorry I don’t know where this came from. Wainscoting? Subfloor?

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