I have seen and will see a lot of forks in the roads in my travels. But I had never seen an actual fork. In the road.
Until the day I passed through Rock City, New York. There, where the combined westbound routes 308 and 199 split and take their separate pathways, is a triangular patch of trees and grass and standing on it is a FORK, a pretty large one.
Local resident Stephen Schreiber put it there in 2000 as a fun art project and to bring attention to the town.
“My fork in the road is 31 feet tall. I made it from a 13ft. piece of scrap plate steel and the top 5-ft was aluminum from my dumpster diving — complete with a taper (sent by the fork gods). I did it as a goof. I didn’t think they would let me leave it there.” he says.
It has stayed, obviously, and continues to bring a bit of notoriety to the place, in the form of occasional mentions in travel blogs and even appearing in a cartoon panel of Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!
In you’re of a philosophical bent, of course, the term fork in the road sets you to thinking. I think of decisions, though I cannot remember making any really momentous ones in my life. Sure, I’ve taken one path or the other at times, but I tend to think it all would have worked out about the same no matter what.
Not so in the mind of Mike DeWine, an American politician and current Ohio Attorney General: “One of the most important things that I have learned in my 57 years is that life is all about choices. On every journey you take, you face choices. At every fork in the road, you make a choice. And it is those decisions that shape our lives.”
Sheesh! I’d have given up on living a long time ago if I thought every fork was that important.
So I guess I prefer the thinking of economist Paul Samuelson “You’re not making a decision if you come to a fork in the road. There is no ‘it’ to take. It’s one or the other.”
And to confuse things immensely, there is this from social philosopher William Irwin Thompson, who manages to mix the literal and the figurative and end up saying not much: “One way to find food for thought is to use the fork in the road, the bifurcation that marks the place of emergence in which a new line of development begins to branch off.”
But let’s get back to the simple: “If you come to a fork in the road, take it,” said Yogi Berra.
Enjoy the photos…