We visit a man in 21Country tonight whose present and future are very much focused on the past.
21Country wasn't always comprised of stately farms and busy urban centers.
Millenia ago, what we now call home was a vast ocean full of odd creatures and flamboyant plant life.
The ocean is gone, but the creatures and plants can still be found...traces of them at least, just about everywhere you look.
Fossil hunter Dwight Bridges says, “I'm no authority on these things. I just love to find them. This here would you believe when I found this it was outside of Bedford and just a part of it was sticking up and I dug the rest of it out.”
At 80 years of age and slowed a bit by a stroke, Dwight Bridges can still remember where and when he found each of the thousands of prehistoric treasures that fill his Fort Wayne home.
Bridges says, “Now this here came from sandstone, I think Texas or someplace. I think it's pretty.”
Bridges was a schoolboy in Yoder, Indiana when he found his first fossils...along the old interurban tracks near his home.
Bridges says, “But I took them to school the next day and they made over them so much I think that's probably where I got started.”
But Bridges isn't your usual fossil hound.
It's not the science, but the aesthetics of fossils that interests him.
He doesn't really study fossils, doesn't collect and read books about them.
He just likes the way they look.
Bridges says, “This is a fossilized piece of rock I guess you'd call it or whatever. So I have quite a few down in the basement too.”
What Bridges might lack in particulars about fossils, he more than makes up for in quantity.
Fossils fill his home, every corner and cranny.
They fill decorative glass containers...they even light up for Christmas.
Bridges says, “I got the idea of lighting it up around Christmas time, you know. Does that make any sense?”
Of course it does.
And when his house fossils grow tedious, Dwight Bridges can take in the ancient plant life that enhance the landscaping around the house...every tree and bush, outlined in fossils accompanied of course by the now familiar refrain.
Bridges says, “I'll show you the rest of these here, we have more.”
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