Part of the paper trail we leave includes (for some of the more fortunate) capitalism, evidence of investment. I’d like to create stock certificates for Agincourt and Fennimore county incorporated businesses: things like the Northwest Iowa Traction Co., the interurban line that connected Agincourt with Fort Dodge and was intent on reaching the Missouri River at Sioux City or Omaha but pooped out at near Storm Lake. Or the Lincoln Mutual Telephone Co. Or, perhaps, even the cemetery, which might have been seen as a benign investment, a civic duty for those with resources to trickle down.
What to my wondering eyes should appear on eBay this evening but a certificate for the Fargo-Moorhead Telephone Exchange (to serve as a model). Being offered at an opening bid of $450, I’m unlikely to be a bidder, but that doesn’t mean I can’t lust.