Cornfield Meet

Things collide here.

Toynbee, Jupiter, 2001

Since I started working in Cleveland last year, I’ve walked over this thing –

(Image from the listing at

– many times, but only last week got around to Googling “Toynbee”, “street” and “Cleveland” to see if there was any kind of story behind it. (Being a geek, I recognized the 2001: A Space Odyssey reference to Jupiter, but instead of knowing who the real Toynbee was, I figured it was some kind of nod toward “The Toynbee Convector,” one of my favorite Ray Bradbury stories.)
Turns out the thing is part of an odd pop culture mystery dating back to the mid-1980s and covering a bunch of U.S. cities and a few places in other countries. And there’s even a guy making a movie, “Resurrect Dead” about his quest to find out who’s behind these things and what they mean. (Two other stories about him here and here.) Part of me thinks that’s very cool, but part of me was also a little disheartened to read that the moviemaker claims to have a pretty good idea who was behind them. (Likewise to find out that some of the tiles seem to be copycat versions, and not authentic placements by the original Toynbee Tile-maker.) I kind of like the idea of these plaques having survived for so long without their origins being revealed.
To change the subject completely, I’m scheduled for my first non-friends-and-family promotion of “Crossing Decembers” next week. I pitched the idea to the local TV program “State of the Arts” and the woman who hosts it, Lois DiGiacomo, said she’d love to have me on.  (Hm. Perhaps to promote the book more effectively, I could get the POTUS to carelessly insult me and then apologize. It worked for Peter Wallsten, whose forthcoming book jumped from #513,432 on to no.  2,513 in the 24 hours after the incident.)

June 17, 2006 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. john-sniffer, that’s so awesome! if there ends up being a feed or a site where i can watch the interview, send it on down!! you are so wonderful!!
    jen-sniffer :)

    Comment by Jen | June 24, 2006 | Reply

  2. Hey – somebody IS checking up on me! Thanks, Sniffer!

    Comment by John | June 29, 2006 | Reply

  3. I didn’t check dates. I just realized original post was years ago and that link was probably valid then. d’oh.

    Comment by Chris | July 8, 2012 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: