There were a number of thoughts that arose in planning for this year’s Medallion Hunt. First, did we want to have it or cancel? The answer seemed obvious- “let’s do it!” People have lost so many traditions this year- especially the Marigold Festival- so why not bring back this small part of it? Coronavirus related safety concerns are extremely low by nature. It has always been an example of “social distancing”.
Hunters truly keep to themselves.
Another thought was that because of all that has happened this year, I didn’t want the hiding location to be extremely remote. Therefore I chose Coal Miners Park, a centrally located spot.
Finally, I thought that with people staying home more frequently, a more “stay-in-place” mental exercise was called for. How would I craft a clue that required more extensive research but which could yield an answer right from home? This led to key themes that related to Loretta Lynn- the “Coal Miners Daughter” and a reference to General Bernard Montgomery and his blunder in Operation Market Garden and the Arnhem Bridge referred to as “A Bridge Too Far”.
(Coal Miners Park has 4 bridges)
These references were complex. They were meant to be due to the ready availability of plentiful research material and how quickly they can be accessed.
You will see how it all unwinds as the explanations that follow tie it all together.
Clue # 1
Back to give you some normalcy
Always an exercise in social distance
But first I want you to study the rules
Upon this I make an unprecedented insistence.
The prize will never be in a flowerbed,
Or anywhere exposed to possible destruction You don’t need tools or any feats of strength Simply follow the hunt’s instructions.
In their enthusiasm, Medallion Hunters have often circumvented the rules in hopes of aiding their efforts. This has led to bushes and flower beds- especially in Mineral Springs Park being trampled or destroyed. This first clue tells hunters where the Medallion is NOT.
However, “exercise” refers to the trails in Coal Miners, used for walking and cycling. It also relates to the PCHS Soccer fields and other practice fields.
“Study” indicates the need to do additional and deeper research for later clues.
Helps if you’re staying in place.
Study of geographic similarities
Covered more as we get into this race
It points the way without really pointing, But which way should you go?
Once you think you see it,
You’ll be traveling to and fro”
With the goal of giving an alternate approach to participating from home for those who want to, this clue introduces hunters to this effort. It begins with a reference to the need for “study” in subsequent clues. “Geographic similarities” relates to the use of states that have the name of “Lynn”-for “Loretta Lynn- the Coal Miners Daughter-in their state.
It’s one of those characteristics that you might miss if you don’t look for it.
For all who want to work this from home.
A means to perhaps see from a different angle Studying maps will help as you roam”
Neighboring Wisconsin, the Sunshine State too.
Places known for Revere and Bill Clinton Find the name and you have a great clue.
We experience our ups and downs
Working always to make the grade
Under the watch of smiles and frowns
It is what it is and it was what it was, Moving but standing still.
A quotidian outlook is always there
At a pace that tests your will
First verse, first line says “traverse” which denotes traveling across or through- indicating the trails throughout the park. “Ups and downs” refers to the hilly trail that cuts through the wooded area where the medallion was hidden and well as the UAW High Rise, a facility, functional because of elevators.
“Grade” refers to the hill that approaches the area. “Under the watchful eyes of smiles and frowns” highlights possible reactions as residents of the UAW look out over the city and in this case, Coal Miners Park.
“Moving but standing stilly” is an observation about the word “Parkway. In some ways it’s an oxymoron: “Park” is a stationary reference; “way” conveys movement or motion.
“Quotidian”, relates to something that happens everyday. This refers to the traffic on Parkway Ave and traffic often turning onto Stadium Dr.
“A pace that tests your wills” deals with the frequency of law enforcement often running radar or speed traps at the entrance for Coal Miners Park.
Clue # 5
Many, many years ago
Generally things didn’t work out as planned A double seven flick once told us so.
Friction can often serve a purpose
Here it helps keep bad things away.
It’s all on how you heed the warning.
Can dampen your enthusiasm on some days.
The reason for the operation’s terrible outcome was the strategic challenge of capturing a number of river bridges.
Hopefully hunters would decipher and head to Coal Miners due to its many bridges.
Officially known as Operation Market Garden, it was the brainchild of “Sir” Bernard Montgomery, a “British” “General”.
The second verse describes the signs near the bridges that say “Slippery When Wet”.
“Friction” can eliminate or lessen slipperiness so it “helps keep bad things away”- slipping.
The signs are also a “warning”.
is the “stop-go- yield” flashing signal on Parkway that can be engaged by
someone crossing it when traveling on the trail.
Finally, there is the “stop-go- yield” flashing signal on Parkway that can be engaged by someone crossing it when traveling on the trail.
Places nearby on a state map
Sounds of a First Lady
And a Fab Four song from a rooftop wrap.
Perhaps it’s time to view from above.
It’s really up to you.
Could call it a flipped flattening curve.
Then do what you have to do.
The first two lines revisit the reference to towns named “Lynn”. There is one near Orlando and near Indianapolis. The “First Lady” is the “First Lady of Country Music- Loretta Lynn.
“Sounds” hints as to her songs, one of which is Coal Miners Daughter”
The last line refers to the Beatles last performance- on the rooftop of Apple Records. They did nine takes of five songs, three of which were the song “Get Back”. “Loretta” is referred two twice in the song.
In the second verse, if you look at a map or aerial photo of Coal Miners Park you can see the trail that goes south and then curves East. It looks like a “flipped (Or upside down) flattening curve”. It also looks a bit like a “U”, which is also placed in the verse twice in the word “you”.
Are you getting a kick out of this?
The fallen mighty now black and blue.
Well off a path the task is hard.
Perhaps you’re a little stumped too.
Seek something that looks out of place.
A paperweight so curious critters will not seek.
Four score came another flick.
Then walk with nature and end this streak.
“Kick out of this” refers to the PCHS soccer field in Coal Miners Park. “Fallen mighty” is the fallen tree right next to the hiding spot. “Black” is the color of a rock used to keep the medallion in place. “Path” and “hard” refers to the trail and its surface. In the last line of the first verse, “little stumped” relates to the small tree stump which was used as the marker for the entry point when hiding the medallion.
In the second verse, “something that looks out of place” is the black rock used as a “paperweight” to keep “curious critters” from possibly hauling in off or slightly moving (It has happened”). “Four score” is 80, the “flick” was “Coal Miner’s Daughter”, a movie made in 1980. “Walk with nature” tells the hunter that they will be looking in a wooded area.
Up through the trees not far away
In brown wrapping, beneath a black rock
Far from a bright shiny day.
Tread determinedly on the pavement
Seek a triangle of green.
It’s posted very clearly.
Go deeply northward for a rewarding scene.
Now we get pretty direct. In #7 I gave you the PCHS soccer field. There is a bridge in the southeast corner. So you’d go “ over a bridge then a southpaw’s bend”-which curves to the left. It leads “up” a hill and runs through a Grove of trees. “In brown wrapping, beneath a black rock” is self-explanatory. “Far from a bright shiny day“ means it’s well hidden in thickly treed woods.
From that point the hunter needs to go deeply north- quite a way- into the woods looking for the rock in front of a fallen tree.
Finally, in this context “deeply” refers to the coal mines that lie abandoned below the surface in our area.
Congratulations to our winners. They are highly skillful, hard working perennial hunters. They invested countless hours and miles of searching to find their prize.
Thank you to all who participated. As I always say, while there’s only one winner, the list of those who search and have fun goes on and on.
Some of the research required was intentionally difficult but was meant as a means for participating for those who wanted to work this more from home. It was a concession to the times we are experiencing. But in the end, I hope the excitement this event always generates, has given you a little bit of good old fashioned “normalcy”.