April 3, 2001 Debbie writes...
"There is still some snow on the ground here in southern Ontario, and it was snowing/raining today, but we couldn't wait any longer. We had to get out. The ground is mostly thawed, but in lots of places there is ice. Where there is no ice, there is water and mud.
We were working a line with insulators still on poles, and using a grabber pole, which Mike affectionately calls his CHIRP. Most of the pins were empty, but some pins had 155's, 154's, 152's, and 145's, including some GNW Tel Co's. Most of these remaining insulators had been used as target practice by hunters, and very few of them looked anything like the CD styles they were supposed to be.
I was tired after having plowed through thorn bushes and swampy ground at the the bases of a multitude of poles and I stopped to sit down and rest and watch Mike remove the single 145 GNW, which appeared to be intact, off of the next pole. As he's removing it, he says hopefully, "this one looks kind of steel blue". I nonchalantly glance up at it and say, "it looks kinda purple to me", which it did, but it might have been wishful thinking on my part.
As it came loose from the pin, it slipped out of the CHIRP, and went "thunk" on the lower crossarm, just narrowly missing a broken chunk of what was left of a 154 still clinging to a pin, and then landed in the mud. Mike picked it up, and it was undamaged. Indeed, it was a light grey purple, and now we're celebrating. As he hands it to me he says, "Look! It even has a piece of snot in it." Well, I look at the "snot", and it's a nail!!! And it's right in the front above the embossing, just above the wire groove. It looks like a carpet tack, and shiny too. There is a milky amber streamer coming off from the nail where the rust dissolved a bit. We finally found our very own insulator with something recognizable in it!
Mike got it cleaned up as soon as we got it home...it's a beauty. Light steely purple, almost a cornflower shade, a bit of ghost embossing above the GNW, and the *nail*! It just goes to show you, even common insulators hold surprises in them, and all the effort is worth it."