Some years ago at Boston University there was an undergraduate literary magazine called Patterns, a name that fit the age of New Criticism in which we scrutinized the text for forms. Color, metaphor, design. Seldom did we look beyond the text. New Criticism was a convenient way to instruct undergraduates who, it was believed, were not ready for research. I'm still interested in patterns. In a small town in upstate New York I liked the parallel lines of paint indicating utility lines, though the sight of paint on top of grass was jarring. Yet safe digging requires these marks. Cut a gas line and risk an explosion. Cut a water pipe and risk a flood.
At the local office of the Division of Veteran Affairs on the main Street I read these notices as history, a pattern of history.