25 September 2008

Sky hook

Wool hooks

When I was in the Boy Scouts there was an innocent initiation we used to do with new members on their first camping trip. We would send them off to another troop’s campsite and tell them to ask for a “sky hook”. Of course there is no such thing but most eleven years olds didn’t know that. Ascoli Piceno has its own unique version of a “sky hook”.

As you walk around the streets and rue you will notice iron hooks sticking out from some of the buildings. Some of these have rather ornate ends to them and they all are about two feet long. I wondered what these were for until a friend of ours who is a medieval expert explained that these were used to dry wool. A wood pole was hung between two of these hooks then the wool was hung over the wood poles.

Just another reminder in Ascoli Piceno of the roots this city has to sheep and the wool trade.


Anonymous said...

Is sending a scout off to ask for a sky hook something like a snipe hunt?

Bryan said...

Sky hooks, snipe hunting and 20' of shoreline were some of the most common initiations.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget the "left handed smoke shifter"