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The Stonehunter

In search of exotic tile, Karl Mangialardi, the “Stonehunter”, follows closely behind the pack animals ascending the Turkish mountainside. The burro’s hooves kicked up a spray of ancient dirt. Eons ago, some natural catastrophe must have blasted the mountains making them piles of rocks and boulders. My eyes sweep the expanse of desolate rock mountain outcroppings rising out from the valley floor; they contrast sharply against the azure blue sky. The local mountain men eke out a Spartan existence quarrying among the rocks with Pick axes. They look up at me suspiciously, as I gain the plateau near where they are working. These men appear thin and haggard from difficult labor with dark circles under their eyes. At once, a worker calls everyone’s attention to what he has unearthed. My companion pulls me over to the excitement. They’re all pointing and lifting something, my eyes bulge, this is it! The Kayrak stone I glimpsed in Istanbul.


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