- The Washington Times - Friday, October 6, 2006

ROSEDALE, Md. (AP) — American Legion Post 180 has its cannon back — 24 years after it went missing.

The 1,500-pound howitzer was discovered missing May 7, 1982, a forgotten hacksaw blade the only clue.

Last week, the cannon was returned after being found buried in the back yard of a nearby home.

“Holy mackerel,” Ron Hoey, 75, said upon seeing the cannon again. “I work in the kitchen on Mondays — spaghetti night — and I looked out the window, and it was sitting there.”

Little did he know it had been only three right turns and a left away at the home of Michelle Patrylak and Michael Hansen.

When the 24-year-old newlyweds recently moved in, neighbors shared rumors the cannon was buried there.

So one day, Mr. Hansen started digging, and it wasn’t long before he realized he needed more than a shovel.

Excavating the 3-foot-tall and 11-foot-long cannon took a month of shoveling every night, the help of a backhoe and a police tow truck.

Restoring the cannon is being discussed, a move former postmaster Jim Steeg, 84, supports.

“I think that we ought to keep it,” Mr. Steeg said, “because of the character of it, because of the story behind it.”

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