Hi everybody....Did you miss me?
I had probably the most moving vacation of my life this past week-end.
After getting my boring work related BS over with, I had a few days of 'down time'.
One of the G-Mans favorite things to do in this country, is to visit historical sites. Preferably Civil War battle sites. The most powerful and moving place anyone can go to is Gettysburg Pa. That is definately hollowed ground. That is where the union of the United States was preserved in blood. But thats a different story.....
I've been to Harpers Ferry, where the seeds of impending bloodshed were first planted...
I've been to Mannasas (Bull Run) where the first major battle of the Civil War was fought..
I've been to Antietam, where more Americans were killed in one day than in any battle in ANY war, EVER!!!!!!!
But I had never gone to where the slaughter finally ended , and peace returned in America.
After a beautiful and breathtaking drive through the Virginia countryside, Appomattox is hardly a tourist trap. It is quaint, lovely, and very interesting. It cost 8 bucks to get in, and there are a few Rangers giving Historical presentations, but like everything in the US Park Service these days, they are strapped for cash. So this was mostly a self-guided tour.
The actual Treaty was signed at a place called The McLean House, here's a pic of the inside and outside. A little further up the path was a house that had been historicaly preserved, there appeared to be a young man giving a dramatic and and touching account of his plight and role during the War. When his presentation was over several people approached him and asked him a few questions, he answered them but seemed a bit perplexed by several questions, he never came out of character...NOT ONCE!! After walking to the next site I glanced back toward the porch where he had been standing, and he was gone....
I asked a Ranger when the young man would be giving his next performance, and he said " What Performance?..We can't afford performers, we only have Ranger Guided lectures. And what young man are you speaking of ?"....Hmmmmmmmmmm
Anyway, This particular week-end was like the frosting on the cake for me and my little hobby.
This was just a harbinger of what my retirement will be like in a short few years...Doing what brings me serenity. Doing what I like doing for fun. Doing what gives me peace and joy. I never much thought about retirement up till now, but it is looking more and more appealing with each passing day.
One final thought about Appomattox....The entire time I was there, a soulful refrain kept repeating itself over and over and over again again in my brain.....
"The night they drove Old Dixie down, all the bells were ringing..
The night they drove Old Dixie down, all the people were singing....
Na na na na na na na...Na na na nun na na na naaaa........"
Mojo.....I'll address your award later this week....Thanks