It was raining Saturday and so I decided to tour my cyber neighborhood, without a map in hand.
Here are some of the interesting people and adventures I found!
First, I thought I would try to seek out some folks who were interested in local Virginia history. My 'Blog Mom', Elementaryhistoryteacher, is a proud Georgian, and I'm a bit jealous of her Georgia Blog and Carnival, which I encourage everyone to visit, along with her teammate Jenny's
While I was looking at the photo of Stonewall Jackson's statue, which stands in front of VMI's barracks, I remembered it was done by a Jewish sculptor who had been a cadet and served with distinction during the Battle of Newmarket. I wanted to find out more about Moses J. Ezekiel who had also designed the Confederate Memorial at Arlington and some statues in the niches of the Renwick Gallery (former Corcoran Gallery) near the White House. I ended up spending a considerable amount of time meandering through the Jews in the Civil War and the Wild West. (Flashback of the movie, The Mad Adventures of Rabbi Jacobs!) Hmmm, what good ideas for posts!
Additionally during my wanderings, I found a site dedicated to Christian Reenactors (of all eras). I almost always utilize reenactors for my groups and am happy to find more resources. (Philip A. Surrey, the webmaster, is from Illinois and wears blue, which would be appropriate for my Lincoln tours in 2009!) However, he is currently deployed in the Illinois Air National Guard for a few months and there won't be any new posts; but there are enough to read while he is away. My prayers are with him.
Currently, Virginia is in the midst of celebrating the 400th anniversary of the founding of the first permanent English (British) settlement in America, and you are invited to join us for the party! I felt I needed to review some of the official l websites of Jamestown 400 (their calendar of events), Jamestown Yorktown Foundation and the National Park Service for Colonial National Historical Park to keep up to date. Well, that is my job!
But lo and behold! There's gold buried somewhere in the area! While I believe we have enough to occupy and interest people in Virginia, there is a fantastic Treasure Hunt in honor of the founding of Jamestown through Vision Forum which is open to all! This Treasure Hunt is real and brings the seekers to all the areas within the Historic Triangle of Virginia. (Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown.) Vision Forum is faith-based and offers resources germane to their Christian mission.
This Commonwealth is also in a tizzy to get all gussied up to host Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. It might seem unimaginable that a former colony filled with republicans would fete a monarch, but we Virginians are gracious lot and acknowledge our legacy from Great Britain; all is forgiven! Unfortunately, I will be, 'on the road' with one of my groups when she does visit. Some of my family members were able to see her in 1957 at The College of William and Mary, and others I had known were at the 300th anniversary in 1907! It's a pity that no one in my immediate family will be carrying on the tradition insofar as my family helped to settle Jamestown.
It was time not to dwell on this and move westward a bit to see what was there. Imagine my surprise to find a fine blog covering the whole Appalachian region! As I am a devoted fan of old black and white movies, especially biographies, I always wondered what happened after the cheery, 'THE END'. It was not unusual for me, even as a child, to do some independent research and learn more about the subject of a movie. After a while, I became a bit cynical because Hollywood puts its own spin on lives and events. Such is the case with Sgt. Alvin York in the great all-star cast headed by Gary Cooper in the film: Sargeant York. One of my favorite new neighbors, Dave Tabler, has two wonderful sites, Appalachian History and Hillbilly Savants. His current post is on Alvin York's struggles to bring education to rural Tennessee. His other posts run the gamut from natural history through popular culture; they are all well researched and the people of the area are sensitively portrayed. It is an altogether wonderful portrait of an entire region with emphasis on the Depression Era.
So take some time to follow in my footsteps and say, "Hey!" to our neighbors. And pleas do remember to send my best wishes and regards!
The Tour Marm