We just returned from 10 days in Virginia where I took my Bride to see Colonial Williamsburg, and Jamestown, two historic places she had never seen. We walked ourselves half to death (which doesn’t take long in our condition) but it was great weather, more late summer than fall, and we enjoyed ourselves.
If you’ve never seen Colonial Williamsburg, I recommend doing so at least once. See Jamestown as well. I am always impressed with the way our predecessors carved out an English city in what was essentially a swampy jungle. I am fascinated by the craftsmanship that went it just about everything they made. And I am astounded by the work it took.
In Williamsburg, it was work performed by African slaves, without whom this country would never have been built so relatively quickly. It was good to visit the Peyton Randolf House and hear the living-history docents describe the contrasts between the lives of the slaves and those of their moneyed masters. Peyton Randolf, the first President of the Continental Congress, resided in Williamsburg on a small, 4-acre “urban plantation” with his wife and 27 slaves. 27!!! to take care of just the two of them and 4 acres. They owned 4 other large plantations as well with hundreds of slaves all totaled. The docent conveyed the most honest portrayal of colonial life I have ever heard. She did not embellish, nor did she hide or “dress up” anything. Very straight talk which we so much appreciated.
We ventured North after sightseeing to visit family and friends and attend my 45th high school reunion. There were many old friends to see there including my buddy Joe Law with whom I enlisted in the Navy in 1972. Joe has organized the past 5 reunions for us. It’s a tough job and we owe him deep gratitude. Also there was my old friend Tad Richardson, one of the first “kids” I met when we moved to Sterling, Va back in 1961. We have history.
And of course I got to see my mom. She’ll be 92 in November and seems to be doing well. I visited my sister and brother too and saw my cousin at the reunion. Let’s call it a good trip.
Darrell Elmer Rodgers
Singer, Songwriter, Performer, Humorist