Miles Traveled: 293
Days on the Road: 5
Technical Problems solved today: 3
Technical Problems remaining: a hundred
And how many arteries clogged by Ye Olde Gettysburger.
My Kingdom for a Gnome
We determined that there would have been far less death and destruction at Gettysburg in 1863 if they had had the good sense to fight the battle in February instead of in July. If it was a day anything like today, they would have been so damned cold they all would have huddled together for warmth in a big Union-Confederate warmness pile which would have inevitably become a sea of brotherly love, if you know what I mean. Seriously, the Civil War may have ended right there.
As it was, though, the fighting was in July, and it was so hot that no one wanted to touch anything, they just wanted to kill kill kill. And kill they did.
Some figures for the imagining: 51,000 casualties in 3 days. 7 million bullets fired. Over 1300 markers now scattered around the countryside marking positions of regiments, decisive battles and army lines. 10,000 men fell in 50 minutes during Pickett's Charge
It sure makes our lives seem easy.
Before Gettysburg, we stopped by the old country home of Anthony's grandparents, Charnita. You might not peg him for the kind of guy who's family had a house with a name, but there you go, he is. In fact it had two names, the other being Place Pegal, which was a combination of Peggy and Alan (his grandparents), with the "place" in front pronounced the French way ("plahs") in honor of their daughter-in-law, Anthony's mother, who is French, n'est-ce pas? They sold the place more than 10 years ago, and it's kind of run down now, but some details remain, like the sign and the birdbath. We did notice that all of the little figurines that used to adorn the small path behind the house were gone, so we hatched a brilliant plan. We'd go to a store, by a small gnome or toadstool, and place it on the path. Wow.
Well, it turns out it's pretty hard to find a decent garden gnome in south central PA in the middle of the winter. We finally found the perfect place, they even had those blue and red mirrored balls out front, but they were closed. Check it out, though, this place was perfect. I'm sure they had just the thing.
© 2002, 2003 Anthony Hecht and Liz Jones. All rights reserved.