Palm Trees in southern Florida

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

The "East" Coast

A special note to those of you who left a comment that never made it to the blog, I just now found them!

Blooger used to notify me when a comment needed to be oked, seems that stopped sometime...

Sorry about that! I REALLY enjoy all the comments!

 I'm a West Coast guy.  My ingrained view of the East Coast comes from stories I've heard from people I know, stories from television,  stories from movies and from novels I've read. A quick visit to NYC when I was 10 years old doesn't really count, nor does six months at a Coast Guard school in Elizabeth City, NC.

So now I've traveled up the East Coast ... and the time has come to say that, in reality, it is not like I'd thought.  Here is what I've learned so far ...

1. The East Coast is just another part of America
2. There is a lot more water than out in the west (wetlands, streams, creeks, bays & what not).
3. The Atlantic Ocean gets warm in the summer.
4. There is a huge amount of green almost everywhere.
5. There are lots of people out here, people everywhere!
6. Folks are friendly.
7. There are a lot of low clearance places & roads I'm not allowed to drive on with an RV.
8. EZ-Pass for all the toll roads & bridges is a good thing because there are lots of tolls where we've been so far! 

Our Route

Driving to the NC Outer Banks

Ballast stone from Blackbeard's ship
Beaufort, NC
Geno's is one of them

Philadelphia is known for many things, Philly cheese-steak sandwiches are one of them. 
I was not impressed.

Now the Horseshoe Burger at the Horseshoe Cafe in Benson, AZ .... That was memorable!

Independence Hall

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

The Shot Heard Around The World

My previous post was about Yorktown, Virginia, where the last battle of the American Revolution was fought.  This is where the British General, Cornwallis, had his second in command perform the surrender to General Washington and his French allies.

Today I'm going to talk about the first battle of the Revolutionary War.  The Village Green in Lexington, Massachusetts is where Captain Parker and his men stood up to the Regular Army & refused to surrender their arms on
 the morning of the 19th of April, 1775.

Lexington, Massachusetts 

In the 5th grade I had to memorize the poem by Longfellow about this day... "Oh listen my children and you shall hear of the midnight ride of Paul Revere.  On the 18th of April in Seventy Five...."  That poem colored all my knowledge about that day & place ... at least until I went to the Minuteman National Historical Park, stood on the green in Lexington, and read a lot of plaques talking about that day.  

The Minute Man National Historical Park was a good place to visit. The staff was knowledgeable, friendly, worked very hard to help you understand what life was like back then, and what happened on that day.  Well worth the time to go there!

Back to April 19th, 1775...

It had already been a long day for the 700 Regulars. The goal of this operation was to seize
the arms the colonists had stockpiled in Concord.  The troops mustered around 9pm the evening before, to load on the boats for the ride to Charlestown.  

Once arrived, they then marched all night, arriving in Lexington around day break.

But the colonists had been warned.  The alarm for the militia was out and the men of Lexington armed themselves and stood well away from the road to Concord.

The far right corner is where Capt Parker & his men formed up.
They were about as far from the road that the regulars were
marching on as they could get.

When the regulars saw the armed men formed up on the far side of the green,  they left the road and marched directly up to them.  

Words were spoken, demands were made and rejected. Someone, no one knows who, fired a shot. That shot started it all. The eight Americans who died there on the Lexington Green that morning are now buried there....

The marker where the men are buried

The Regulars continued on to Concord and searched in vain for the arms, the arms had been moved because of the warnings.  The Concord men stood at the far side of town, just over the bridge.  Around 0930 fighting broke out, that was the first time the colonists had been ordered to fire on the Kings troops.  Two colonials and two Regulars died.

The regulars having completed their mission to search for arms in Concord 
(and not finding them), then started the long march back to Charlestown & Boston. On the way back they were met by a relief force of about 1,200 Regulars out of Boston.

When the Regulars had marched out of Charleston/Boston the night before, word went out to the local militia.  By the time the Regulars were heading back, thousands of armed militia from far & wide had shown up.  It was a constant skirmish all the back for them.

These were the towns where that answered the call that
went out that night

The road they marched on is now called Battle Road. 

Battle Road

There are small British Union Jack flags marking the graves where the British regulars were buried.

I found it a very moving place....

The casualty list from that day

Thus began the war that didn't end until eight years later, on September 3rd, 1783, when the Treaty of Paris was signed.