Back Along A Golden Road

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July 17-18, 2019-

It had been three years, since I was last in Colorado. In the words of a waitress at one of my favoured spots, Del’s Diner, in Fort Garland, “That’s just too long!”  Del’s had been a bit of a dive, but had remodeled and was doing just fine.  The food was every bit as good as I remember.

U.S. 160 is one of those roads that make me feel at home, regardless of where I am, along its passage.  The same thing is true of Old 66; Highway 1, along the Pacific Coast; U. S. 30, through the Midwest,; and MOST of U.S. 1.

So, I took the road, from Ulysses, Kansas to its western terminus, in Tuba City, AZ.  A side hop was necessary, for me to take in Sand Creek National Monument.  From La Junta, though, I zipped down to Trinidad, then back up I-25 to Walsenburg, from which I could re-visit my favourite part of 160:  Colorado’s southern tier.  Thus came dinner at Del’s and a long search for a place to stay that wouldn’t mean my budget would need a budget.  Colorado seems to be even more popular than usual, this summer.  That does my heart good.

The Spanish Peaks are a fine greeter, just east of Walsenburg.

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The San Juan Mountains, between Del Norte and Pagosa Springs, are a reminder that snow regards the Rocky Mountain State as its summer home. (I’ve been in Colorado, at some point, each month of the year, and seen it snow, each and every month.)

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I stopped briefly in South Park, just west of the formidable Wolf Creek Pass, and found a Cal King was the only bed available.  Since I’m not part of a package deal, up and over the Pass I went.  Going through the pricey resorts of Pagosa Springs and Durango, the night drive came to an end at Mesa Verde Motel, Mancos.  There, I was generously offered a room at discount.  It is a “dog room”, the owners being pet lovers, but there was no sign of dog hair anywhere in the room.  Mesa Verde’s owners are just gentle, laid back people, and I  recommend the place for anyone finding themselves tired and on the west side of heaven.

The home stretch began with a stop at Mc Elmo Creek Flume, an irrigation channel, built in 1921.

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Seeking to stretch my legs a bit, before lunch, I walked around the City Park, in downtown Cortez.  A laid-back Ute gent, seeking to impress some ladies in his company, started to mock me, while I was walking up the hill. When that had no effect, he asked if i were a veteran. “Yes, I am, and you? ” “You know it, Bro….. Devil Dogs!”  He had the tattoo of a Marine, and though I recall the name being used specifically for those in the Corps, who fought at Belleau Wood, during World War I, I gave him a pass on that.  Everyone deserves a semblance of dignity and respect.

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Lunch time was here.  I sadly noted that my go-to place, Jack and Janelle’s, had gone belly up.  A walk downtown showed that there was someplace fairly new:  The Farm Bistro.  I gave it a shot, and am glad of it.  Alex and crew are spot-on, with great cuisine and set a spunky, welcoming ambiance.  Each party selects a plastic animal for its table, as a cue to the server.

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My visit to Cortez came to a close, and shortly, thereafter, I was back in Arizona.  Along the drive down the Navajo Nation, I noted that two once grocery-deprived communities, Red Mesa and Dennehotso, now have local markets.  One place that has nothing is Baby Rocks, yet this little village, east of Kayenta, could easily be the next big outdoors thing.

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This little wonderland is close enough to tourist-mecca Monument Valley, that a Dineh entrepreneur could easily remove the “Best Kept Secret” label from Baby Rocks.

Going onward, for four more hours, I brought this phase of Summer, 2019, to a peaceful conclusion.  Carson City, and my  Nevada extended family, await next week, after a few days of meetings here at Home Base.  My eyes and heart are always open, to what counts most in life:  Love of humanity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Honour and Hubris at Sand Creek

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July 17, 2019, Eads, CO-

The sign clearly stated “Walk in silence and respect”, as I approached the ridge, overlooking a valley of hallowed ground, where 230 Cheyenne and Arapaho people,  mostly women and children, were killed by a regiment of U.S. soldiers, on November 29, 1864.  John Chivington, a colonel in the U. S. Army, orchestrated and led the attacks, turning a blind eye to atrocities committed by many of the men under his command.  Some white settlers who had befriended the First Nations people were also beaten or killed, by garrison troops at Fort Lyon who were in league with Chivington’s forces.  Several men in the garrison refused to participate in the slaughter.  Two of them wrote to higher authorities about the incident.  One of these, Silas Soule, was assassinated by other soldiers, on the streets of Denver, after he testified to a Commission of Inquiry about the massacre.

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This campaign of  slaughter, of course rooted in ignorance and greed, would result in the resignation of Colonel Chivington from the U. S. Army, whilst he and many of his men were regarded as local heroes, by the more conservative settlers of Colorado Territory, particularly in Denver and Colorado City (now Colorado Springs).  To be fair, there were constant attacks and depredations by both Whites and First Nations people, prior to Sand Creek-and afterward, but none were carried out by women and children.  The matter of ownership of land has resulted in far too much death and destruction.  In the end, no one has ownership of land, in perpetuity.  Indeed, it’s a dark irony, and a fitting one, that Bill Dawson, who owned the land on which the masacre took place, returned it to the Cheyenne and Arapaho Nations, in 1999.  The National Park Service would compensate Mr. Dawson and his family for the land, but there was none of the acrimony among area residents that their predecessors had shown, throughout the remainder of the Nineteenth Century.  There was a consensus that this was hallowed, sacred ground, and that justice was finally being served, to the extent still possible.

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To me, there was no choice, but to sit in reverence and prayer, overlooking the massacre site.  As I was leaving, a pair of photojournalists arrived, preparing to make a brief video on the Massacre.  We were all startled when a car  pulled up, a door slammed and a perky Ranger loudly greeted the men and inquired about their prior visit to Bent’s Old Fort, another NPS Historic Site that is associated with Sand Creek.  It had been a still, solemn visit, and was now turning into business as usual.

I walked back to the Visitor’s Center, waited for the 1:00 presentation, and left at 1:30, when it was clear that I was the only lay visitor, and there would be no presentation.  I know the spirits were grateful for my visit.  A hawk feather had been laying on the ground, just off the first part of the trail between the Visitor’s Center and the massacre overlook.  The sight of  a circling eagle or hawk, or of a raptor feather on the ground is a sign, to many First Nations people, that one’s presence is acceptable to the Spirits. I circled the feather, clockwise, and silently prayed.

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Leaving the National Historic Site,  my route took me past the now-deserted railroad town of Chivington, its buildings mostly looking to fall over, with the next keening wind.  Eads, some twenty miles west, is a more thriving town, whose residents approve of the National Historic Site.

I will long be mindful of the continuing need to remember atrocities, such as Sand Creek, as examples of what happens when people fail to honour, respect and listen to one another, over a period of months, years, decades.

NEXT:  The Way Back to Home Base

 

Wilbert’s Fantasy and World Class ‘Q’

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July 15-16, 2019, Kansas City (MO) (and Olathe, KS )-

In 1959, Wilbert Harrison, a rhythm and blues singer from Charlotte, delivered the signature rendition of the whimsical tune, “Kansas City”- imagining a visit there would bring him romance, which would change his life.

Of course, it was pure fancy and the real Mr. Harrison probably spent no more time in KC than anyone else who didn’t live there.  He did have a good idea, though.  Kansas City has long been a place through which I have driven, en route to somewhere else.  I visited the Truman Presidential Library, in nearby Independence, in 2011, but the big city eluded me-until today.

KCMO, simply put, has the most welcoming hostel in which I’ve yet stayed.  Considering that I have had great experiences in all but one of the hostels I’ve visited in the past four years, that’s saying a volume.  Honeycomb, and its owner/host, Elsa, make every guest feel like family.  This is a woman who has lived a full life, most recently having made an interesting attempt to climb Mt. Everest, which she says will NOT be her last attempt.  Then, there is Max, the house dog, who has his own skateboard, on which he can barely fit.

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Max does his skateboard trick, for a piece of cheddar cheese.

There is much to see and do in Kansas City, so this will not be my last time stopping here.  There were two immediate goals for this trip, though:  Finding signature barbecue and getting a handle on downtown.

The first goal was achieved when,courtesy of Elsa, I headed towards Q 39, a medium-sized barbecue palace, in mid-town, and in a strip mall,yet.  There are more stately-sounding barbecue restaurants, recommended by Lonely Planet and Fodor’s, but I’d come back here again, in a flash.  Burnt tips have become this steak lover’s favourite, and no one does them better than Q 39’s kitchen staff.

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Upon my return, the conversation with Elsa and three other guests, young men who are here for an extended work-visit, left me thinking that a need to slow the cross-country engine down, and actually spend 2-3 days, or more, in a place like KC, as I do in Massachusetts and Carson City-Reno.  Family is as much in the mind and heart, as it is on a tree of ancestry.  No, I’m not implying following Wilbert’s whimsical example; most women I encounter on the road are perfectly content with the men who are already in their lives.  I am seeing the wisdom in matching my intensive mode of exploration with an actual time frame that fits.

Tuesday morning I left Honeycomb around 11 a.m. and headed to Union Station, far more than a place to catch a train.

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As the skeleton implies, here is a top-notch Science City, which is offering a Stonehenge exhibit.  Having been in Carnac and to Cahokia Mounds, I passed this one up, but for the small children going in with their parents, it had to have been a blast.

The interior lobby, though, gives Grand Central a run for its money.

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The lobby has a couple of nice little food nooks, so I got a sandwich from Harvey’s, following up with a fine latte and fresh scone from Parisi.  That set me back on the road, for a forty-five minute auto tour of downtown.   Following this excursion, KC’s nice system of boulevards and parkways made wrestling with the construction zones at I-70’s on ramps completely unnecessary.  I was past Kansas City, KS within a half-hour.

Continuing notes to self:  Kansas is making a concerted effort at increasing its foliage.  I make it a point to record all such scenes as I encounter.

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NEXT:  Solemnity and Noise in Eastern Colorado

 

The American Revolution’s Second Clarion Call

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July 9, 2019, Danbury to Fishkill-

On April 26, 1777, Sybil Ludington, 16-years -old, rode from outside Carmel, NY to Danbury, CT, warning all who would listen that the British were moving up the Still River Valley to Danbury, where British General William Tryon was leading a force which intended to burn the community, as it had been a key provisions site, for the Continental Army.

Her warnings aroused enough resistance and emergency evacuation, that the Continentals’ losses were significantly limited.  Sybil’s ride, over 40 miles, was longer than that of Paul Revere, and over rougher terrain.  Hers was thus the second clarion call of the American Revolution.

Danbury preserves much of the heritage of the Revolutionary War Era, including a Freedom Trail, somewhat shorter than its counterpart in Boston, but a vital record of out nation’s beginnings, regardless.

Downtown Danbury’s centerpiece is Elmwood Park, a median with a fountain, that attracts many families throughout the day.

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It was already getting hot, when I happened by here, and small children were making the most of the dripping water.

Below, is a row of early Nineteenth Century buildings along the Main Street Historic District.

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Of more recent vintage is this branch County Courthouse.

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From the era of Sybil Ludington is Rider House, one of the few remaining colonial-style houses in downtown Danbury.

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Fishkill, west of Danbury, was likely on Sybil’s route and was a center of resistance to the British advance up the Hudson Valley.

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Danbury has much more to be seen than I took in, this morning,  I did find a gem on Main Street: Padamina’s NY Bakery, which offers Brazilian cuisine.  Having never enjoyed the fare of the South American giant, I took in a plentiful buffet plate of large chicken croques, marinated salad and grilled plantains.  Padamina’s is well worth the stop.

I will be glad to return to Danbury on a future jaunt, but now it’s time to head to West Point and the United States Military Academy.

 

The Valley of Five Colleges

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July 8, 2019, Amherst, MA-

I learned much from my growing-up years in Saugus-certainly a lot more than some people, who knew me when, ever suspected.  Some, especially in my family, still wonder how I’ve made it this far, ever managing to get out of my own way.  Truth be known, what I learned as a child and teen determined what I retained from my college and university days, and from many experiences thereafter.  I learned to survive in Saugus and how to thrive in Amherst.

Amherst both sheltered me from the real world and engaged the stretching of my comfort zone.  I came to this place of five institutions of higher learning, at a time when the women’s movement was coming into full flower (no pun intended) and when the residue of the anti- war movement was settling into an ennui of apathy.  Watergate rekindled a sense of outrage, for a time, but with Richard Nixon gone, by the Fall of 1974, many were back to focusing on I, Me and Mine.

I returned here today, for the first time since graduating in 1976, to see what, if anything, had really changed.  Amherst College is still the centerpiece of downtown. The University of Massachusetts is the town’s largest employer.  Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, and Hampshire College lie in a semi-circle to the south of Amherst,  I took a stroll around Amherst College and downtown Amherst, before heading up to the University campus.

Here a few views of Amherst College.

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The Loeb Center is a job placement hub for Amherst graduates.

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Bassett is one of two planetariums in Amherst.  Orchard Hill, on the University of Massachusetts campus, is the other.

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Henry Ward Beecher was a pioneer in the abolitionist movement, but was later the focus of scandal, showing the two sides of even the most ardent of  social reformers.  Nonetheless, he is honoured by Amherst College as one of its most prominent alumni.

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Lawrence Observatory, to which Bassett Planetarium is attached, is one of the first astronomical observatories in the United States, having been built in 1847.

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My walk around Amherst town began with lunch.  Fresh Side is a lovely Asian fusion cafe.

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St. Brigid’s Roman Catholic Church is one of the most prominent non-college edifices in town.

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Amherst Town Hall, though, is the signature Town Center building, across from the Town Green.

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Fast forward a bit and I found myself gazing at the High Rise Dormitory, completed just before I attended the University.

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Here is the Sciences Complex.

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This scene appealed to me, as  a fusion of two starkly different architectural styles.

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I headed south, after a brief visit to the University Commons, and gazed towards Mt. Holyoke, from a highway rest stop.  The Five Colleges were a solid unit in the 1970’s and are even more vital an educational force now.  The concept of a unified and diverse educational consortium has only gained traction, in the decades since.

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NEXT:  Danbury, The Second Clarion of the American Revolution

 

On Differing With Ella Winter

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July 3-7, 2019, Saugus, MA-

The fine North Carolina author, Thomas Wolfe, famously used, “You can’t go home again.”as the title of a novel, which he never lived to publish.  His associates took care of that, sometime after his death in 1938, and we have the title as one of the more memorable things with which he is associated.  The quote, though, originated with an Australian writer, Ella Winter, who gave Wolfe permission to use it in his writing.

I’ve been going back to Saugus, continuously, since I left here at age 18.  Service in the Army, college, a quixotic two years getting my bearings in Maine, and then Arizona, South Korea and back to Arizona, all have had a common denominator:  Hometown has never gone away.

There have been changes:  The population has grown, from 25,000 to about 38,000; traffic has increased accordingly; the once lily-white community has opened its doors to people of colour; Hilltop Steak House has given way to Restaurant 110; most of the neighbours have  died or moved away.

There are, though, things which endure:  My mother is still living, quite well; two boyhood friends still live in the neighbourhood-one  in his childhood home; Adams Avenue, the street of my youth, is still within walking distance of both Saugus Center and Cliftondale Square-as well as the West Side’s large shopping mall, Square One; traffic on U.S. Route One can still be daunting at times, though after dealing for so long with traffic in much larger cities, I know not to cringe.

We had the usual family gathering, this time at a niece’s large, beautiful new home, about 1 1/2 hours west of here and dropped in on a nephew and his family, in a town twenty minutes south of Saugus.   These visits are fleeting, but far better than not seeing these gracious, beloved people at all. There was a visit to the aforementioned 110, where I got my fix of fried clams, a boyhood staple.  There were the customary Hallmark movies and binge watching of old episodes of “Blue Bloods”, one of Mom’s favourites.  There was a surprise, when Mom decided to check out a couple of Marvel films, on SyFy.  She had enough, after “Iron Man”, but “Spider Man” was a hit.

I come from large families, on both sides.  There are many cousins, some I haven’t seen in years, and a few aunts and uncles still living.  The group will hopefully get together in late August.  Though I won’t be there, people have to start with what they have available.  I have been able to connect with a cousin in the Midwest, as you know,  and will hopefully make more connections, in future visits.  Gradually, the in-gathering progresses-with social media at least keeping the ties from fraying.

So, not to judge Ella Winter, for the circumstances of her life, but I CAN, and do, go home again. If nothing else, home remains in the heart.  We four, and our extended family, want Mom to keep on, so long as life offers her a measure of blessing.  May she keep the flame, until it’s time to pass the torch on.

NEXT:  Amherst and Its Halls of Learning

 

 

Popeye Doyle Wasn’t Here

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July 3, 2019, Poughkeepsie-

In 1971, I viewed a film called “The French Connection”, a fictionalized account of New York Police Detective Eddie Egan and his work on a case involving a French heroin smuggling syndicate, and their New York associates.  Gene Hackman played Egan, using the pseudonym, “Popeye Doyle”.  In one scene, Popeye interrogates a suspect in a routine case, asking him “Do you ever pick your feet in Poughkeepsie?”  The suspect is sor attled by Popeye’s pushing the issue that he confesses to the actual crime of which he is accused.

That put Poughkeepsie on the map for me.  About a year later, I was given a ride to the town, by some frat boys from New Paltz State University, which lies  northwest,across the Hudson River.  Poughkeepsie didn’t impress me as a place where people would travel, to engage in weird behaviour, but one never knows.

I stopped here to get a glimpse of how the town was faring now, after reading how it is being compared with Newburgh, a few dozen miles to the south.  Both are viewed by some New Yorkers as down-at-the-heels, miniature versions of the city’s own crime-ridden neighbourhoods.

I found Poughkeepsie to be in a slightly better state, right now, than Newburgh-at least with respect to its downtown area.  It is a somewhat bigger city, and serves as the commercial hub of the Mid-Hudson Valley.

As in Newburgh,I focused on the architecture and the city’s relationship with the river.

The first two photos below show a Nineteenth Century building, which may have been originally used as a mental hospital.  It is now a Seventh Day Adventist church- a far cry from its original use. It still left me with an eerie feeling.

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Walking downhill, towards the Hudson, my attention was grabbed by two things:  This mural which occupied both sides of the street, under an overpass and a rough-looking man, struggling with his equally rough-looking dog, which wanted to walk in the middle of the busy street.  Twice, both man and beast were almost done in by cars which were not going all that fast.  Somehow, the approach of a police car empowered the man to get control of his pet.  My attention went back to the mural.

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That is what I wish to see in the struggling towns of the Mid-Hudson-and in all struggling communities.  The talent and drive are here.  They have, for some reason, not been tapped.

The future doesn’t necessarily need to look like this Victorian-era resort, across the river in Highland, but it starts with bright minds etching their dreams, the way the muralists did in the above scenes.

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This bridge takes people to and from Highland, eight miles southwest of New Paltz and its university.  That is a short distance that, for people like the young man I met in the Waterfront Park, seems like a million miles.  He wasn’t happy standing and staring at the cement whale that lies near the playground, but it seemed to him to be safer than being downtown.

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There is, for those who see a way to self-expression, a vibrant drama and dance scene, based in Cunneen-Hackett Arts Center.

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Making beautiful noise, and painting in bright colours, are what get a community started in building a mindset of recovery and moving towards prosperity.  Handouts, which the young man in the park most certainly did NOT want, will only extend the misery.  I have hope for Poughkeepsie.

NEXT:  A Bit of the Southern Berkshires

The Two Faces of Newburgh

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July 2, 2019, Newburgh , NY- 

One of the things I often find myself doing, when going back and forth across the continent, is spending at least  a few hours in a town or city that is struggling with a variety of social ills, yet still manages to keep a semblance of what made it tick.  Newburgh, in the middle Hudson Valley, is one such place.

I spent last night, and this morning, in Oley, PA, at the home of friends who operate Glick’s Greenhouse.   It’s always a pleasure to stop there, with a house full of people and one sometimes grouchy greenhouse dog. When I was about to leave, after breakfast and lunch served up by a budding eight-year-old chef, the proprietor of the Greenhouse showed me some of his nephew’s latest blossoms.

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The evening brought me to the Hudson Valley, and Newburgh.  I made the choice to focus on the Inner City, thus spending the night at Imperial Motel, which has seen better days, though still home to some of the most regal people on Earth.  A wander about the downtown area showed both early 20th and contemporary 21st Century architecture.

The City Courthouse is a busy place.  Newburgh is said to be the murder capital of New York State, so it isn’t a place for the distracted or the unwary.

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There are plenty of safe havens, though.  These two churches signify the legacy, and the promise, that exists in places like Newburgh, and its upriver cousin, Poughkeepsie (more on it, in the next post).

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I spent a little time, here and there, along Newburgh’s Riverfront, with plenty of locals celebrating the majesty of the Hudson-and a few signs of decay in spots.

Here is a view of a crossing, from south of Newburgh.

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Looks like the boat might need some work.

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Nonetheless, there is an enduring charm about the great river and its banks.

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From this area of Newburgh’s waterfront, several ferries take people across the Hudson, to Beacon.

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I took a walk, from Imperial to a small “spa”, which is another term in the Northeast for a convenience store.  The dour South Asian proprietor took no crap from any of the young men who cam in and out, basically trying one scam or another.  I got my coffee, treated everyone politely, while walking with confidence and had no trouble.  Then again, it was broad daylight.  Most trouble here seems to come from domestic disputes, and in a city where too many men have lost hope, that violence comes all too easily.

Up on the bluffs heading out of town, there is a far different ambiance.  This Korean-American establishment offers one mindset that is the basis for solving many social ills:  “We are one family.”

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NEXT:  Poughkeepsie, without Popeye Doyle

 

A Capitol’s Quiet Hour

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June 30, 2019, Raleigh-

Perhaps in a moment of selfishness, I chose to head to North Carolina’s Triad region, specifically to the Capitol, rather than to the west central area, north of Charlotte.  This, though, is what my spirit guides were telling me was in order.

I found Raleigh in a quiet and pensive collective mood, whilst walking about the Capitol District on this morning, when many were engaged in acts of worship.  I pretty much had the area to myself.

The great museums would not open until noon, by which time I was getting my laundry done, in south Raleigh’s International Market, a haven for the area’s Hispanic community.

Part of the Tar Heel story is told on the Museum of History’s grounds.  The frame of a Catawba home is here, surrounded by the lushness of the Piedmont.

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North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences takes up the right flank of the Museum Quarter.

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The North Carolina Museum of History occupies the left hand side.

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Three figures greet the visitor to the Museum of History: A woman of Sauratown, Thomas Day and Frederick Augustus Olds.  Sauratown is an isolated mountain region, northwest of Winston-Salem.  The independence of area residents is commemorated by this statue of an unidentified woman.  Thomas Day is celebrated as an example of how much a free Black man could achieve.  He was a skilled cabinetmaker, of the Antebellum period. Frederick Augustus Olds, a journalist, was a relentless advocate of telling North Carolina’s story, especally of “human history” and of the advancement of both Boy and Girl Scouts.

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Here is the Promenade, in its fullness.

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North Carolina is the birthplace of three U.S. Presidents:  Andrew Jackson, James Knox Polk and Andrew Johnson.  They may not be the favourites of many people, but each pursued and achieved his goals.  The State Capitol looms in the background.

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Here are more complete views of the State Capitol.

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This statue depicts a naval cadet, of the late Nineteenth Century.  A woman passing by with her young daughter remarked to the child that it must have been most uncomfortable to have to wear such garb, in the heat of a Carolina summer.

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This bell tower, of First Presbyterian church, is framed by the Memorial Garden of the Harden family.

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At the opposite end of the Promenade, near the Natural Sciences Museum, is this statue depicting the naturalist Rachel Carson, listening to a story being told by a young boy.  She was passionate about educating the young, as to the dangers posed by excessive chemical use, in the mid-Twentieth Century.

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My time with the Hispanic people showed that the Tar Heel tradition continues to promote the achievements of the individual, over a mass ideological swell.  May that ethic long continue.

NEXT:  Virginia’s Eastern Shore

 

The Turnstile Island

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June 29, 2019, Charleston, SC-

It was a still, warm day, even on the water, as the Noon ferry headed out of Charleston Harbor, towards Fort Sumter.  The hundred or so tourists and Park Service staff who were aboard were a far cry from the angry men who stormed Fort Sumter, after firing on the supposedly impregnable island fort, on April 12, 1861- the opening shots of the American Civil War.

The fort was one of those which  had been built as a response to the glaring lack of coastal defense, during the War of 1812.  Thus, it is ironic that Fort Sumter should have been the symbol of oppression, to many in South Carolina, and that it would change hands three times, during the Civil War’s progression.  Built with three stories, to convey the image of indestructible fortress, it was leveled by bombardment and was turned into an earthwork, by Confederate defenders, between 1861-63.

I have had Fort Sumter on my to-go list, since 2007, when we made a family “virtual field trip” journey, for Penny’s University studies.  We never made it to Charleston, among other places. Now, though,  the scintillating city. and Fort Sumter, were on my blog-topic itinerary..

Here are some scenes of the ferry route and of the Fort.  The park’s office and waiting area are adjacent to the South Carolina Aquarium, just north of downtown Charleston.

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Whilst waiting for the Noon ferry, I happened upon East Bay Deli, on a row of eateries, three blocks south of the Aquarium.  It is a perfect spot for a full line of made-to-order delicatessen foods.

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Below is a scene of Castle Pinckney, a small fortress from which Confederate forces harassed Union Naval vessels.

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This sand spit is used by Charlestonians as a private beach, and is not part of Fort Sumter.

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The first sight we saw, after the Ranger Talk, was of these cannon portholes.

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Here is one of the entrances to the lower breastworks.

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A full view of the cannon ports faces east.

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Sea shells were used to reinforce the mortar, during the fort’s repairs in 1862.

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The cannon portholes are sometimes shut

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and sometimes open.

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The cannon was always at the ready.

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The supports of the upper stories still remain, in several parts of the fort.

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For the person who has done everything, there is this:

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My money still needs to go elsewhere, but there it is.  This is one such cannon that has been adopted.

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Finally, here is a Howitzer, used by the Confederates, during their defense of the fort, in 1863.  The Union forces won that battle and retained control of the island, thereafter.

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Fort Sumter reinforced my view of the folly of war, when pursued as a means to safeguard ideology or narrow self-interest.  We have far more in common, as human beings, and thankfully have come a fair distance in viewing others in a positive light, since the Nineteenth Century.

NEXT:  Raleigh’s Capitol District