Driving the Interstate is like flying in a jet liner. There’s a whole world racing past your window, patterns and big green signs with white reflective lettering hinting at places we would like to stop – sometime.[pullquote]… our attention was arrested by a giant cast iron gas pump, about four times taller than I.[/pullquote]
May it please the court, we offer Exhibit A: a road trip I took last Thursday with a fellow photographer.
We drove out to Greensburg, where we had business to perform, on I-76, cruise control set on “Quick,” legal libations close at hand.
“We are going to have to stop there sometime,” one of us said as we blurred by St. John the Baptist church, at the top of a staircase leading from beside the turnpike in New Baltimore.
Continue reading Leaving the jet planes and Interstates behind
A favorite tee-shirt of mine shows four Native Americans prepared for battle. Around the image are the words, “Homeland Security / Fighting terrorism since 1492.” I’m always amazed when people don’t get the message.
“In fourteen-hundred ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.” And so began a dedicated effort by predominantly white Europeans to erase cultures which had existed for at least centuries in the “new” world.
Continue reading There are more worlds than revealed in history textbooks
(Originally published in Gettysburg Times, March 15, 2013)
Wednesday, as I write these words, the Cyclorama – the circular enclosure that once housed a 359-foot wrap-around panoramic painting of the final day of the Battle of Gettysburg – is nearly demolished. Housed in a circular building, the artwork created by French artist Paul Philippoteaux in the late 1800s, offered viewers a virtual feeling of the famous battle. (Click the pix for larger views before and after.)
The painting, which had lived in the distinctive building since 1962, has been restored and, in 2008, moved to a new home in the new Gettysburg National Military Park visitor center in 2008.
Continue reading Now you see it, now it’s gone
I could tell you where this shot was taken, but that would spoil half the fun. If you know, give yourself 10 points. If you don’t, go take a drive in Adams County, PA, find it and then take your 10 points. (I’m really a generous scorer.)
Thing is, I enjoy history. Not book stuff, but real wander-around-in-it history.
Continue reading Collecting bridges
“This planet has – or rather, had – a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn’t the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.” from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams
In 1985, I retired from the Navy and moved to Maine, next to Mom, where I’d been raised. That was the year Halley’s comet passed by, a treat I enjoyed on my way home for nearly a week of November evenings.
It hung there, as though, had I hiked up the power line to the top of the hill over which it seemed parked, I could have reached out and touched it. News reports excitedly proclaimed it to have come SO CLOSE – only about 93 million miles. A chunk of ice, rock and dust about 6 miles in diameter, with a tail some hundred million miles long, looking, from where I stopped each night to watch, like a baseball hit for a home run into deep center field, leaving a three-foot trail of dust.
Chinese astronomers first recorded its passage in 240 B.C., Continue reading …