Thursday, March 26, 2009

thursday road notes

A rainy day in Winchester and environs. At noon, about 20 of us carpooled over to Charles Town, West Virginia for a stop at the Jefferson County Museum -- they've got quite an impressive collection, including some nice Civil War material, and John Brown-related artifacts. Perhaps most impressive is the wagon that carried Brown to the gallows.
Following historian Steve Meserve, we walked past the prosecuting attorney's home to a slightly newer iteration of the old court house where Brown was tried. Then we drove to the gallows site, and finally passed through lovely forlorn Harpers Ferry to the Kennedy Farm, where Brown gathered his weaponry and plotted his holy insurrection.

Back at Winchester it was time to greet old friends and meet some new ones in the Lord Fairfax Room. Guide and speaker Scott Patchan made his appearance, and after all enjoyed a hearty repast, Scott set the stage for the next two days of tours, helping us get our minds around the expansive, overlapping operations of that bloody 1864 Shenandoah summer.

Time to get some zzz's now. The trouble with flying from the West Coast to the East -- for night owls like me -- is that even if you go to bed early, it's still way too late. It was worth it, though. As I was typing this I got to see the Baby Ruth scene from Caddyshack one more time.

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