Thursday, August 14, 2008

Ghosts of the Revolution

Today is recovery from jet lag so that means the mind is working and the body ain't. Thank God for the computer, it requires little exercise. Therefore I decided to work on postcards today. Can't decide whether I should open a separate gallery for them or just continue to place the postcards in my Firecrackinmama's Gallery. For now I think I'll just leave them there.

Earlier this summer we went to Williamsburg, Virginia for a week. It was our family vacation minus our youngest as she lives in CA. We used to go every summer then for some reason we hadn't visited there for around five years. I really needed a Mint Julep fix. The best place in Williamsburg to get Mint Juleps and the best food in town is of course King's Arms. So we ate there twice.

I just love Williamsburg as it's truly a time tunnel to the past. The energy that the folks put into re-creating what it was like during one of the most significant eras of our country is incredible. We've witnessed the transitions of the reenactments from way back in the seventies to now and they just get better and better.

This year we were there for the Collapse of the Royal Government 1774-1776 and Citizens at War 1776-1781. Programs were presented each morning in the Revolutionary City reenacting what it was like for the ordinary citizen, the choices they had to make and the anxieties of what independence would mean for the people of Williamsburg.

Citizens gathered in front of the Capitol building for public announcements. Today representatives were arriving to read the Declaration of Independence.

The reading of the entire document sent chills up and down everyone's spine. During the reading other actors mingled within the crowd playing their parts and discussing their concerns with visitors. I particularly enjoyed the responses of kids to the actors. Most were very knowledgeable about the issues of the time.

After the reading of the Declaration of Independence a celebratory firing of cannons put the proverbial icing on the cake of realism.

We also had the privilege of celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Fifes and Drums.

As you can see it is well worth your time to go back in time.

It was amazing to me how little things have changed. We attended a program in front of the Raleigh Tavern where a patron dared to voice his opinions about the colonists' rights and liberties. He was apprehended, tried and subsequently threatened with tar and feathering if he didn't change his attitude and mind. It reminded me of the Patriot Act of today. Be careful of what you say or you'll pay.

Another relevant program pertained to a carpenter who had fallen on hard times and could not support his family. Even though he was too old to be a soldier his only alternative was to enlist in he army and contribute the bonus money to his family in order for them to survive.

After a full day of participating with the actors visitors are provided with evening programs. We chose the Cry Witch program at the Courthouse. A re-creation of a trial for a woman accused of being a witch was quite interesting. The time period was early 1700's in a British conducted courtroom. At the conclusion the visitors were the jury and determined whether she was guilty or innocent. Unfortunately the records were destroyed in Richmond during the Civil War so we never did learn of her true fate.

So if you are looking for a good vacation that is family friendly then Williamsburg, Virginia is the place to go. The above image is available as a print, mousepad and greeting card at Firecrackinmama's Zazzle. Just click on the link or the image and enjoy. Other pictures of our adventure are being presented at Firecrackinmama's Home.

1 comment:

Nicole said...

Looks like you had an awesome time!
Great shots!