As you know if you read this site, I interviewed local musician Matt Jones over this past weekend about his all-consuming love for Gettysburg… Well, somewhere during our conversation, thanks in large part to Matt’s overwhelming enthusiasm for the subject matter, I decided that I needed to pack up the family and visit the battlefield myself. So, I mentioned this to Matt. In thanking him for doing the interview, I told him that I’d decided to take his advice and make a pilgrimage to the historic Civil War site sometime next spring… to which he responded, “I’m coming with you,” or something along those lines. I told him that it was unlikely that man of his size could fit into my little car, along with Linette and the kids, but suggested that maybe we could look into chartering a bus… I was, of course, kidding, but the more that I thought about it, the more it started to make sense. Well, I took to Facebook, as I often do when I get ideas like this, and casually floated the possibility of a chartered bus trip to Gettysburg. And things kind of took off from there. Several local musicians said that they’d love to join us, and play music on the nine hour trip to Gettysburg. And another friend reached out on our behalf and started looking into bus charters. And yet another friend offered a place to camp on her parents’ farm, about an hour drive from the battlefield. It’s still way to early to say whether or not it will come to fruition, but I’ve got a meeting scheduled for Friday night to talk logistics with a few folks. At any rate, I just wanted to float the idea by you, in case there were any of you might be interested in either going on a trip like this, or contributing in some way toward the planning… Like I said, it’s not a sure thing by any stretch of the imagination, but I have to say that I’m finding the idea of taking my kids to Gettysburg, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the battle, on a bus full of my friends, while drinking rum punch, listening to good music, and engaging in conversations about American history, is pretty damn appealing to me.
[Speaking of the battle at Gettysburg, just yesterday we celebrated the 150th anniversary of what’s come to be known as the Gettysburg Address. If you’re unfamiliar with the speech, which President Lincoln delivered some four months after the pivotal Civil War battle in which over 50,000 soldiers were either wounded or killed, I’d strongly recommend reading Garry Willis’s piece in the Atlantic titled “The Words That Remade America.” It’s really quite incredible.]