Daily Archives: June 7, 2013

Our Nation’s Artists

This morning I needed a light jacket. Normally, this isn’t a big deal except for the fact it’s June 7th. I guess Mother Nature decided to take a refreshing breath mint or two and blow her new-found coolness across the Midwest.

Just a little global cooling to make Al Gore go crazy for a few days.

Inexplicably, this cold front in June sparked random curiosity and wonderment of Americans from yesteryear…like yesteryear.

Having always been fascinated with history, this sudden reflective contemplation to the past patriots who lived in this country one hundred to two hundred and some odd years ago is not too surprising a revelation. Still, it’s noteworthy to think so far back in time without taking part in a tour or sitting in a history class.

Speaking of a historical tour, I have fond memories of visiting Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia, soaking in all the astonishing buildings, artifacts, food, people, gardens, modes of transportation and anything and everything found within its parameters. Uniquely American, it opened my eyes into the improbable inception of the United States of America and the ambiguous journey everyone took part in together in building the foundations of a new nation. An insightful quote by Martin Luther King, Jr. illustrates this courageous endeavor taken by our adventurous ancestors.

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

When my family and I visited Colonial Williamsburg, it was summer and it was hot. Not warm with a light cloud of humidity or it might be hot enough to swim, but, “Dog Days of Summer” hot. While partaking in the exercise of sweating and walking, there were countless Revolutionary soldiers and townspeople dressed in traditional late-1770s clothing. The attire was heavy and assuredly sweltering, yet they never showed discomfort. And here I was, in shorts and a t-shirt, feeling hot and uncomfortable. I made damn sure to shape up and wipe my brow when walking by the cannon operators!

Like Washington, D.C., Colonial Williamsburg should be a national requirement for all students to visit. The sights and sounds are spectacular and together creates an unforgettable experience and appreciation for our forefathers and foremothers and everything they endured to build the great nation we live in today. When it was hot, they sat on their porch or ran around outside and enjoyed the company of their family and neighbors. Some maintained their luscious gardens filled with colorful flowers and delicious fruits and vegetables while others socialized in stores around the town they all helped to build and support.

Despite the fact Colonial Williamsburg is not a quick stroll down the road, the Ohio Village is within a short driving distance. This is a place frozen in time dating back to the 19th century. Located in the shadows of Crew Stadium, the Ohio History Center and this thing they call a, “freeway,” the Ohio Village offers its patrons a momentary break from 21st century realities to visit the forever sought after and admired, “much simpler time.”

When it was too hot to stay inside, they went outside. When it was too cold to be outside, they stayed in, bundled up and made a fire. And when it was dark and they needed light, they lit candles. Our American ancestors were resourceful and did what they had to, whatever that meant. What’s more is whether it was during the 18th or 19th centuries, Americans have managed to pull off truly remarkable achievements. They took a blank page on a shaky canvas and, during their time, added their individual paint strokes and color splashes to create the foundation of the masterpiece we all see and enjoy today known as the United States of America.

Pretty cool, right? I get chills just thinking about it.

And come the fourth day in July, I know I’ll get goosebumps in the unrelenting heat while gazing up at fireworks in the same way our nation’s forefathers and foremothers did: celebrating the incomparably brilliant idea that is the American dream.