Thank you all for visiting my site yesterday – I had 100 views! I don’t know about the rest of you bloggers, but that fact makes me forget that I have any other worthwhile work to do, and makes me want to think of what to write to y’all today. I do love that contraction. (I’m not a Southern Belle, but I just love using it in honor of PT, who reads my blog every day. Thanks PT.) Don’t you just love her dimples. She’s amazing, but that’s another story. One of the unanticipated benefits of retirement is to have my library all in one physical location. That means I found my journal that I kept during my Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Institute. These are VERY cool. They are handmade – even the paper. I was afraid to write in it at first because I didn’t want to mess it up. So I may bore you from time to time, sharing my reflections that accompany the hundreds of photographs I took while I was there, and have just sat in my Facebook gallery, my external hard drive, and who knows where else. I didn’t want to spend time too much time writing about them because I didn’t want to get my facts wrong. And I didn’t want to spend time researching when I knew that somewhere I had written downs tons of notes. Ah the bane of not having a photographic memory. Just think what a joy I could be to y’all if I could just remember things perfectly. Actually I remember large bits of things, but somewhere they get jumbled, and my facts get scattered, and come out incorrect. Then, because I am supposed to be somewhat of a history guru, I am embarrassed when I err, and my guru credibility is lost. But I meander…In addition to being Clementina Rind for the week, I was also assigned to be on the Military Committee. I had no recollection of that for several reasons, but I wrote it in my journal, so it made
SOME impression at the time. Clementina is still with me 4 years later. I was really into taking pictures of 18th century military life. I have 97 pictures, and NO Notes!! The sad thing is that we participated in amazing feats of war. I accidentally hit the woman next to me in the face with my wooden musket when we were standing in formation practicing loading aiming, and firing our supposedly harmless weapons. I didn’t volunteer to attempt loading the cannon. It was real.My entry for the day we went to Yorktown reads, “I forgot my journal when we went to Yorktown. ”
Ever consider what it might have been like if you got a toothache on the battle field – or even back home in the 18th century? When I was a dental assistant, believe me none of our instruments looked this vicious. Of course, without my notes I don’t know if these WERE dental instruments or something with which to take out bullets. Whichever, the look malicious, and I know there was no anesthesia involved. No laughing gas. No Novocaine. No topical anesthetic to numb your gums BEFORE you got a shot of NO Novocaine!!! So maybe these wicked tools for the little balls that came out of muskets. The point is I FORGOT TO TAKE MY JOURNAL. Do you see how disastrous the effect merely four years later??? Can you imagine if I waited 40 years to label my precious pictures?George would never have forgotten HIS journal. This desk was center stage in his tent.The troops did eat, and what you see in the background is part of the outdoor dugout oven. This piece of equipment, as I recollect, was not a branding iron, but had something to do with cooking. Wish I had taken my journal.This was my 75th picture. I bet you are wondering what’s in the box. Well, if I had brought my JOURNAL, I could have told you, but NO, it rested safely in my room where it wouldn’t get dirty. (It still isn’t dirty.) Judging from the pictures sequentially around this photo, which I can see, but I won’t bore you with, the box has something to do with canons. My solid hypothesis is that it holds cannon balls. Where is Mike Lebsock when you need him? Probably sitting in his Colonial Williamsburg home office writing memoirs in HIS JOURNAL. Or maybe he’s sketching. He actually painted the middle picture right above his books. What a talented SJVCSS President we have!!! When I got back I quoted Clementina as saying, “I have watched as this revolution became inevitable. I published Thomas Jefferson’s first declaration. I strained to see this conflict that I might rejoice at our freedom. Freedom of the press (of course that was of GREAT interest to Clementina), which we have as British citizens, but which could as easily be taken from us, as surely as taxation without representation has already been taken. I regret that I did not live to report this great event.”Don’t try to read THAT quote, I photographed a page that had better handwriting!!! Then I did what I do most in my journals. I introspected. “Its amazing to me to understand what bravery and sheet luck has play a part of my privilege of being born and raised as an American woman. This privilege becomes clear and dearer as I age and I realize the foundations that were laid to make my life possible.” I still stand by that statement.The moral of this story. Buy a journal. Take your journal with you. Write in it. Don’t lose it. Then share it with someone.