I grew up in a gun-oriented family, Mom and Dad, crack shots, hunting and competitive target shooting - I learned to shoot before I went to school, learned to understand and respect firearms. I combined a love of history, a thirst for knowledge and understanding of the past in a convenient outlet, the field of reenacting.
In working with the men of my late husband's artillery unit we studied artillery treatises of the past, and present day practices. In the course of the latter, as spokesman of the group I formulated proposed changes in the rules and regs for the firing of cannon and mortar, worked with the members of the Public Safety Board of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for more than two years in passing the necessary revisions.
Over the 5 decades I have met hundreds of men and women from all walks of life who spend time and money on learning and recreating, and instilling into the minds of young people, an understanding and appreciation of the struggles of the past. At one time I owned a list-server with 1140 members worldwide devoted to research of the 18th century. Having done programs in over 250 classrooms it is evident that children have been deprived of, and are fascinated with the stories behind the freedoms we acquired and are rapidly losing to those who despise the rule of law and the Constitution, those who would denigrate and revile our founding fathers.
I have been a gun owner, a re-enactor, have had an occasional beer, selectively watch tv, am a self-educated consultant, lecturer, and historian, with ancestors who first appeared in North America in 1605. I am that boring individual that insists on thinking for myself and always looks for documentation, documentation. I am a patriot who is not afraid of war because in my 83 years on this earth, I have seen over and over again, that FREEDOM IS NOT FREE!
I shall now step daintily from my soapbox (while contemplating a commentary on schools today)
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Abigail Adams wrote of him, “Faction may rave and party spirit slander . . . but an honester man has not left behind.” This was Elbridge Gerry, who at the age of fourteen entered Harvard College. Upon graduation he returned to Marblehead and entered his father’s mercantile and shipping business.
Mercy Otis Warren, in 1774, mentions Gerry in reference to the newly organized provincial congress. She referred to the formation of a committee of supplies to provide ammunition, provisions and warlike stores, and to deposit them in some place of safety, ready for use, if they should be obliged to take up arms in defence of their rights. Mercy wrote – “This business required talents and energy to make arrangements for exigencies, new and untried. Fortunately Elbridge Gerry, Esq,, was placed at the head of this commission, who executed it with his usual punctuality and indefatigable industry. This gentleman entered from principle, early in the opposition to British encroachments, and continued one of the most uniform republicans to the end of the contest, He was chose a delegate to the continental congress. Firm, exact, perspicuous [clear in expression and statement], and tenacious of public and private honor, he rendered essential service to the union for the many years that he continued to be a member of that honorable body.”
Gerry assumed that Washington would be the first President. But that did not prevent him from calling for impeachment provisions. "A good magistrate," he maintained, "will not fear them," and "a bad one ought to be kept in fear of them." He also expressed his hope that "maxim would never be adopted here that the chief magistrate can do no wrong." Agreeing, the Convention adopted an impeachment provision.
His rise in office, following his term as Governor of Massachusetts 1810-1811, was to culminate in his election as Vice President of the United States under Madison in 1812.
While attending his duties in Washington, he was suddenly summoned from the scene of his earthly labors. His tomb in the Congressional Cemetery bears the following inscription:
The Tomb of Elbridge Gerry
Vice President of the United States
Died suddenly, in this city,
on his way to the Capitol as president of the Senate
November 23rd, 1814
So passed into history – Elbridge Gerry, man of courage and integrity, Signer of the Declaration of Independence.
Friday, August 19, 2011
REMEMBRANCES: The High School Years
Medford High Rah! Rah! Sports of course, almost double jointed I love gym classes, especially working on ropes, swings & rings. Field hockey was a biggy, managed the softball team,(not much as a player, though). Interested always in public speaking and drama – both continuing into my adult years. . . .and art – mechanical drawing honors, sculpture, watercolor, ink, etc. Private lessons in all of the latter as well.
At one point, and I have no recall of how it happened, I did some loudspeaker commentary in a truck, re: the Mustangs football games. This cause and effect is hazy – maybe it’s just another, “Barbara, you simply cannot keep your mouth shut” episode
Although I was sure that Phyllis would get the role in the senior play, I auditioned anyway – and to my surprise I won the part. Performance always – included Mr. Schoonmaker’s All Girl Choir, and that was a wonderful experience.
And of course there was continuing CAP and flying at Bolton Airport – a small group of us girls called ourselves the ‘flying bucketheads’ – why? – who knows, I don’t. I never took the opportunity to learn to drive, and to this day I never did – fly solo, yes – drive a car, no.
Those were busy days with lots to do. Dating? – of course, checked out a few, and precocious me, I became engaged in my senior year. That becomes a new and varied chapter in activities, accomplishments, a few disappointments, and memories galore as I spent almost 60 year’s marriage and the raising of 7 children! Perhaps I will just leave those years for a much later time.
So fare thee well, as I turn to differing thoughts and facts.