The Fruits of Colonialism

July 26, 2007

Happy Thursday! I’m getting sadly close to the end of my stay in the cabin in the pines of Medford Lakes. Am thinking of offering terms for long term maintenance of this place to keep a spot in the rotation of guests!

More pictures posted today. Mostly from my quick trip to Colonial (and commercial) Wiliamsburg. I visited here in the mid-70’s as a high school student taking part on the first iteration of the Bicentennial Debates to commemorate the Bicentennial. Great experience and a real ego boost if I recall. Spent a week touring at the cost of one debate a day or so. Had just come from three days of hectic debating at Emory University in Atlanta with my partner. We didn’t make the cut at Emery but we were happy, if I recall correctly, to get an early flight into Patrick Henry airport for the Williamsburg event. The tournament was almost like a vacation senior year. We even had a rare Virginia snow storm to great us on the first day. Memory recollects a spontaneous snow ball fight involving myself, my partner Al (totally out of character for him as the smart one) and the “ladies” from Sr. Brendan’s High School in NYC. Must have been good for us as we made the cut and checked out in the semi-finals (Sorry I can’t recall the team that mastered us. My memory tries to scrub those “insignificant” details ;-).

Ah…Glory Days! Anyway, my revisit to Williamsburg wasn’t as debatable. Beautiful day and a great walk down Duke of Glouchester Avenue. The area is equally divided between the excellent restorations of the old colonial town and the new, matching architecture of the commercial section. Big souvenir season as a result of the 400th anniversary of Jamestown. Nice crowd by not unbearably huge. Lots of moms/dads and kids checking out the College of William and Mary for admission in 2008. The College is woven through the historical district and is very unique as a result. A complete contrast to WU or SLU for about the same price (or less).

The photos were limited as I chose to “go cheap” and skip the admission ticket (priced at over $20) as I was only planning on an hour or two “in the past.” Didn’t have access to the interior exhibits but the Courthouse and the Colonial Legislature were clearly favorites with visitors.

A special note on pictures: As a rule (and with a careful exception or two for narrative purposes), I have chosen not to show real people, especially kids, or identifiable locations in the photo collection. Privacy is a value worth being protective of and the net has was too many pictures of young kids as it is (my apologies to nieces and nephews for reducing their Google “hit score.”). I did make an exception in the collection in showing both my brother’s “platantion” in Virgina and my sister’s lake home in Indianapolis. Both homes are as special as the owners and are wonderful in their own ways. I’m also quite proud of my sibs as they all have done well for themselves and their children in spite of beginnings that were nothing short of true trauma and challenge. “Dysfunctional” just doesn’t get it. !Bravos, Mis Hermano and Hermanas!

As I wind down my days in the Pines I find myself “pushing paper” for personal reasons this week. Medical forms, health insurance payments, annuity transfers, unemployment “this and that,” and another attempt at working out a “non-working” working personal budget. On Saturday I head for Pittsburgh for a one night stop over with my sister Gerri followed by a one night stay with my sister Mary in Indianapolis. All this stopping to make it to St. Louis on the 30th for multiple doctor visits and record collecting. My thanks to Larry for access to his coach for a night ot two. After getting what will hopefully be a good report from my physicians (excluding the back and nerve issues). My heart, troublesome bugger than it is, will get a good listen from the good doctor Klearman before she heads off to greater glory on the left coast with Genentech. Sadly this is probably a case of a dysfunction health care system driving out an exceptional provider. Today’s political message: if any of us wants good health care, we better fix the system NOW.

After attending my last “physical” encounter with the good Lady Klearman, I’ll be back to Indy for a few days to finally get the mass of job applications pooled and posted. My sister and her husband have been very tolerant of my comings and goings. This should be the last “fly by” until the holidays as I will be headed south after a August 8th appointment with the pain doctor. I am ever hopeful that this will be the LAST visit with this particular specialty. Fry that last nerve bundle and be done with it! I’m prepared for cane walking and other incoveniences related to ablating nerves. Chronic nasty pain is (oops, whining again here)…a pain.

After a successful treatment in STL, I’m headed for Little Rock for some interviews at Heifer International (I may have mentioned this…don’t you hate it when bloggers repeat themselves!) and perhaps a little hot spring treatment. Need to find the good, former Sara Adamson for some employment advise. Sara…if you’re reading…drop me a note.

The title of this entry had something to do with possible ramblings on the contributions and costs of colonialism. The topic is currently under some active discussion in academic circles. Looks like I’ll have to save my contribution to the topic for later.


A Walk Down Memory Lane

June 19, 2007

It’s a rainy day in Pittsburgh and a good time time to catch up with this blog and some “employment search” activities. Please see the newest addition to the photo gallery for a walking tour of some of my memories from my years in Pittsburgh (between 1970 and 1974). I’m trying to make sentences out of the waves of recollections my physical touring summoned up yesterday.

One quick snippet concerns a former teacher, now Business Manager, from Central Catholic High School.  Harry Tuminello, social studies teacher and debate coach, just happened to be walking between administrative offices at the School when I climbed the entry stairs. Harry was a memorable man, both in appearance and manner, so my brain cells fired pretty quickly and I caught him in mid-step. We reminiced for about 15 minutes. Who went where. Who’s still alive (yeah, Pat Harrington!). Who’s not. Who’s in jail or should be. He is well. Married. Kids. Happy. Far younger looking that anyone his age has a right to be.

I had Harry for only a small number of coaching sessions. But one in particularly has stood the (cliche’ here) test of time. No real need for the details of the practice debate session except; I was a sophmore, we were gettng our butts kicked by the senior squad, and I elected to “morph” a piece of written evidence from what it really said into what I really needed it to say by leaving out an important conditional after the comma. The ruse was so inept that everybody caught it including Mr. Tuminello. I will not forget the verbal lashing I got for cheating (which is exactly what it was). To this day, any time I am tempted to “fudge” some data or budget projections to put a little extra polish on the apple I recall Harry’s admonitions. It truly is amazing the things that you recall or have a lasting impact on your life. My thanks to Harry for making me a better person in less than a minute.

Travel update tomorrow. I want to get to New York before the July holiday. And I need to get to New Jersey to conserve the cash. Looks like I’ll be meeting the road Thursday or Friday at the latest. I did have a very nice birthday celebration concocted by my two youngest sisters. It made making 51 even more enjoyable than it already is.

More Pictures and Tidbits

June 17, 2007

Howdy from Pittsburgh and the US Open! Just a quick post to direct you all to photos from Cincinnati. I splurged and got a field box seat behind home plate so…lots of pictures of the Great American Ball Park (sponsored by Great American of course) to justify the expense!

Also, a note on mileage. I broke 1,000 miles on Thursday at Route 71 and 275 south of Cincinnati on my way to the Creation Museum. I’m now at almost 1400. At some point I’ll do a calculation of final estimated mileage for this adventure or…maybe I’ll post the rest of the itinerary and hold a contest?

Monday morning note: Pittsburgh pictures on-line!