A visit to Gettysburg and too many Confederate flags

I do enjoy a Civil War re-enactment. I dragged the whole family to one at the Lake County History Center when we still lived in Ohio and I can still get at least some of them to go again, even though it seems always to be miserably hot. I am super interested in the clothes and uniforms, and also by the odd and all-consuming hobby re-enacting seems to be.

But, before we leave Martinsburg a few more pictures and one more story.

As I mentioned, Aunt Lillian is super independent, having lived as a single lady all these years, and has long prided herself on healthy living since way before it was cool.

She is kind of bent over now but that is because just a couple years ago she fell through her garage ceiling pictured above. It was horrible and shocking news at the time and I think we all assumed that it would be the sad end of Lil. Amazingly she not only survived — but still lives much as she always has, getting help as needed and using her penchant for nifty tools to create hacks (like the voice-responsive remote control for her kitchen TV).

Also, she told me that the feeling of free-fall between the ceiling and the floor was incredible and she now understood why people enjoy skydiving.

Then we went to Gettysburg!

I had no idea the battlefield is so huge that you have to drive around to see all the sights. First we had lunch and cooled off at the Visitor Center.


As the presentation began, we realized that we were there on July 3, the anniversary of the third and last day of battle and it was 1:00 pm, the exact time when Pickett’s Charge began. Wow!

So, we drove around for a while, admiring the town and the truly beautiful countryside.

By about the fourth stop though, we discovered a few Civil War re-enactors milling around, all of whom seemed deeply interested in the Confederate flag. I told Danny that if I were a person of color I wouldn’t even get out of my car. And at the next stop there were a bunch more and it creeped us out so much we just called it a day and split.

I get the fun of re-enacting for sure. But I wonder what type of person chooses to go all in on Confederate military history, along with many different iterations of their flag. Tensions were high in that part of the US anyway, the day before July 4th and the Military Parade and I’m sure there were lots of firearms around. It just didn’t feel safe — even for a nice white matron and her clean-cut (looking) son.

But! The good news is that the next stop was the eastern shore of Maryland and this mysterious lady.

This was Day 3.

I assure you that my stand-offish body language here as everything to do with the dreadful heat and humidity and my own grossness after a day in the sun.

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