[OT] Williamsburg, SSG, etc! [long]
- Hello All,
Sorry this is not really game related - except for a paragraph on the
games played in old Virginia in 1775 and the next to last paragraph on
the SSG. Skip to that if you are not interested in the rest!
Jenn and I are having a great time here in Williamsburg. There is so
much to see and do - we have been here a week and can't take it all
The ride down was about 11 hours. We went I95 right down through NY -
the number of American flags and personal signs on the highway bridges
was innumerable. It was incredible reading the homemade signs with
messages (to NYPD, Firefighters, families of the victims and Americans
in general) as we drove from MA to RI, CT, NY, MD, DE and finally VA.
Once we got here, it seems everyone working in and around the historic
areas (which is pretty much everywhere!) are all in costume and in
character from the period in time.
Here in Williamsburg it is November of 1775 - just a year before the
revolution. The seeds of revolution have been planted, the Virginians
are concerned because of what happened in Boston recently - the
protest against the English taxes and the dumping of the taxed tea
into Boston harbor. The English have set up a blockade in Boston and
have brought it under martial law (and brought in English regular
army). This has many Virginians here (like Patrick Henry and Thomas
Jefferson) worried about their brethren in the Massachusetts colony
and feel that what happened there could just as easily happen here!
We've seen court trials, taverns, plays, the house of Burgesses
meeting in the capitol building, the church, everything is just as it
was in 1775 (reconstructed to every known historical record in the
1920's). Ghost stories at night have been neat! We even spent a
morning in the Governor's east garden listening to Patrick Henry talk
about his recent trip to the first Continental Congress in
The best news is they played lots of games in 1775!! Mostly games like
"The Royal Game of Goose" (looks like Chutes and Ladders?!?) and
plenty of card games (I bought a reconstructed 1770's deck of cards -
non plastic coated and courts are full-lenth and no indices on the
cards). The known late 1700's inventory of the Governor's Palace
lists 142 decks of cards. Chess is also played.
We have been immersed in US history at places like Jamestown - site of
the first English settlement in 1607. We spoke at length with John
Rolfe (husband of Pocohontas - yeah, we too thought it was John Smith
- turns out cartoons are not always the best source of history). We
saw the excavations of the first fort - it was amazing to see the
first English settlement after 400 years of history.
We spent a day in Yorktown - where in 1781 General Washington finally
overcame the English General Cornwallis which virtually ensured
independence. We went to the Moore house which is the site where the
terms of the surrender where worked out after the siege of Yorktown
Everything seems so relevant - it is incredible how much of a struggle
the settling of the country and the struggle for independence (and
yes, they don't hold back on telling us how poorly we treated the
natives who were here long before us and Jenn and I felt particularly
touched as we toured the reconstructed slave dwellings and preserved
plantations in the area). Everyone seems even more touched at the
history knowing what the country is now going through to continue our
struggle as Americans. It turns out since the year is 1775 and we are
still a British colony, the British flag flies everywhere - the had to
get special permission from the US government to fly the British flag
on the 1775 reconstructed Capitol building for the sake of history
(and were, of course, allowed - normally any flag flown over a
building must be a US flag) but last week they flew the US flag for 7
We did spend today outside of the historic sites - we went to Busch
Gardens. Jenn spent much of the day on the big rides - Apollo's
Chariot and Alpengeist. She really loved the latter - so we spent a
lot of time in the German village and since I'm not a big fan of the
big coasters (I had a hard enough time with the "Escape from Pompeii"
flume ride!!) I spent quite a bit of time in the German village (and
got to celebrate in their tribute to the upcoming Oktoberfest - lots
of dancing, clapping and knee slapping with plenty of shouting!).
Anyway, we look forward to coming home soon - sorry to ramble on!
I've been reading email ever 2 days - so I've kept up (somewhat) on
the UG list. We've taken more than 130 pictures (at least 90
We leave for MA tomorrow. I won't be back for SSG tomorrow night
(Sept 29, 2001) - so I assume it will not happen. However, if someone
wants to organize it - the hall is open (just collect the fee and give
to the appropriate people out front).
Jenn and I will see many of you around the game table in the next
couple of weeks!! Hope all is well back home...