"From this hour I ordain myself loos'd of limits and imaginary lines, going where I list, my own master total and absolute, Listening to others, considering well what they say, Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating, Gently, but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me."
Walt Whitman (1819-92)
"When I look back now over my life and call to mind what I might have had simply for taking and did not take, my heart is like to break."
Akhenaton (d. c.1354 BC)
And now, the current weather, from some random person we pulled off the street:
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Thump Thump Thump
"Testing....Is this thing on? Hello?"
Cool, it's working. This was the longest period of time I have been off line since 1986, believe it or not. But now I'm back, at least according to Adelphia.
On the other hand, after the install I just finished, I'm scared to turn off my computer. Just in case, ya know.
I'm sitting in my new house in Hopewell, Virginia. The house is right on one of the main drags in town, and honest to God the "Welcome to Hopewell" sign is in my yard. So is the one that honors the local high school which has apparently won state champion in almost every major sport.
This town is so different from where I lived in Richmond. Things run slower here. People are nicer, on the whole. It's comfortable, like an old pair of jeans.
The town has a history stretching back to the early 1600's, and that history probably describes this town's unique character better than anything could.
By 1675, 200 people lived in this area, which was called "Charles City Point."
In 1776, American troops shelled ships commanded by Benedict Arnold from the bluffs overlooking the river here. They didn't hit anything. About 200 people lived here.
In 1860, roughly 200 people lived here.
However, as the area is a strategically located deepwater port, in 1865 Union General Grant made this his headquarters for the seige of Petersburg. Overnight, City Point, as it was then known, became the worlds largest port, servicing over 400 ships a day at one point. The Union army built a hospital, which treated 40,000 troops at once. The population zoomed to over 60,000 people.
By 1875, about 200 people lived here.
In the early 1900's, the village had grown to about 2,000 people. Dupont came in and opened a dynamite plant, and incorporated it under the name "Hopewell Farms." The town quickly grew to 40,000 people.
But then in a few years, the plant closed. The population dived again. Even though some other plants came in to employ the local workers, the population has hovered just above the 20,000 mark for some time.
City point is now a beautiful riverside park. I'll leave you with a story that happened to us this weekend.
We were sitting on a picnic table by the river, and about 20 yards from us on the shore was a HUGE thirty pound dead catfish. Two little girls came up. As little girls will do, they took sticks and started poking at the fish for a bit. Soon they grew tired of this, and the smallest girl took a paper cup and started heaping dirt on top of the fish.
"Look, they're burying it," I said to my wife.
Then the little girl's mother came up. "Are you burying the fish?" she asked.
The girls, who were now spreading the dirt all over the fish said "No Ma'am. We're breadin' it!"
So here I sit, in a town where the pretty girls spit on the sidewalk, and I'll bet I have a lot of good stories on the way.
Simplicity is the peak of civilization. --Jessie Sampter