Friday, February 3, 2012

Am I A D**** Yankee?

There's something about the south....

There's something about Virginia....

Understand - Virginia and the south are two totally different things.  Virginia IS the epitomy of South as it used to be.  Those people are deceptively southern!  Here's the thing - quite of few of the born and bred ones don't even really have a southern accent!  Its kind of like Canadians - once in a blue moon you can pick something out in what they say that makes you all of a sudden think "hey - they're not one of us..."  Those Virginians, unless they're a special breed, don't do the twing and twang that a normal southerner does so you just never know.

Take, for instance, the first time I worked with one my reps in Norfolk.  We had just met and had worked together for about an hour, we talked extensively and I had presumed that he was a transplant from someplace else as I couldn't detect one point of "southerness" in his speech.  Then, he asks me how I like Norfolk and I told him that I really enjoyed all the historical stuff that you could see from the Civil War.  Without missing a beat and with no expression whatsoever, he looks at me and says "you mean the War of Northern Aggression".  I chuckled and made a snyde response of "yes, we northerners are quite aggressive..." and I smile and look at him.  No smile.  Another dead-pan stare and the repeated response "the War of Northern Aggression".  And suddenly it hit me - "are you from Virginia?" I questioned.  "Born and raised" was the response.  Eeek - I had NO clue.  And by the way - those Virginiaers are DEAD SERIOUS about the War of Northern Aggression stuff....  And they still refer to northerners as Yankees!

So, being down in Norfolk and then working of in Richmond, I decided to take the long route up to Richmond and drive over to see my brother and sister in law in Lynchburg.  I'd never been there and I hadn't seen my oldest sibling in quite a while so, it was a 3 hour some minute drive, but it was family...

I got over on Tuesday night and we ended up going out to dinner and just hanging out a little while.  The next day I was supposed to work in Richmond and then ended up coming back over to Lynchburg by one.  Alan got off work at 2 and we had been discussing the night before how they really hadn't seen anything in the area, so I figured we might as well kill a bunch of birds with one great big stone.

We made a 30 minute trip out to Appamattox Court House, VA to see where the -- excuse me -- Civil War/ aka / War of Northern Aggression ended.  I actually learned a lot!  And I got a little bit of a complex -- but the learning thing was probably important too.

So here's a little bit of a history lesson -- the name of the town is Appomattox Court House as in three separate words.   The building in the very front of the picture here is the Appomattox Court House Courthouse.  Yes - its the actual courthouse of the two named Court House.

This is the tiny little town of Appomattox Court House.

This is the house - yes HOUSE - in Appomattox Court House where Lee and Grant signed off on the end of the Civil War/War of Northern Aggression.  The people in front of the house are not original to the area but are actors playing the part of southerners....

The house pictured above is not the actual house where the "deed" happened.  Unfortunately, because of the fact that it was the War of Northern Aggression that ended here, those Virginians didn't really want to "remember the Alamo" so to speak.  So the house was used for a while but then it ended up bring torn down.  I suppose they wanted to forget about the dastardly dead that was done there on that April 9th, 1865.  But - because Yankees don't die -- we demanded that that little piece of history be built back up again exactly like it was before.  And when I say exactly - I mean exactly - the pictures of the original place are exactly like this place.  Even the worn down paint.

So this is the recreation of the parlor and all where they all were.  The furniture for the most part is recreation.  The two white vases on the mantle actually the vases that were on the mantle then.  And the sofa pictured below it is actually the sofa that was in the room then (I'm sure reupholstered but it definitely had the black fabric on it.)

I told Alan that the last picture I had taken with a brother was of him trying to push me off a cliff....
This is nice.... :)

The Courthouse - actually another rebuild but it does look the same.

These houses are all original houses that were in the town.  They've had some patchwork done, but are the same original structures.

Excavations reveal amazing things - like this original Mickey Mouse...
Its kind of funny for a lock, isn't it? :)

Original structures

Back of the McLean house

After our little walk back through history and being told how everyone in Virginia thought that we were all D**** Yankees (ok maybe it was phrased that they USED to think that - but sometimes I still question), we decided to spend some money in the fine town of Lychburg.

One building that we had seen the night before and then I had looked up, was the Craddock Terry Hotel.  It was actually an old shoe manufacturer from the 1800s and now this hotel was in the building and is on the historic registry hotel list.  The Craddock Terry shoe company was actually one of the biggest shoe manufacturers in the U.S. and, cool fact, they were the shoe factory that manufactured all the military shoes and boots during WWII.  That means that Uncle George and dad wore Craddock Terry shoes!  Cool!  It also was the reason that during the Depression, Lynchburg was actually a thriving town because the shoe company was what continued to bring in income from the nation.

Now the hotel has a great restaurant called the Shoemaker and the rooms in the hotel all have this shoe theme...

And they're one of those hotels with the hotel dog.  His name is Buster Brown and he was adorable -- ok, he was a terrier so he had that going for him.  He's actually one of the most affectionate dogs I've seen for a hotel dog.  Usually they're kind of snooty and don't want to be petted and won't pay attention to you, but Buster comes right up and wants to be petted and he knows all these tricks that he'll perform for you.  Too cute!

And so then that night I went back to Norfolk for my appointments the next day and, as I had originally blogged - I knew traffic would be a beast going through the downtown tunnel.  Here it is, 7:30 a.m. in the morning and a long line of cars waiting to merge into the lanes to get into the tunnel.  Cripes - I did get to my appointment on time, FYI :)

One the way to the airport I saw this and was so intrigued.  I don't know why they would have it, but the Norfolk Police have this huge armored car Hummer thing.  It was massive and it looked like it could just drive through a wall or something.  Anyone know why they'd have it or what they'd use it for???

And one last picture from the south before I return up north to all of our aggression - and no Chick-Fil-A :(


Pat said...

Love this, Alison! Great pictures and funny comments. I especially loved the picture of the plaque in front of the courthouse--how these men surrendered--but not in spirit. So true. All I can say is: I'm glad I didn't live back then. Hard issues (except slavery, of course!)

Great seeing Alan and Cindy, too. Miss us all together. Maybe someday ....

Pat said...

And I forgot to say: DEAR ME! That Piece of Work looks like an Airedale, for sure. Sooo cute!