I had a wonderful time last night up in Fredericksburg where I presented a talk on Confederate military executions to the Rappahannock Valley CWRT. About 45-50 people showed up for the dinner and talk. Before dinner I had a nice chat with historian Richard L. Dinardo. As for the talk they were very attentive and their questions were first rate; the group has given me plenty to think about. I was both surprised and pleased to see that the group uses evaluation forms for each speaker, which makes it easier to decide if there will be a return performance in the future. Given the number of dreadful speakers I’ve heard at my roundtable I made sure to take a copy to give to our president. There is nothing worse than knowing that you gave up a couple of hours in the evening for nothing. Luckily I didn’t have to wait for the evaluations to get a sense of whether I would be asked back next year; I am already on the schedule for March 2008.
On a different note I was horrified to see the continued urban sprawl that is making its way west along Rt. 3. The shopping malls are popping up everywhere. One of my favorite stops whenever a give a tour of the Chancellorsville battlefield is the Zoan Church. Now I haven’t been to Fredericksburg in about a year, but there is a brand new up-scale community right behind the church. There seems to be no end to it and, more importantly, there doesn’t seem to be a way to stop it.
It was a long drive home, but definitely worth it.