Things are a bit slow around here as I continue to pack up my library and work to get the house ready to show. I have to say that I’ve begun to embrace the downsizing of my library. I’ve never had a bibliophile’s attachment to books; rather, they have always held an instrumental value based on the information contained. It really is time for me to embrace more practical methods made possible through digital sources.
In the news it looks like our favorite “Redneck” has, in fact, been fired from his bus drivers position. I feel bad for the guy, but it’s hard not to think that he brought this on himself given the regulations of his employer. Ken Webber will be represented in court by the Charlottesville-based Rutherford Institute. In my ten years living in this city I’ve not once heard of this organization.
Let’s just get one thing straight: Mr. Webber is not flying a Confederate flag. He is flying a banner that resembles a Confederate flag. It’s a salient distinction in this case. There is no evidence that Mr. Webber is a racist and beyond the casual language of “states rights” and rhetoric of individual freedom there is no evidence that this has anything to do with the Civil War. And, from what I can tell, this has nothing to do with anything resembling a “heritage” violation or attack on “the South.”
There is nothing to see here. Look Away, Look Away…
This is an interesting story out of Louisiana. The caption under the image reads: “Walter Milburn III, left, lights a candle Tuesday morning at the foot of the Confederate War Veterans Memorial in protest of the displaying of the Confederate Flag. Assisting with the lighting of the candle is George Gremillion, Sons of the Confederate Veterans Brigadier General J.J. Alfred Mouton Camp 778 commander.” Unfortunately, no one interviewed Gremillion, which, it seems to me, is the much more interesting part of this story.
Update – 06/26/11: All of the Prints Have Been Sold.
"79th New York State Highlanders"
I am putting up for sale my collection of framed Don Troiani Civil War prints, which I’ve been collecting since 2000. All of them were purchased through an authorized Troiani dealer in Fredercksburg, Virginia and include certificates of authenticity. I am going to include an asking price, but please feel free to make an offer. This is your chance to own your favorite Troiani print at a reasonable price. I will take photographs of specific prints if interested, but they are all in superb condition. Note: Click the status report link for the print’s current value.
I am not a big fan of “The Cleveland Show” but in this episode Cleveland engages in historical preservation and takes part in a Civil War reenactment. Good stuff: “It’s going to be so much easier saving Founders Park with you as the face of our cause.”
Thanks to Brooks Simpson for providing me with a good laugh as I continue to make the tough decisions about what stays and goes from my library. Most of you now know that my wife and I are moving to Boston this summer. The overwhelming majority of emails and comments have been nothing but supportive, but I have received a number of messages that have not been so kind. These come from a small, but vocal minority that I fondly refer to as the “Confederate Taliban.” Their hate-filled pronouncements do little more than highlight an inability to intelligently discuss history and in many cases I suspect that their rants are a function of very little, if any, understanding of a history that they claim to own and defend against those they perceive as outsiders. Oh well.
As I contemplate my life in Boston I find it funny that – all things being equal – I ought to expect the very same attitude in response to my blogging that I’ve experienced here in Virginia. After all, I will be as much of an outsider in Boston as I am in Charlottesville. Will there be an equivalent to the Confederate Taliban in Massachusetts that springs into action when a boy from New Jersey asks questions or delves into certain aspects of its past? When I point out the role of slavery or explore difficult moments in the history of race relations in the region will I hear that the South also had slavery and that it was much worse? And what will happen if I ask certain questions about John Adams or Col. Robert Gould Shaw?
On the one hand I know the CT will miss me. They thrive on being able to explain all that they perceive to be wrong by pointing the finger at those they perceive as outsiders. Interestingly, I never felt like an outsider during my ten years in Virginia, which is a testament to the kindness I experienced from the many new Virginia transplants as well as those who can trace their lineage back to the early years. In the end, very little about this blog is going to change in terms of content and style. I know the CT will take comfort in knowing that what I blog about in Massachusetts will still be accessible down here in Virginia. Perhaps once I am gone they can reorganize and go after those of their own, who have betrayed the sacred cause.