Four hours and seven minutes ago...
Day 2’s itinerary started with a tour of the battle site at Gettysburg (for verification of that see the itinerary). Expectations ranged from “highlight of the trip” (not Av, not Etan; Harold.) to “is sleeping in the hotel this morning an option?” – Abie. Yes, Abie was the kid in camp who always wanted to play gameboy in the bunk. Basketball leagues were for Ashkenazi losers.
Gettysburg surpassed all of our expectations. (Except for Av who apparently put Gettysburg in the perfectly rated bands category. Gettysburg is in a league with Tone Loc and the Beatles) It was really great. I’ll break its wonders into a few categories:
1, History 5… Alive!
- It really felt like a living history in so many ways.
• A lot of houses and buildings from that area still stand, and there are a few houses that have live itinerary fire imprints still in them. We don’t often see musket bullet holes in Manhattan. Sometimes, but not often.
• They have trees that have stood since the civil war. They call them “Witness trees,” This is unlike Starkus and other Clevelanders who are “Witness People”
• There are 1600 monuments in total in the Gettysburg area. These monuments are great to picture where troops were in the war because the actual rule for putting monuments up is that monuments can only be erected in an area the troops occupied and held. These guys have more rules than Judaism.
• I like this bullet point because I get to mention our unbelievable tour guide, Richard “Bill” Bellamy. This guy was straight out of a science fiction movie, or he was a Trafalmadorian, basically living the civil war right now. He saw the battle ongoing as he described it to us. He did a great job of painting the scene and uttered statements like “ignore the buildings on the right, they’re not here.” Let’s just say - Where he’s going he didn’t need roads.
• While we’re on “Bill” Bellamy, despite his astute historicity, he wasn’t exactly Def Comedy Jam. He started many explanations with “what we have here…” and never followed up with “is a failure to communicate.” If you ever find yourself in a situation where you are explaining aspects of the Civil War, please – for your sake, for your daughter’s sake… reference Axl Rose.
2. You speak to each son on his own level. We obviously do not understand war.. but we attempted. Here is what we came up with:
• Gettysburg was one big Color War. The Confederates won day 1. They must have had superior squads for floor hockey, basketball, and track and field. Day 2 was close but the Union eked out a victory. The apache relay by its nature is always a tight race. Gettysburg was won on day 3, when the Union destroyed the Confederate units. Banner and Shiria were a blow out. I doubt the confederates even made an alma mater.
• Civil War cannonballs look like Mario bros. cannonballs, We didn’t see confederate soldiers, but I assume they resemble King Kuppa
• After competing in the dodgeball tournament last Wednesday, I realize I could have fought in the civil war. Wars used to be fought like 4 corner dodgeball. One team lines up and the best attacks come from both sides- across your front and your side. I’m just not sure I would recruit the Rachels to man my brigade flank.
• How did they keep you in the army? Simple. If you left, they killed you. I still think we would have gotten out of it: Av would have went to Canada (still got signed in daily and left army with honors), Abie would have answered his draft call with an “Absolutely Not!” I would have played dead on the battlefield and let the army pass by. Booch would have been dismissed for insubordination. Harold would have fought successfully, I think. A fine soldier!
3. Things you may want to wikipedia
• Pickett’s Charge- 7,000 Confederate troops died in one hour
• Daniel (-?) Sickles- If “Bill” Bellamy was telling the truth, and he was always honest in Rock n Jock competition, this guy - was a civil war general, served as congressman from NY, shot and killed Philip Key (Son of Francis Scott), entered the first known insanity plea for that murder, and as a septuagenarian, had an affair with the 80 something year old queen of Spain. I am just assuming he also came up with the slogan “Don’t worry, be happy,” showed JFK his wounded ass, and fathered a child with a girl named jenny.
• Once when asked why there wasn’t a monument to him in Gettysburg, he exclaimed “the whole damn park is a monument to me.” Sickles was so fine, he wore suits that made Sinatra look like a hobo.
4. Bits and Pieces
• Lessons from “Bill” Bellamy. Never stick your hand inside a cannon. Birds and bees are in there. As to what they’re doing in there….
• Speaking of “Bill,” we ran into him and his Bellamy in the bathroom on our way out . Um, let’s just say – “Bill” Bellamy isn’t hung like a horse. Horses are hung like “Bill” Bellamy.
• Did we meet a cute Gettysburg chick named Mandy? Did I have a great 3 am conversation with her where she explained to me why she wasn’t a hick? Did she tell me that the main fun thing in the town was drinking in Devil’s Den after Gettysburg park closing? Did she invite us for some late night Pennsylvania alcohol? I don’t know, I’ll let you decide…
I think that New Harold sums it up best:
“You know what’s probably cool? Being a civil war buff”
Pittsburgh Still to come...