Saturday, May 14, 2011

Maine Minutiae: 2nd Graders & I Learn About Early Maine

...And a Bottle of Rum
I had a hoot yesterday. I got to spend a few hours with my oldest daughter, Isabella, on a 2nd Grade Class Field Trip, hereby referred to as "2GCFT". I met a school bus full of 7 & 8 year olds yesterday at a very historic site in here in Augusta, Old Fort Western, and got the Grand Tour of Old Fort Western OFW is the oldest standing fort in the United States having been built in the mid 1750's.

Along with the above-mentioned kids and a few other parent/chaperones, I got the Grand Tour of Old Fort Western and actually found it very interesting. Of course our guides, dressed in full 1750's regalia, right down to the shoes, made their presentation geared toward second grader, it was done well-enough that it even kept my interest. The Fort was a center of commerce for the area way back when, not only for its English inhabitants, but for the Native Indians as well. On site, they have a General Store that looks like you just walked into 1750-something (and you actually do!), a class room for the kids of the time and some other really cool historical artifacts that were commonly used by Old Fort Westerners. I honestly had a good time and learned something, too. I think the kids did, too.

The best part of the whole trip, which is about 3 miles, round trip from where I sit, was spending time with Issy. She's a smart kid and was asking questions of the tour guides and answering theirs as well. The thing I liked 2nd most was being a part of my little girl's school experience. I felt like hell when I went to meet the students yesterday morning, but all that changed on a sunny, breezy Spring morning when I saw how much interest the kids showed in the tour. It's something I won't soon forget.

Here are some photos from our excursion...
St. Augustine Catholic Church
Rope for the Ships
State Capitol Building Way in the Background

A Trader's Boat from the 1750's

Texas Tidbits: 29 Years After Columbus

The Lone Star
The history of Texas is as varied and colorful as the land itself. Many people don't know that the history of Texas as we know it, began less than thirty years after Columbus landed in the New World. From the time of the first Europeans setting foot in Texas in 1519, to 1836 when Texas won its independence from Mexico through the Civil War years, the flags of six countries would fly over the Lone Star State.

Today, in a series of short posts, we will celebrate this extraordinary place called Texas. Our journey will begin in 1519 and take us through the centuries on a historical adventure that is second to none in its diverse, yet unique path through time... a journey that will explore the land, the people and events that shaped this magnificent place into what it is today, almost 500 years after the the footsteps of the first Europeans were fresh in the sand.

It was on this date in 1845 that , after nine years as the Republic of Texas, that Texas became the 28th state to join the Union, by treaty with the United States.

Ladies and Gentlemen, fellow Texans and citizens of all lands, it is with great pride that I humbly present to you..."the damnedest lady you ever saw"...


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All Original Material © Toby Shoemaker