Sunday, September 5, 2010

Destination Decisions

From Mount Vernon Album
    On Tuesday, I had a traveling decision to make.  I had plans to stay with someone in Vienna, an area just outside D.C.  On my way there, I could either stop by the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond or Mount Vernon.  To the probable disappointment of many of my Southern readers (yes, many of us can read now), I went to Mount Vernon.  On my drive there, I listened to Confessions of an Economic Hitman which offers a shocking (to me anyway) perspective of the behind the scenes discussions that happen between the US and developing nations.  Most interesting to me were the “relations” between the corporations and US government and the way things are “handled” when leaders in other countries decide to play ball.
    The land area of Mount Vernon was larger than I thought it would be and the actual house smaller.  GW considered him a farmer first and had he not been needed to lead a group of scoundrels against the greatest army on the face of the Earth and then help start a government that would become the most powerful in the world (for better or worse), he probably would have spend his entire life farming.  He even developed his own sixteen sided barn (the purpose of which I believe was to have horses or mules stomp on grain in a circle all day or something) which was somewhat innovative at the time I guess, but soon became obsolete because of other crop refining techniques.
    Anywho, one thing about the house really disappointed me: GW was basically a giant in his day.  I think he was around 6’2” or 6’3” and the average height for a man then was around 5’7” probably.  HE designed the additions to his house, so surely, he designed it for tall people, but no, he goes and designs entryways for midgets (sub six-footers) and I’m ducking all over the place during the tour.
    He and his wife used to host people all the time…like 200 plus visits a year or something.  He had this study where absolutely no one (assuming this included his wife) was allowed in there except for him.  Lots of books there and his chair from his office while he was President.  I’m speculating that he went in there a lot to get sloshed and think, “Damnit I just want to plow crops and stuff.  How the hell did I get involved in this developing a nation bullshit?”
    In all truthfullness, it was really cool to be in the house of this guy without whom our country would not exist.  The more you learn about him, the more you wonder how one guy did so much and maybe even how a man so great could even exist.
    I headed to Vienna, ate at a Mexican restaurant (one of those burrito places where you go down the line and say what you want on it) where I made the mistake of asking for the uber hot salsa because it looked good and then not ordering anything to drink.  Finding the house of the lady I was going to stay with was a little bit of an adventure because the address I had was one letter off (a ‘d’ instead of a ‘b’), but I eventually figured it out.  It was a moderate sized house in a large suburban area.  When I got there, she wasn’t there, but had told me on the phone before that one of the doors was unlocked and I could let myself in.  I walked up to the door and there were two big black dogs inside that were barking at me like there was no tomorrow.  I was a little anxious about opening the door since it wasn’t too much of a stretch to envision these dogs pouncing on me the second I open the door.  Thankfully, the second I opened the door, these dogs magically became my best friend.  I let them out and then fed them then went to bed.  First day of D.C. tomorrow.

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