Thursday, July 27, 2017

Wonderful Memories of John Hamant, Historical Interpreter of Colonial Williamsburg

Breaking the silence on my blog to share a sadness that I am grieving today...the loss of a great man from Colonial Williamsburg...John Hamant.

I'll never forget the first time we met him. We had only lived in Virginia for a year, attending every single program we possibly could before the busy days of college would succumb my kids' lives. The beauty of homeschooling is a flexible schedule. We were at Colonial Williamsburg every month, sometimes multiple times a month, and as a result many of the interpreters took the time to get to know us.

While attending our very first President's Day weekend at Colonial Williamsburg, we attended every special event we could, including one that culminated the weekend on Sunday night at the Kimball Evening with the Presidents. While a modern day gent hosted the event, he introduced famed presidents from America's early years...all of whom had spent part of their lives in Williamsburg. George Washington. Thomas Jefferson. James Madison. There was a theme to the topic of discussion around which the host queried the presidents. Then the host allowed questions from the audience.

Midway through, my 14 year old son had his hand in the air, but another guest was chosen. After that question, my son started to raise his hand again, when we heard a bit of commotion on the stage. A surprise guest was being announced by the host. This guest was someone whom our early presidents had never met. However the special guest was well aware of our Founding Fathers. And with that, FDR rolled onto the stage in a perfect 1940's reproduction wheelchair, proudly grinning with the iconic cigarette. He had the accent. He had every gesture. He had every phrase, every word, down to a science. Our first presidents were stunned to hear what FDR had done to the office of president, which made for a fun evening of banter.


Anyway, after a bit of stunned silence, then a roar of surprise from the crowd at the entrance of FDR to what we thought was solely to be a late18th/early 19th century program, my son shot his hand into the air and the host immediately called on him to ask a question. We just happened to be studying FDR in our homeschool. Who knew that we could meet FDR himself at Colonial Williamsburg?

On October 20,1934, President Franklin D. Roosevelt paid a visit to celebrate the opening of the restored historic area and participate in the ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open the Duke of Gloucester Street. Downtrodden by time and modern buildings and telephone poles, the rector of Burton Parish Church envisioned restoring the little town to it's late 18th century look. His dream had come true. FDR declared the Duke of Gloucester Street which he dubbed, "the most historic avenue in all America."  John Hamant later reenacted this scene from history.

After the program we went to the stage to meet John Hamant. My kids told him they had been reading a book about FDR, so he asked for the book title to add to his collection.


At the time, CW mgt knew about my blog. Although they encouraged my love of posting about my visits to the historic area, they asked me to not post this photo of John Hamant with my kids, because they did not want me to spoil the fun for future guests who would attend this yearly program. I understood, but was deeply saddened, so someone sent my e-mail address to Mr. Hamant, who remembered us. He sent a kind e-mail with professional photos of his famous drive down Duke of Gloucester Street as FDR.


Also, every time he saw us in the historic area he stopped to say hello. Funny thing is, we realized we knew him from other historical roles.

Here he is as Governor Berkely at Historic Jamestowne reenacting a scene from Bacon's Rebellion.

7-Governor Berkely

Our prayers extend to Mr. Hamant's family and loved ones.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Then I Started Staycationing in Virginia... busy days have kept me from catching up on Texan stories. Already I'm beginning staycations in Virginia. Actually I had two grand opportunities last spring that I've yet to blog about. I'm quite thrilled that I began lessons in plein air painting!!! I've always wanted to add this to my historic interpretations.
Since coming home from Texas I've been unpacking, catching up with chores around the house and of course doing a lot of work with Convention of States, which has been grand.
I keep a computer version of a sticky note on my laptop where I list all the places we want to visit. Then each week we review and vote as a family where we go. I think it will be fun to catalogue here where we actually end up going. 
I'll bump this post with each new trip announcement. When the post is written they will become linked.

  •  Plein Air at the Old Stone Bridge, Manassas Battlefield-April 1
  • Plein Air and  Nature Journals at the Old Stone Bridge, Manassas Battlefield-May 9
  • British Invasion of Monticello-June 4
  • Arlington National Cemetery-June 11 
  • Horseback Riding in Shenandoah-June 18 
  • Culpeper where we ate at the Culpeper Cheese Company and then retrieved my quilt!-June 25  
  • A Day with the Colonial Williamsburg Milliners-June 28
  • Smithfield, Crabs, 17th century, and George Washington and Mason-July 2
  • Mary Washington House-July 9
  • Washington DC, Folger, Smithsonian Gardens-July 16
  • CFA Picnic Leesylvania State Park-July 23 
  • Hmmmm......

Saturday, July 1, 2017

New HSLDA Online Academy Discount for the 2017-2018 Academic Year

Do any of your students take classes through the HSLDA Online Academy? If so, you can get a discount by typing PTCN4D8  in the "coupon" field when you sign up.  Students "will receive a $30 discount on their total HSLDA Online Academy registration cost. "Families registering two or more students should submit separate registration forms to receive a discount for each student." (Quote from HSLDA Online Academy)

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Prayers for the Shooting Victims in Virginia

Not far from me a hate crime occurred. Praying for the victims. Thankful for the police who risked their lives to save others. Praying for all.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

A Video from Me About Sharing about Convention of States at my Polling Station on Virginia Primary Day

My busy life has very much revolved around volunteering for Convention of States. In fact, I am now Grassroots Coordinator for NoVA Central. Here's a peak into my day...

Come join me! We are a group of Patriots intent on protecting the Constitution. 

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Home from Texas!

As usual I've been quite busy! And...I'm home from Texas! My kids took their first airline flight. It was my first in 26 years! Oh, my so much has changed. And it was fun to listen to my kids' reactions. This visit was mostly about visiting family. We did make a few visits to various places that I will be sharing...
  •  LBJ Ranch with new tours
  • Wildseed Farm
  • Fredericksburg
  • San Antonio Riverwalk boat ride
  • photoshoot while wearing WWII dress set against WWII planes
  • Guene 
  • Nature Print Project with the kids and their cousins
  •  Zoo
Stay tuned for lots of photos! I still haven't seen my photoshoot yet. Those photos are in my son's camera and he's busier than I am.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Rufflicious Pink and White Quilt for a Niece

I've been busy sewing a quilt for my niece.


It took me forever to find cute flannel.


I had no idea how many squares to cut. I just estimated in my head and kept working on it until it seemed right.




It seems rufflicious to m e!


I will give this to her while I'm in Texas!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Commencement March, Fife and Drum Corps and Colonial Williamsburg

My daughter graduated from GMU this week!


George Mason wrote the Virginia Declaration of Rights, helped write the Constitution, insisted upon the Bill of Rights being written...and reminded his fellow delegates of the importance of providing We the People with a Convention of States when federal over reach becomes tyrannical. His colleagues immediately agreed. This provision is part of Article V of the Constitution.



My daughter had 2 ceremonies. She walked on Thursday. On Saturday she marched to commencement behind the GMU Fife and Drum Corps. This was the only reason why she wanted to attend commencement. We love the Colonial Williamsburg Fife and Drum Corps and the Old Guard. The Old Guard, which does have some members who had once been part of the CW F&D, helps to train the GMU F&D. I ran ahead of the corps to be in a great position for video taping, just like I've done many times at CW. When I got in place the fifer on the far right of the below photo waved to me. What a surprise! She's one of the Drum Major from Colonial Williamsburg who came to help out! 


Here's the video of the march. The Fife and Drum Corps was excellent! Ah...I love that sound! It was funny in that  later that afternoon I got a text message from a good friend of mine at CW who said she missed me not being at Drummer's Call which was the very same day. I miss DC as well...but these graduations are keeping us busy for a while. I'm glad the DC came to us!

There's my daughter!



Now she starts grad school. Actually she already has 4 classes under her belt that she took with under grad classes this year. It's how she gets her Early Childhood degree.

I'll probably add more photos and videos later. (I got a video of the Fife and Drum Corps entering the stadium.) Perhaps even next month because the kids and I are off to Texas!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

George C Marshall House, Colonial Williamsburg, and Lafayette

For Mother's Day I wanted to visit the George C. Marshall house. I had stumbled upon its existence last summer and immediately put it on our "to visit" list. I had always been intrigued with his Marshall Plan after WWII.

His wife loved roses. She happily let some teenagers use them for a prom one year.








Colonial Williamsburg's Governor's Palace!


Colonial Williamsburg's Bruton Parish Church!


We asked if there was a story here!  We had already learned how Marshall was always busy, so when did he ever have time to go  to Colonial Williamsbug? Was he a huge fan?

Apparently, he was in Washington DC with Winston Churchill and others, when topics became heated. Marshall took them away to the 4mph society for respite...which left everyone much calmer, as is so typical of Colonial Williamsburg. The docent said she found the story in The Colonial Williamsburg Journal. I have not been able to find it yet.







We also learned how much the people of Europe loved George Marshall. After his house fell into disrepair, they donated much of the money to help restoration for it to become a museum. These bricks, I think, tell this story...


Any surprise that this is my favorite brick?




Monday, May 15, 2017

Gilbert and Sullivan Exhibit at GMU

I was at GMU with my daughter when she picked up honor cords to wear for her upcoming graduation. While there, she gave me a tour of the new library...that had a Gilbert and Sullivan exhibit showcasing their solo careers from before they were a team.


There were so many delightful items to enjoy!