When is Heritage an Excuse?

By Mark

I’ve been home today thanks to the Government shutdown.

A day of mandatory time off has given me the opportunity to get a few things done around the house, but has also given me time to think; and that is always dangerous.

WARNING-this is a non-partisan semi-political rant with a few pictures.

If you want to stop reading at least here is a picture of a hunting pack of basset hounds

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A couple of weeks ago, Warrenton held its Heritage Days parade on Main Street.  Starting with colonial days and Lord Fauquier they showcased our little town’s history all the way through women’s suffrage to today’s proud young JROTC volunteers.

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I was struck however by how much this town, this region, and all through the South still cling to memories of the Confederacy.  We have been going to a lot of Civil War Sesquicentennial events and they are impressive to watch.

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I’ve read and studied a lot of history and it was a really brutal time.  I’ve always approached it though, from the point of view that the ideals the North fought for were in fact the right ones.  The individual soldiers fighting for the South were no better or worse human beings than their Northern counterparts.  There is no question that they endured hardships and fought bravely.

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What they were in favor of however was absolutely a horrible concept.  I think it is time we stopped buying into the balderdash that the fight was about State’s Rights.  At its core the war was the question of whether or not human beings could be legally treated as property.  There is a lot of waving around of the Constitution these days by people who want to pick out only the words they want to hear.  The Civil War should be over and the Union forming the United States won.  We don’t see too many flags  from the defeated WWII countries being waved about and called Heritage.  It is time to put away the rebel flags for good and remember which side won.  We are supposed to be One Nation, Indivisible--It is high time we acted like it.

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Under the Hood

Sunday was Father’s day, and Warrenton has an annual old car show along Main Street.  Now I am not much of a “car” guy, but I knew that this would provide an opportunity to get up close to take pictures of other people’s expensive hobbies.  Sarah graciously came with Roger and I to wander in and among the vehicles.  I challenged myself to only shoot with my 105 Macro, to see if I could find the bits of the car which could show off the whole thing.  It is impressive to find the little additions to these custom machines.  I couldn’t pass up Ms. Boop.


I love the older models, with the detailed vents.  The really old Ford truck still had its wooden spoked wheels. Some of the restored interiors were just seductive, where the leather just glowed.

The amazingly clean engines seemed to be ready to roar into life under the chrome of their pipes and valves.  The weather was perfect and it made for a really great day. 

What makes the place you live special?

One of the reasons I moved out to the countryside was for the somewhat slower pace.  What I’ve discovered is the sense of community that holds and shapes places.  Two weekends ago, Warrenton held the Spring Festival.  Nothing really fancy, booths selling stuff, crafts and raising money for local charities.  The clown was out building balloons for the Shriners.   Not working for the government.  This little girl wasn't afraid of him at all.  Our local Volunteer Fire Department showcasing their gear.  They count on the support of the entire town to both fund and staff them.  They respond at all hours of the day and night, donating their most precious gift-their time. Musicians played all around the town, from the steps of the courthouse, to the churchyard to very enthusiastic audiences.

 The brave youngsters were tackling the rock wall—far higher than I would have gone. 

The Warrenton Police brought out their barrel train.  This young man was not certain he wanted to go off all by himself,

but these ladies were just having a blast. 

 My friend and  neighbor Sgt. George Southard was riding his Segway ® , keeping his eye on the “mob”.  A lifelong resident of the county, his dedication to the community  is part of makes this a great place to live.  We even had our own Princess Genevieve,out greeting her loyal subjects. 

  http://www.kingdomofazuria.com http://www.facebook.com/kingdomofazuria

All in all it was a fun day.  I’m certain that somewhere around you there is a local festival, fair, carnival or other event.  Take your camera out and try and capture what makes your hometown special.