Sunday, July 19, 2009

Yorktown, Va.

For your reading and viewing enjoyment, we have a historical and quite visual tour of Yorktown, Va., noted most notably for being the colonial port
where the ol' Brit Lord Cornwallis threw up the white flag at the hands of American and French forces in 1781. Julie and I were joined by Claire and MerriGrace for a little walkabout. We love Yorktown. As you can see it's quite a lovely little spot. Even the homes that have cannonballs stuck in the walls are pretty cool.
We found an old graveyard in town at Grace Colonial Church, or is it Colonial Grace Church? Either way, the church dates to the late 17th century and the graveyard out back of the church has a beautiful view of the York River. Not that the interred give a hoot. (Editor's note: Boy are you on a roll tonight. Author's reply: Hey, I laughed. That's all that matters.) I've included a couple shots of graves at the graveyard, including a photo of one dude's headstone who bought the plot, so to speak, in 1674 -- 1674! That's 335 years ago! That's a really, really long time ago!
Another photo is of the epitaph of William Nelson, whose son Thomas Nelson was a former Colonial Virginia governor, signer of the Declaration of Independence and all-around good chap. So good, in fact, a community college in Newport News was named after him. That's big-time. Thomas Nelson's home is the one up there with the cannonball stuck in the side of it from when the Americans shelled the town in the siege of 1781. Now just thinking out loud here, but I'd say a cannonball lodged in the bricks at your home is kind of an unusual exterior decoration, and not something you see every day. In fact, I don't remember one single house in my boyhood home of Bend, Ore., that had a cannonball stuck in the bricks. But maybe it was en vogue in Colonial Virginia. Perhaps a sign of distinction, as it were. As if to say that your house not only was so significant it was targeted for attack, but it also withstood the barrage in fine fashion. Who knows.
Julie is quite interested in finding out more about Nelson's wife, one Lucy Grymes. Lucy bore 11 children, which isn't too shabby. My hunch, and it's just a hunch, is that's what Julie finds among the more interesting things about Lucy. I was most impressed with the five children she cranked out from 1768 to 1773. She slacked off a little bit there after that, but managed to yield 11 children in 14 years. That's quite the pace. Especially back in the day.

And I'll say this for ol' Willie Nelson. That's some epitaph. I've had to rethink things because I just wanted mine to read: "Threw a no-hitter in Wiffle ball against Brenton in 2004." In light of reading William Nelson's epitaph, maybe something more, um, I don't know, more profound is more appropriate. I don't know about you, but reading the William Nelson gravestone leads me to think that they don't make epitaphs like they used to. Now to be perfectly honest, I'm not even sure what those words on the gravestone mean. But they sure sound good!


  1. Prof. sabo, thanks for the history lesson and the great pix. We watched the TV version of "Patriot" last night with Mel these pix kinda bring the movie to life! Cool!

  2. Matt, I think you should've of stayed in Oregon a little longer and dare I utter the words "went to U of O for a minor in history" wait a tic does OSU offer a degree in history I should know but I don't did you see there football team was up for an ESPY last night "giant killer 3".