Go West young woman

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrouK2JeBn0

Sometimes, I am really shocked when I realize how ignorant some US citizens are about the history of the United States. These days, I find some of the better informed are those who have become naturalized citizens. Perhaps that’s why I’m pretty upbeat about the US.  Seven of my eight great-grandparents were naturalized citizens who came to the US looking for a better life.

True, there have been some very negative instances in U.S. History, but much positive too. Much of the positive was the mending of what was negative.  Take Brown versus the Board of Education as an example.

 I can’t go into the minutiae, there’s simply too much of it, but I am happy I have studied history for so long.  The downside is I lost my sense of wonderment for a while.  I found it again working on my eighth great-grandparent’s family tree.

In the beginning, it was 100% Puritan, both English and Welsh.  About 150 to 200 years later, their great-grandchildren fought the War of Independence from England, along with immigrants from other places, Scots,  Germans and French, as well as migrants from Barbadoes and other British colonies. Mostly they were farmers and craftspeople.  Some of them killed indigenous people, but others married them.  Our history as well as the history of our country isn’t back or white, its many shades of grey.

For a long time, our history was written by the well-off among us, those who gained the most from the exploitation of others as well as the land. Today, the sometimes reviled ‘revisionist’ history is about the little guys, my ancestors and perhaps yours.  Mostly, they did not set out to exploit anyone, they set out to improve their own lives and the lives of their families. This history is called ‘Popular’ history because it’s about the people. I love it because it helps me feel good about who I am and my country.  Very important as we approach Memorial Day and the seventieth anniversary of D-Day.

                                                          —000—

The girls spent most of yesterday in Kansas.  They texted a few interesting sights:

Hannah's new hairdo.  The hairs on her chin belong to sister Joy

Hannah’s new hairdo. The hairs on her chin belong to sister Joy

Cyclists headed to Washington DC for the Rolling Thunder event on Memorial Day.

Cyclists headed to Washington DC for the Rolling Thunder event on Memorial Day.

Wind Farms

Wind Farms

The open road.

The open road.

An oil well or two

An oil well or two

A sign at the rest stop

A sign at the rest stop

IMG_0285IMG_0290

Kansas seemed to go on forever.  Then all of a sudden, they saw Oz.

image

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18 thoughts on “Go West young woman

  1. Hi Dianne. I have been busy and just catching up on this fascinating trip by the girls. Looks like fun. Having seen all of these sights, it brings back many memories as it will for them over the years. I am in awe of the Rockies. Each time I see them is like the first.

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  2. Those wonderful mountains must have seemed the cracker jack prize out of the big box of Kansas. Wonderful to experience the great plains, and now the great mountains.

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    • Plains. I have called them prairie but the Prairie is further north in WI MN, etc. which I should remember because Mom was born in Prairie du Sac WI. Thanks for the correction.

      Sent from my iPhone

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  3. They are getting to see some wide open spaces aren’t they? One way of getting to know your own history is traveling across country, and investigating your heritage, that’s another way to get one interested.

    Thanks for your lovely comment on my post today Diane. Gregg and I also had a wonderful time meeting you and David, and also Gigi and her David, and were the nice people in Blog-Land I was thinking about, along with Diane in Australia. I hope we can do that again in the not too distant future, maybe meet up in Arlington at one of the restaurants you can recommend. We have a busy time and several family commitments up until the end of July but after that maybe we can arrange to get together again? That would be great!

    .

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    • We would enjoy that, or even the District or Alexandria, if you can stand the trip. Our anniversary is in early August, and we try to do something special to celebrate, i.e., I make David take me out!

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  4. Yup, cool hair. Yes, CA drivers can get full licences at 15 1/2 I believe. Great pictures.

    Megan is the eldest daughter of my oldest daughter Margot. She, and her brother Alex, was adopted into the Watkins clan as a baby. She has three adoptive brothers and sister plus a full brother there. Margot also had Kathryn, Anastassia, and Margaret. Kathryn has three adoptive brothers, Stassa and Margaret are only kids. Isn’t alcoholism a wonderful thing.

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  5. Connie and Hannah have done much of the driving. Joy has a license, but she won’t be 21 until June, and some states don’t let you dive if you are 21.

    You are not an ignoramus. You know a lot about music and I don’t. I don’t think it’s ever too late to learn something if you want to learn it. It’s too late for me to learn how to play an instrument, however.

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  6. I don’t see how Connie can stand to drive so much. She should alternate with her daughters. Do they have driver’s licenses?
    As for being a US History ignoramus, I am one. I took 2 semesters of World History in college and that’s all. Terrible. Oh, I also studied Music History in graduate school.

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