Friday, August 22, 2008
A True Story of the Recent Unpleasantness
My wife’s college suite mates gathered together with their spouses for a wedding in Lexington, Virginia. While three of the ladies are native Virginians, the fourth is from New Jersey, as is her husband.
We all met up at the home of one of the suite mates who lived in Buena Vista. Our hostess grew up in this small town near Lexington and had returned to BV (as it's called) after college.
Our New Jersey visitor was admiring the décor of our hostess' home, which was furnished with antiques and family pieces. He looked at two vintage pictures in the living room and asked her if the gentlemen in the civil war uniforms were her ancestors.
It got a good laugh. They were prints of General Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.
Our friend endured a fair amount of ribbing for the rest of the visit. Someone even remarked, “I guess up North the Civil War is history, not a religion.”
To many throughout the Old Dominion where a good portion of the war was fought, the battles and personalities of the civil war are a part of common culture. To someone from New Jersey, though, the civil war was a historic event that came and went over a century ago.
As I've told and retold the story, I've noticed reactions tend to follow geographical patterns. Folks from the South find it funny, others don't. Depends on where they grew up.
BTW – There's a twist to the story. Our hostess never particularly cared about the Recent Unpleasantness. She had purchased the pictures for the frames. She'd hung the prints temporarily to get them off the floor, and was looking for different pictures to put in the frames.
Day 69 of the WJMA Web Watch.