Thursday, August 28, 2008


(I've been playing with the grand babies so you'll just have to pardon my lack of blogging time.)

The day after our whale tour we poked around Portsmouth and took a harbor tour. It was not extremely exciting, but we did learn some history of the area and saw a few cool things.This was, at one time, the home of William Whipple. He was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. We saw many homes and building that were built in the 1700s and early 1800s.This was, at one time, a Naval prison where the worst of the worst were incarcerated. It sits on an island and no man ever escaped from here. Why you ask? The prisoners were guarded by Marines. If a Marine allowed one of the imprisoned sailors to escape, his punishment would be to serve out the remainder of the escapee's sentence. Humphrey Bogart suffered an injury (see the scar on his lip) when a prisoner he was guarding, while in transport to this big jail house, hit him and got away. Bogart didn't want to serve the man's sentence, so he managed to recapture him and delivered him to the prison. There is a Coast Guard station there. They refuel, repair, refurbish, and decommission nuclear submarines. A cutter just happened to be in port that day.We saw several lighthouses. I think they are cool. The only lighthouse that is still tended manually is in Boston Harbor. All the rest, like this one, are automated and run by the Coast Guard. I bought a t-shirt at Hampton Beach that has a lighthouse on it with this verse.

Guiding friendly strangers, the keeper of the lighthouse is surely friends with God.In the background you see another lighthouse. But in the foreground you can see the remains of an old fort. My memory fails me. Because we saw several old forts on our vacation, I don't recall if this fort had been rebuilt at one time or if this is the original remains. But at this place the British king had stored most of the black powder that he had sent to New England. It was guarded by one British solder and a bunch of Colonists. As the Colonists started to be more "independent thinkers" the king grew uneasy about them guarding all his explosive stash. He sent troops from England to relieve the colonists of their duty. The colonists got wind of his plan by a messenger named Paul Revere. The independent thinking men overtook the one British soldier then took the black powder for the cause of independence. They hid it, scattered in churches and homes. It was said that under every pulpit was a keg of black powder. This was considered the first act of aggression of the Colonists toward the crown.

I wish I would have paid more attention in history class over a quarter of a century ago! It's too late for that now, but I am thankful for the opportunity I've had to visit some of the places where history was made. I appreciate more this country and what it stands for because of it. Though I sometimes feel like a member of a traitor generation when I think of the freedoms our forefathers suffered, lived, and died for that we have gladly given over in exchange for comfort and security. A comfortable existence has a high price. I have to ask myself, is this still the land of the free and the home of the brave?

1 comment:

Brittney said...

I loved your pictures of the lighthouses. I love lighthouses...they make me think of safety. I keep collections of lighthouse cross-stitch patterns that one of these days I will get done....I will I will I will. I am so glad that you have had time to be with your grandbabies. I miss mine so much. I love history now...not so much in school though. It seems to me in school, they were much more interested in us learning dates, not details...such as gunpowder under pews.....ect. ect. ect. One of my favorite t.v. stations is the history channel....along with the weather channel.... Which makes me think of "Hannah" I have not heard anything since lunch today. Then what I heard was on fox news station at the subway where I had lunch. busy listening to the radio about all the stalled vechiles....and wrecks all over town. ( Guess you get that in some big places) Tonight is took me a little over an hour to get 18 miles...but when I reached the accident....I could only see a cluster of flashing red and blue lights.... one firetruck, three ambulances....and I could not count all the patrol cars. One fact I do know....those people had a worse day than I did. And with that thought. I will wish you a good evening.....I am going to bed.