The Unexpected President: the Life and Times of Chester A. Arthur

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There were only two things I knew of our 21st president before reading The Unexpected President: the Life and Times of Chester A. Arthur.   1. Chester A. Arthur was part of a corrupt New York political machine before becoming vice president to … Continue reading

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Behind-the-Scenes at Colonial Williamsburg

A “new since the last time I was there” program at Colonial Williamsburg was a two hour behind the scenes tour. I’d been on behind-the-scenes tours of Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the Vanderbilt’s Biltmore in Asheville, North … Continue reading

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A Williamsburg Halloween

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In the early 1700s, pirates ran amok around coastal Virginia and among them was Edward Teach, also known as Blackbeard. Legend has made Blackbeard the prototype fearsome, loathsome pirate but he was. in reality, a fairly decent guy (for a … Continue reading

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The Lees of Old Virginia

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What do football players Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning have in common with Zachary Taylor, the 12th president of the United States? Answer: an ancestor, Richard Lee, originally of Shropshire, England. Lee was a 22-year-old lawyer when he landed in … Continue reading

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James and Mary in Fredericksburg

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I was touring the Virginia governor’s house in Richmond five years ago when I came across a painting of James Monroe, hanging in the center of the state dining room. He was there because, we were told, it was the … Continue reading

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A Three Hour Tour

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Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale — a tale of a fateful trip,                                               that started … Continue reading

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I was a bit leery of Zion National Park, because it was the 5th most visited US national park in 2016 and I have more than a touch of enochliophobia (fear of crowds -yes, I had to look it up).  … Continue reading

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