By Samuel Strait – October 30, 2022
Savannah, Georgia, is a modest shipping port located at the confluence
of several of the South’s many rivers and a early trade center for much
of the South. The old part of town grew in various stages to become not
only a shipping point, but a center of civilization for the fledgling
colony and the early United States. During the Civil War it was a
target for General Sherman’s march to the sea, which separated the two
halves of the Confederate States and effectively ended the war. The
town and its surroundings are filled with history, as such we began our
visit with a trip to the outer islands, Tybee Island and Fort Pulaski,
named after a Polish immigrant who fled his homeland for the freedom of
the newly formed United States. The fort is an early example of brick
formed fortifications that failed in its one and only test during the
Civil War. Succumbing, to artillery bombardment in less than two days.
From there we went into Savannah to see the only remaining hand
operated railroad turn table and the restored Central Rail Maintenance
yard which first began operation in the early 19th century. For those
that enjoy trains this is a true pleasure to visit. The Ships of the
Sea were next with two floors of ship models in one of Savannah’s famous
early mansions. The area is literally filled with old mansions, many
restored to original conditions when built in the city and now contain
various private collections of art and culture for public viewing. The
Wenn collection is but one example which houses the life time gathering
of artifacts from several of America’s military adventures by a single
US Air force officer during his career of several decades. Housed in an
old barn along the trolley route and normally manned by the collector
himself, we instead were greeted by his daughter who was more than
willing to elaborate on just exactly the display for the public came about.
Lunch along the river, a popular tourist spot along a mile of the town’s
original cobble stone streets, we found Lizzy’s Burger Barn for some
refreshment before concluding our visit in Savannah with a visit to the
Mighty Eighth, a lavish display of America’s air power during the Second
World War. Are you sensing a pattern here? We are now nearing the
South Carolina border and much of this State we visited in an earlier
East Coast adventure. Charleston and Fort Sumter, the opening round of
the War Between the States, Wilmington and the home of the Battleship
North Carolina, Jacksonville, and Camp Lejeune, the Marines, then on to
our final East Coast Destination, New Bern, North Carolina.
End of day eleven.
Much of our time spent on this trip is to gain knowledge and appreciate
the early history of this Country before it became the United States.
Of course along the way we have witnessed many of the hardships and
difficult times during the course of our Country’s growth into what it
has become today. I understand that many of the “growing pains” that
were experienced during the Country’s history continue to be revisited
and many “new” ones are a constant reminder that nothing is perfect in
the way we face life going forward. As such we should become more
optimistic, in that life is never as grim as it may seems and every one
has the opportunity to be successful in this Country with a bit of
fortitude and hard work.
From examples of heroism in war from ordinary men and women, to the
ingenuity of Americans whose stories we have read about in our travels,
there is great hope that this Country will not succumb to mediocrity and
dependence from which many countries began their decline from their
lofty stature in the world’s history. Much of that spirit continues to
be on display from many of the people we have met along our travels.
Cheerful and willing to help, no matter what. We will be in New Bern
for a few days before returning westward. As we have spent time in this
energetic city on previous trips, it is important to note that tourism,
which is only a part of the charm of New Bern, there is plenty to do and
see in the city as well as in the surrounding area. Home to Pepsi Cola,
stretching out along the Neuse River, it is a smorgasbord of activity.
Saturday afternoon after three o’clock the streets are closed to traffic
and the town moves out into the streets for dinning, shopping, and live
entertainment well after dark. Farming, logging, fishing, and light
manufacturing are just some of the enterprise that fuels the local economy.
It is unfortunate that Crescent City and Del Norte County have elected
to go with a growing local government instead of the independence
offered by the multi faceted economy found in so many places outside of
the West Coast and has fostered a sense of worth in people that seems to
diminish by the year in our local County. Sure, nothing is ever perfect
no matter where a person chooses to live, but a dynamic and growing
place to live most certainly helps. Chronic homelessness is not in your
face, and escalating crime appears to reside in major Democrat run Urban
areas of the Country. It is most refreshing to note that what plagues
Del Norte County and Crescent City is much more muted in small town
America. For the most part it is referred to as a “California Problem”,
and the hope that it will stay in California is the fervent hope of
those that live in most of the rest of the Country.
I have yet to venture recently into the Northeast of the United States,
other that brief side trips to Western New York and rural Pennsylvania,
but conversations with those that live there indicate more of an
affection for California ways which for the most part are afflictions
most are willing to forgo. The next several days we will be remaining
in the area surrounding New Bern before off to Alma, Michigan, our next
multi-day stop. Tennessee, Kentucky, some of West Virginia, Ohio, and
Indiana in the future.