History amongst us

Constantly passing all these historical locations is one of the things that’s odd about living here to this Miami boy. On a regular basis I drive up and down route 28 near Dulles airport and pass signs for civil war battlefields. A short drive south of my office is the location of the first land battle of the war. That feels a little odd, but there’s always history to go see if you’re willing to travel a bit. The truly odd feeling is getting halfway across the street in Clarendon on the way to a burrito and coming across a plaque about the Arlington Line. While I am standing under a streetlight and waiting for the DON’T WALK sign to fade, I am where about a thousand soldiers and forty canon waited for someone to shoot at two hundred and fifty years ago.

Compare that to spending most of your childhood in a house built on land that was swamp when Kennedy was assassinated and learning to drive on roads that weren’t planned yet when Nixon resigned. Comedian Eddie Izzard does a routine mocking Miamians for going on about restoring all the Art Deco to how it looked “over fifty years ago!” In our defense, though, before Henry Flagler took an interest in the Miami area in the 1890s there were less than 1,000 people in the area. Of course we were impressed by buildings half that old. We don’t get signs about what the citizenry were doing in that location two hundred years ago. We didn’t have citizens there two hundred years ago.

I like it up here, where the history comes from.

2 Comments so far

  1. misschatter (unregistered) on March 19th, 2006 @ 3:55 pm

    Even Florida had some history – reading about the Indian tribes, burial mounds, etc. was pretty cool down there – as well as the first settlers. I hail from the left coast, though (Pinellas County). The old fort ruins from the Spanish-American war and others were really interesting (and of course, the old lighthouses and lives of the keepers).

    The history around here with all the battles fought is fascinating, though. My high school history teachers probably never pegged me as a future history buff, but now I’m immersed in it!

  2. tj (unregistered) on March 19th, 2006 @ 8:45 pm

    that’s one of the things we love about this area too. we moved from california about four years ago. california has its share of history, especially before joining the US, but it’s nothing like around here.

    there’s a book i’ve seen, and need to pick up, that has all the text of all the historical markers in virginia.

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