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There’s a school of thought that says you throw your desires into the universe — when you do, the universe gifts you. How? That I’m not too sure about, yet why not try….

As many of you know, I’m working on a book about the 75th reunion at Gettysburg. I have file cabinets full of information, and yet I would love to have more eyewitness accounts. Listening, universe? It does work — I promise, over the past 6 months, I’ve had several incredible interviews and some astonishing data fall into my hands.

My latest “out of the blue” stroke of history bliss came earlier this week. There was a thick, bulky letter in Thursday’s mail. Inside was a letter from a gentleman who had attended the 1938 reunion as a child. He had heard Chris speak some months ago and my research had come up. This very kind man sent me an account of his experiences in the town — and copies of himself as a 9-year old attending the dedication of the Eternal Light of Peace Memorial. There was one shot looking at the monument just as it was unveiled….

Normally, here is where I would break into a chorus of “hey nonny nonny,” and do the verbal (OK, and sometimes actual) happy history dance that I can’t seem to break the habit of doing — but I have to throw in a gigantic caveat and WTF at the universe. At probably the same moment, I was reveling in this addition to my research — NPS employees were discovering that someone had vandalized the Eternal Peace Light.

Why someone would feel the need to spray paint obscenities on a marker to peace? The park service hopes to be able to clean it, although the temperatures may make it a little more dicey. I cried — does that seem ridiculous? For the past 3 years, I have spent hours reading about it, taking pictures of it and just going there to write.

I know that not everyone loves Soviet Constructionist architecture, but it rocked the ’30s. So, it could be some radical neo-classicist? Some anti-peace protester? Do they make those? Someone with a grudge against history? OK, I know lots of people in that category….

The last paragraph is a little flip, I know. But, my sorrow/distress/anger won’t fix the monument. And while I would love to know why anyone would do such an appalling thing — I am rather a militant pacifist, so I’m trying to cool the red blaze I experienced in those first hours after I heard.

So I guess the universe rolls — gifts and bricks, each offering their own lessons…….

life songs: Dream (Alice Smith); Step out of the Shade (Amy Speace); Tonight (the Afters); Luck of the Draw (Bonnie Raitt); Strawberry Wine (Deana Carter); I Take My Chances (Mary Chapin Carpenter — I had some friends back in NC who swore this was about me — there’s a chorus about CNN, in her live version she throws away the cigarettes, good call); That Lucky Old Sun (I love the WWII versions, but Kenny Chesney’s duet with Willie Nelson is awesome); It Happens (Sugarland); Four Leaf Clover (Abra Moore); Come Rain or Come Shine (Alison Eastwood, Clint’s daughter); Circle of Life (Colin Raye has a version of this Disney classic in which he blends it with “Will the Circle Be Unbroken”– so cool); The Lucky One (Alison Krauss); Pony (Erin McCarley); The Winner Takes it All (ABBA); Lucky Lips (Ruth Brown); Black Coffee in Bed (Marti Jones); Keep it Loose, Keep it Tight (Amos Lee); Someday, Somehow (the Subdudes); These are Days (10,000 Maniacs); Hole in My Life (the Police — love the new concert album!!); Simple Twist of Fate (Bob Dylan); and Walk of Life (Dire Straits)

Everything is hitched to everything else. –> John Muir

Take care,
Aly

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4 thoughts on “serendipity

  1. I don’t mind some Lebowski — especially considering you might be on a “steel city” high this am — are your guys going to the bowl?

    Take care,
    Aly

  2. Well, they have to beat Baltimore next week, so let’s get past that first. We were at the game yesterday, but that will be all for this year. Super Bowl tickets are $800 face value, so I think that puts it out of reach for our clan.

  3. I think it’s kind of cool that there is a cuckoo in “Bird Bowl ’09,” so let’s see….

    I save my emotions for basketball, and just make sure Chris has chili for football games 🙂

    Aly

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