Questions and Answers at Williamsburg

williamsburg-riders.jpgWilliamsburg is a satisfying place if you have questions. None are too small or obscure for the interpreters or docents there. They have crammed, collected, and polished the details of its history and love to share what they’ve learned. Like Superman’s cape, their well-worn bonnets, cloaks, hose, and vests, work a kind of chrono-magic on the wearers, helping them ‘feel’ the history they represent. They’re at home in their costumes and answers, opening a small moment in time where both docent and visitor are transported.Intrigued by two large, polled sycamores, we asked about them. The grounds-keeper in a garden buggy told us that this had been started ten years ago and the growing knobs made a beautiful umbrella-like foliage mass in the summer. After Viet Nam, someone had suggested he study horticulture. This wasn’t generally a vocation pursued by a black man then, but he embraced it. He sent all six of his children to college, by teaching horticulture. Now he is ‘retired’, but working at Williamsburg and obviously loving it. I told him I’d saved a button-ball from one to the twin sycamores at Gettysburg and wondered if I could start a tree from it. He knew the answer, and told me just how to do it! Still a teacher!williamsburg-trees.jpgWaiting for the shuttle back to the visitor’s center, a woman from Bangor, Maine asked me, “Do you think this is a tourist trap?” I said, “No. The interpreters care too much; they really want people to learn something. I think this place is quite nicely done. What do you think?” She went on to tell me that she and her husband had rented period costumes for their two girls, who were utterly ecstatic, having already studied about Williamsburg ahead of time, both at home and at school. They had thanked their parents profusely for an incredible experience.Yes, Williamsburg is a very special and satisfying place.

Explore posts in the same categories: Historic Sites, people, Trees

4 Comments on “Questions and Answers at Williamsburg”

  1. Sloan Says:

    What a beautiful post. Fun! I am so glad you like it there. It was the first vacation I ever took with my parents and I could not love it more there either. :-)

  2. Jim & Barbara Bigelow Says:

    It appears that you are really have nice clear weather. We have been getting storms her on the Peninsula so it is nice to see your blue skies. Williamsburg is one of Barbara’s favorite places and she would like to go back to the area again. It is nice that you are taking your time.

    We had a very nice time in Fort Bragg and Mendicino this last holiday weekend and got in some walking on the shoreline. It was cloudy all weekend however. We stayed at a nice motel on the coast where you could look out the window at the ocean with walking paths nearby. Lots of dogs being walked in the area. Local fresh crab and salmon were enjoyed while we were in the Fort Bragg and Mendicino. Lots of local art and crafts in many of the stores. We will look forward to more travel excitment from you as you progress.

    Jim & Barbara

  3. findingourway Says:

    Glad you got to Mendicino. Salmon and crab, especially dungeness, are a vacation in themselves!
    Maybe we can do this same weekend with you when we get out there.

  4. findingourway Says:

    I’m sure Williamsburg kindled your nacent love of history and teaching, Sloan. I wish all children could step back in time, for full sensory learning. There’s really nothing like it. And a place like Williamsburg or Jamestown can teach parents, under the gentle guise of teaching children. On the ‘Susan Constant’, the 120 ton ship reconstructed for Jamestown, a costumed sailor displayed and explained the various things that the small cannon could shoot to protect the merchant ship from the enemy or pirates. He was squatting down, sharing with a 4-year-old boy but the boy’s mother and I were utterly fascinated, too.

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