Hoppity Hop! Watch me go!
Having logged somewhere near three years in this weird place I’ve become somewhat of an expert at delivering my mostly one-sided takes on what goes on in this world and today will be no different!
Let’s jump aboard and enjoy the scenery on the gorgeous train ride through space and time that will pull into the station somewhere around 1979.
Recently I wrote about various shenanigans I was participating in during this pivotal bicentennial year that involved trying to suffer a head injury so grievous that I could claim to have attained the status of “officially knocked out”. This took up the better part of the school year and most of my steaming hot summer but I still managed to make time for pursuits that involved historic preservation and appreciation.
If I am remembering correctly, I can probably go on record as saying that the summer of 1979 was as hot as the underside of Satan’s nutsack in August. It was in this kind of blistering inferno, where the heat was actively trying to kill us, that we attended the reenactment of the Battle of Stony Point, where the participants dressed in full authentic Revolutionary War garb and dropped like flies on the killing field while cannon fire blew out our eardrums.
Sadly, the spectators were dehydrating at a rate similar to those fighting for fake independence from the King so ambulances spent the better part of the afternoon shuttling heat exhausted patients to and from Nyack Hospital.
The whole Battle of Stony Point hullabaloo was a most triumphant achievement for our little town. We actually played a part in the liberation of the country and we had a preserved battlefield of historic significance to prove it, so we were going to be damned if we weren’t going to sell overpriced souvenirs and commemorative trinkets to mark the occasion with true capitalist spirit. I waved more poorly constructed American Flags that year than a fiery patriot at a fourth of July parade and collected my share of Mad Anthony Wayne coinage only to squirrel it away in a dark keepsake container.
It was one of these very coins that came spilling out of my jewelry box this morning landing in my outstretched palm that reminded me of the sticky hot smell of gunpowder mixed with grape soda and fries that permeated the air during our many visits to the battlefield that summer. The storming of Stony Point in 1779 may not have seemed very interesting to a young girl more concerned with how to achieve the perfect concussion and where her next batch of Lik-Um-Aid was coming from but I found that I absorbed the basic historical facts by sheer osmosis and was able to pass most of them along to a son who actually has a legitimate interest in such things.
Eventually, the luster wore off and dressing like minutemen while donning a fake British accent began to seem silly. Everyone holstered their weapon, laid down their muskets and men determined to be free went back to work in their concrete office buildings.
Me, I went back to business as usual running around in bare feet and swimming in my aunts pool but the residual effects of living in a historic home in a historic town stayed with me. I sigh with nostalgia when I pass the old 46 Crickettown Road homestead, which is now a poorly subdivided mess surrounded by a slew of new construction that seems odd and misplaced. There is a high ranch where the old stone horse barn used to be. My long curved hill, used for lightning speed sledding in the winters, is bisected by two modern domiciles that sit right on top of each other and all the cherry and apple trees are long gone.
Still, I’m planning on taking my kids to the battlefield sometime this summer to get a look at what I was too stupid to appreciate at the time.