View single post by izzy
 Posted: Wed Sep 3rd, 2008 01:54 am
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Joined: Sun Jun 1st, 2008
Location: North Carolina USA
Posts: 195

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I too am a recent addict.  I grew up in an area whose historical attractions were related to the French and Indian War.  As far as western PA is concerned, the Civil War has yet to be fought.  It's a 100 years into the future.  "North/South" merely refers to the physical location of the Mason Dixon line.  The cultural connotations of those terms don't exist in that territory.

We had to memorize the Gettysburg Address in school.  It was promtly forgotten after the test.  I went to Gettysburg itself in my late teens.  I didn't understand one thing I was looking at and couldn't wait to leave.  I was talking to my old Aunt one day and for some reason the Civil War came up.  As soon as the words "Civil War" came out of my mouth, I got the coldest look from my Aunt that I had ever seen followed by her saying, "The War Between the States".  That is the first time I had heard that phrase and it was the first time I had any inkling that our family was connected to it.  Then the Ken Burns series on the Civil War came on PBS.  I was interested but not hooked.

In 1999 I moved to North Carolina.  I was instantly immersed into the north/south cultural divide.  I was surprised and found it very amusing that identity revolved around those two distinctions.  I soon realized that the South was still trying to win the war through words.  I thought it was time to learn more and joined the local roundtable.  The roundtable was been taking tours into the western threater for the past few years.  It feels odd to me, from PA, that I know more about the western theater than the eastern theater.  I have yet to get to any of the sites along the Overland Campaign. 

Our roundtable decided, because of high gas prices, that they wanted to do "day tours".  The tour committee chairman asked if any one had any day tour ideas.  I raised my hand.  I looked around and realized I was the only one with my hand in the air and all eyes were on me.  So I'm it.  They are going to know East Tennessee like the back of their hands by the time I get done with them.

The only problem with specializing so soon is that I don't get to delve into the bigger picture.  That is where CWi has saved me.  I can at least read the threads here and get some overview.  I'm so swamped designing tours that I don't have time to read much else.  I'm having a great time though and have met many interesting people in East Tennessee.  I don't regret concentrating on local history.  Despite being told that "nothing ever happened here", I keep finding instead that a whole lot of something happened here.  For every tour I design, I find enough to do two more.  It seems bottomless.


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