Tuesday, August 11, 2015

last Gettysburg post

 I've never been one to ooh and aah over dresses. But this one, while pretty, made me laugh. I had to go back after reading the description and check it out. Those "flowers" on her dress are not only wildflowers from America, but INSECTS. Yes, Martha Washington attended the dance with a gown decked out in bugs. How awesome is that?

And I was a bit surprised by this, but I actually enjoyed the wax section of the Presidents better than the fashion segment of the First Ladies. The Presidents are built to scale, and briefly tell a little bit about each man. It was interesting to see how tall most of them were. The ladies were not made to scale, and their gowns are about 1/3 of the original size. But still, you could tell some about the styles of the time and the woman's personality by her dress.

The only thing I wasn't overly impressed with during the trip was the Cyclorama. That's a HUGE painting, the largest in North America, I think, that someone did of the battle of Gettysburg. It took several French artists to help complete it, and the canvas is placed in a circular barn. We bought tickets for it as part of a package deal with the battlefield tour, and I was most disappointed. It's a timed ticket, and after the presentation about it, you only have about 5 minutes to look and they tell you to leave. I'm sorry, but 5 minutes to view a painting that fills the equivalent of three rooms is NOT sufficient. That's an insult not only to the artists, but to the people who helped build the building to show it off. On the flip side, the gift shop for the park is very nice.

With all the controversy over the battle flag going on in the south and the constant vandalism of memorials and grave markers, we were a bit surprised to see how many battle flags and confederate items were on sale in almost every gift shop. Can't find something for sale in the south? Visit Gettysburg. In almost every shop we looked, someone was walking in and saying "Wow! You actually have this for sale? You can get this here?" and a puzzled shop owner would say "Yes. Why?" It was interesting to hear and see that things that are banned and "outlawed" here are considered just a part of history there.

I'm glad we went. It is truly a beautiful place, even if the history behind it is overbearing and heartwrenching to both see and think about.

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