Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Evacuation Day ... and local history


The obscure US Holiday of Evacuation Day dates from November 25, 1783, to commemorate when the British left the USA on that date in 1781, marking a final end to the Revolutionary War.

The 225th Anniversary of Evacuation Day was in the news locally in New Jersey this month, since NJ was a crossroads of the American Revolution, and to this day, there's several "George Washington Slept Here" historical homes in the area, as well as his HQ for Jockey Hollow, the 1779-90 Winter Bivouac for the Continental Army.

Upon reading of this local history of how the local hilltops were used to light fires to serve as communication (warning) beacons for an impending British attack, we were debating if on the night of the 25th we could find a few hours venture out a dozen miles down the road to Fort Nonsense in Morristown, where the newspapers were reporting that there would be a modern beacon lit to commemorate.

Naturally, we didn't make a more proximate connection. The name of the housing development that we live in is ... Beacon Hill.

Yes, there was another one of the 23 known hilltop signals located at the top of the hilltop ridge that we live on. It was restored last year by Denville Boy Scout Troop 118.

Its yet another surprise discovery of local history ...


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

It done burned down


Dateline: Tanzania

Some of our time this month was spent on Safari in southern & western Tanzania.

While at Ruaha National Park, we spent some time chatting with the camp manager, who had previously been working at Mikumi.

We found that a controlled fire ... done poorly ... last season had burned out of control and up over the hilltop where a camp that we had previously stayed at, destroying all of the facilities.

Thus, this Banda - it done burned down:

Great views, great memories ...

Fortunately, word is that the Foxes do intend to rebuild the camp; it will just take some time.