Saturday, March 27, 2010

An Historic Day and Blue Highways

Today, the Nichols family corrected an egregious void in our experiences. We have lived within 25 miles of the National D-Day Memorial and have never seen it until today. It is an incredible monument to all the men from the twelve countries who participated in the war, the planning, and that fateful day. Steve and I felt it was imperative to visit the site, as there have been rumors of it closing down due to the economical slump. It would be a tragedy for this site to close - for anyone who is unaware of the significance of the memorial, the reason it is centered in Bedford is because this small town had the largest proportion of deaths on June 6th, 1944. It was a sobering experience, but coupled with beautiful spring weather and the company of my wonderful husband and baby boy, it was also one I'll recall with bittersweet feelings henceforth. The picture at the top depicts the shield of the Allied Forces as well as the speech Eisenhower gave prior to the invasion.

This evening, then, Steve and I were watching the History Channel, and a show discussing George Washington and his heirs was on. Curious, since Washington did not have any children with Martha. I came in at the end, but the show was actually about sex and politics, and the belief that Washington sired a son with a servant. The only way to prove the geneology, though, is to exhume his grave and take a DNA sample for comparison. No one is going to ever approve that, so the mystery shall remain. All in all, a very educational day for the Nichols'.

On our way home from the memorial, we stopped at a tiny mom-and-pop restaurant for lunch. If any of you are familiar with William Least-Heat Moon's autobiography Blue Highways, you'll understand why I was so tickled with the diner. Moon traveled across country, living out of his van, and following the 'blue highways' on a road atlas - the minor roads taken only by the locals. The interstates were marked in red, instead. In one part of his autobiography, he comments on diners and the fact that the quality of food can be determined by the number of calendars hanging on the wall.

As I looked around the diner, waiting for our burgers and fries, I realized that this is exactly the type of place to which he was referring. Our diner did not have calendars hanging on the wall, but it did have 4 little league pictures which the owners had sponsored. It also had a Dr. Pepper wall clock that had to be from the 80s, and a gumball machine that offered Skittles and pistachios. The food was excellent, the ambiance reminiscent of simpler times, and the experience, as a whole, quite enjoyable. To quote Moon, "It is for this I have come."

1 comment:

  1. What a perfect day! That will be a great memory to write in your journal and remember fondly.
    I am hoping Rafe, Zane and I will start taking little family trips like that really soon.