Thursday, May 3, 2012

Souvenirs, Part 3



It’s been nearly a year since Gettysburg.

Last June, just days after Billy graduated junior high, he and I climbed aboard a Southwest Boeing 737 and flew to the Mid-Atlantic states for a carefully mapped out tour of Civil War battlefields, a trip that would culminate with a couple of days in Washington D.C. 

But from the moment the departing aircraft sputtered sparks on the terminal tarmac, nothing about the trip went as planned.

Including the epilogue.

See, when I got back home, I fully intended to blog the whole thing—the missed connections, midnight in Gettysburg, retracing Pickett’s charge in the oppressive summer heat, the paranormal presence in our Sharpsburg hotel room, the unexpected breakfast with Paul Giamatti and his precocious son, gridlock in Manassas, pizza in Fredericksburg, and—just half-way through the trip—the sudden defeat and surrender at Spotsylvania, my reluctant retreat from best-laid plans marching us off into unforeseen country.

…And the fireflies. I especially wanted to blog about the fireflies.

The serial posts would feature some of my finest writing ever as I slowly unfolded the real story: A poignant tale about a man and his son, and the unexpected lessons the man learns along the journey.

But after setting the scene in the first two blog entries, I abandoned the project.

I’m not sure why.

Maybe the thought of it overwhelmed me.

And it wasn’t the first time…


(to be continued...)