Sunday, July 16, 2017

Another Birthday . . .

This past 14th of July was my birthday. As for my age, I agree with Mark Twain: “Age is a matter of mind; if you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” With that said, I would like to share my birthday with you.

The three of us; Charlie, Tiffeni and me, took a ride to Irvington, a tidewater town in Virginia. It took us a little over an hour to get there, driving on many country roads and crossing three rivers: The York, The Piankatank and The Rappahannock, as we navigated the way to our destination: lunch at the Tides Inn.
Last time we were there was in 2007 when Charlie was 7 years old. He actually recalled the place and had a great time visiting. What he remembered most was the 127 foot yacht that was built in 1926, The Miss Ann. When we were there, we went on the Miss Ann and Charlie was able to steer the ship’s wheel, with help from Capt’n Ken, of course. In the early days, the guests at the Inn registered to take a three hour luncheon or dinner cruise. On Saturdays they might sign up for a “whiskey run” to another town called Urbana. Tide’s Inn was in a dry county, Urbana was not. Which leads me to what I remembered most of our first visit; the unique wall of little wood doors with keyholes and plaques with numbers.   
In the early days, due to local liquor laws the restaurant and hotel were not able to sell alcohol to guests. However, because private clubs were not bound by the same constraints, the Chesapeake Club was formed, a name still used by the hotel. Yachtsmen and local patrons were invited to join and paid a nominal yearly due. Transient guests could join during their stay for $1 extra per day. Inside these tiny liquor lockers was enough room for a couple bottles of booze. Today, most of the doors don’t open. The one I was able to open had a box of straws in it. FUN! After a lovely lunch we walked around the property. The day was hot, so we left and continued on our journey, stopping at the Steamboat Museum. Again, Charlie couldn’t resist turning the ships’ wheel.
Then we went to the Kilmarnock Antique Galley. Like most of these emporiums, it was chockfull of objects to peruse. I appreciate the effort taken by those who manage these places and how the vendors who supply the merchandise organize and display their wares. However, I can’t help but feel sad at the memories lost by the family or individual who gave up their heirlooms and the memories therein. Nevertheless, I feel proud of my Family Museum and of having the foresight to hold onto and protect and display my family heritage. Hopefully, others will do the same.
Back on the road and crossing this very long and high Norris bridge; 350 ft. high, then onto home.

We had a quite family dinner and then I was presented with an ice cream cake and presents. Perhaps some of these presents will go into the Family Museum and years later, I can appreciate that day and time again.
Age, it really doesn’t matter!   

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