Palomar Observatory

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Old Line State

I am in Maryland. My mother has been gravely ill and I flew back to see her yesterday, getting in late last night after a brief stop in Salt Lake City.

I don't know a hell of a lot about this state so I am not going to pretend that I do. There are a lot of trees everywhere, a lot of feds and military types as well. Supposedly one of the most densely populated states, it is the eighth smallest in land mass. The Chesapeake Bay casts a feathery plume up the middle of the state.

There are a lot of different races and foreign ethnicities represented here. I don't know if this is foreign embassy carryover from D.C. or something to do with the huge native spy apparatus.

I also notice a lot of biracial couples around; whereas in California you see more black men with white women, here the ethnicities and genders seem to be reversed. Lots of beautiful children in tow.

The place names are very different here, without the spanish appellations I am used to back home. I passed places with interesting names like Broken Land and King's Contrivance, causing me to wonder if there was some T.S. Eliot wannabee ensconsed in the local planning department.

The Nanticoke and Powhatan Indians once inhabited the state and you can still see a lot of their native algonquian language has survived on the street signs like the Little Patuxent Rd. I traveled on today.

I am staying in Jessup. Originally Thomas Spurrier's Tavern stood at this site. The father of our country liked to stop by once in a while after work for a few pops. It is located at the crossroads of two important colonial roads, now U.S. 1 and MD. 175. Spurrier's was also a place where revolutionary soldiers changed horses.

George Washington stopped here at least 25 times between 1789 and 1798. His diary noted July 18, 1795: "Dined and lodged at Spurrier's where my sick horse died."

After Spurrier left this earthly coil for his heavenly repose, the tavern was known as the Waterloo Inn but it met its own Waterloo long ago. Now all that is left is this sign and a Holiday Inn.



Sanoguy said...

It looks like you took down the comments you made re: your Mom, her illness and your relationship with her. It sounds to me that the apple has not fallen far from the tree!!

Ken Seals said...

Name change or not, I'm glad you are able to revel in the history.It's really palpable there when you tune into it.
I feel for you over what you are going through with your mom.

grumpy said...

i lived in the Old Line State for a few years myself when i was a wee lad...Dad was stationed at Ft. Meade and we were billeted at a couple different locations on the base ...don't remember a lot, save for playing marbles in the playground and being convinced i could fly...sister Susie was born there shortly after we arrived...my brother and i received a large comic book collection from a friend who was moving, and i remember reading them all: GI Joe, Our Fighting Forces, etc...probably would be worth a small fortune today...vague memories of summers at Cape May, New Jersey...then shipped off to Europe a few years later...the life of an Army brat...God Bless America...