My recent post on Andrew Jackson got me thinking about another Jackson. I sent out an email invite for the recent long weekend. In the email, I called the weekend, “MLK Jr. Day weekend” since that Monday was a Federal holiday. In reply, a buddy of mine (from Richmond) suggested that I had meant, “…the Lee – Jackson Day weekend…” At the time, I assumed it was a joke, perhaps a friendly jab at my expense that I was not as southern as my buddy. After doing a little research on the old interwebs, I found out that Lee – Jackson Day is still celebrated in Virginia. I knew that Lee – Jackson Day had become Lee – Jackson – King Day. What I did not know, was that in the year 2000, Lee – Jackson – King Day became two separate state holidays in Virginia:
So the bottom line is that Lee – Jackson Day is a currently celebrated holiday in Virginia, and the weekend was both the Lee – Jackson Day weekend, and the MLK Jr. Day weekend simultaneously. Wikipedia states, “In 2000, Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore proposed splitting Lee–Jackson–King Day into two separate holidays after debate arose over whether the nature of the holiday which simultaneously celebrated the lives of Confederate generals and a civil rights icon was incongruous.”
The compromise that was reached is confusing to me. It seems that Virginia politicians have decided that Lee, Jackson, and King deserve to be celebrated, but that it is not appropriate to celebrate them together. I’m not sure segregating the two holidays, but having them occur the same weekend, is the best course of action. I don’t think anybody (maybe some crazies) is going to question the merit of celebrating MLK Jr’s day. The merit of celebrating Lee and Jackson seems much more debatable to me. My first thought is that if one believes that the Civil War (or War Between the States as I was taught in the VA public education system) was based on slavery (not everyone believes this to be the case, in school we were taught it was States’ Rights), and that Lee and Jackson were fighting for slavery, then one could conclude that Lee and Jackson probably don’t deserve to be celebrated. But then one starts thinking about all the American slaveowners that are celebrated. For instance, George Washington. He did not fight specifically for slavery, but he was certainly complicit in slavery. So is participation in the fighting of the Civil War the difference? Why can’t Jackson and Lee be celebrated for their positive contributions to America, while we recognize, but don’t focus on the fact that they were pro-slavery for at least some time, or at the very least, complicit (similarly to the way we view Washington, among others).
This got me thinking, and doing some research. In my googling, I found an official proclamation from Governor McAuliffe:
I found that proclamation by way of another Virginia-centric blog. I haven’t read his blog in its entirety. I’ve really only read a few posts relevant to Lee Jackson Day. I’ve included the links to those posts below to give credit where credit is due. I have not watched the videos or followed the links on either page. Be sure to check out the host’s (his term) theme song (link on the left side of the page, awesome, makes me want a theme song).
So it seems Virginia recognizes Lee and Jackson for their service to Virginia during and after the war. I’m sure that rubs some people the wrong way. I’m not sure how I’d feel about it if I were black. Perhaps next year, in observance, I’ll visit a battlefield, or start a relevant book. I believe I have biographies of both Lee and Jackson I haven’t started. For MLK Jr. Day, perhaps the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture will be open by then.
(I’ve tried to make this post thought-provoking without being subjective or having an agenda. I hope I’ve succeeded.)
by rsiv with no comments yet
I saw this in the washington post today (probably not worth your time, I pasted the pertinent stuff below):
While I do enjoy cheese, roquefort, brie, manchego, aged cheddar, etc., what struck me about the article was Andrew Jackson’s party planning. I fancy myself an entertainer, but the article describes the party as follows:
“According to the Wall Street Journal, one witness described the scene thusly, “The President was literally pursued by a motley concourse of people, riding, running helter-skelter, striving who should first gain admittance into the executive mansion, where it was understood that refreshments were to be distributed.” When they got to the executive mansion, glasses were broken, furniture was tossed about, and the punch was spilled.”
Sounds like a good time. I don’t have any cheese on hand, but I do have a bunch of beer left over from last weekend. Maybe I should buy a wheel and have some people over. Jackson is a president I’d like to know more about. Right now, my recollection is limited to his caning a would be assassin half to death, and his good taste in architecture.
However, a brief look at wikipedia reminded me that Jacksonian democracy involves greater democracy for the common man, expanded executive branch power, and increased public participation in government. Perhaps I’ll add a Jackson biography to my kindle queue.by rsiv with no comments yet
Ralph Stanley got me thinking about my Papaw. He was never without a pistol and a Louis L’Amour book on his nightstand. After he passed, I got his copy of Hondo, well used, but still with the Hills department store sticker on it. Like Bond books, its a great vacation read. Especially if your vacation is out west. Load up some L’Amour on your kindle, book a golf trip in Arizona (I like the Westin La Paloma in Tucson), and thank me later.
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I’m just trying to learn how to embed a youtube video with wordpress, and I’m in the mood for some bluegrass. Feel free to sing along.
I had the privilege to see Ralph Stanley at the Birchmere in Alexandria a few years back.by rsiv with no comments yet
I’ve been fighting a cold for the last few days, and since one wants what one can’t have, I’ve been craving a cigar. Since I can’t enjoy one, I’ll reminisce about a favorite while I wait for my health to return.
Several years ago I started really getting into cigars. My accommodations at the time included a hot tub and portable tv, so I spent a lot of time relaxing with a stogie. About that time I found the Cabaiguan fan, and immediately became a fan. The Cabaiguan brand is still one of my favorites. I have a Cabaiguan guapos that I’ll probably light up as soon as I’m feeling better.
I’ve tried the just about all the cigars in the Cabaiguan range, but the Robustos Extra is the standout. I find it to be creamy, a little bit spicy, and very enjoyable overall. The strength is not overpowering for me, and I’m not one for particularly strong cigars.
I’ll admit that I’m no expert. That said, I’m not alone in my affinity for Cabaiguan. I’ve linked to a thread on a cigar site I found which a member has distributed cigars for blind taste tests. The testers, with seemingly far more experience/knowledge than I, unanimously guess that the Cabaiguan is from Cuba.
If a straight review is more your style, check out these reviews from one of my favorite cigar review sites:by rsiv with no comments yet
When I was young, I played alto sax. I’m not sure why I chose the sax. I imagine my parents thought alto sax was cool, and wanted me to be cool. I think I played the sax before Slick Willy’s first term, but I’m not sure, maybe that had something to do with it. In any event, I bring it up because despite playing a jazz instrument, I did not like jazz as a young man. I liked Pep band and symphonic band music well enough, but I never listened to jazz. I wasn’t into any music the way a lot of my friends were. Flash forward about 20 years, and I’m very much into music. Recently, I’ve gotten into jazz. I’ve made a short playlist for this blog. Hopefully it peaks some interest out there. If you like it, maybe light a cigar and pour a few fingers of brown.
If you find an artist you like, maybe just pull some of his stuff up on spotify. I’ll admit, some of the tracks I’ve included below are a little out there, but with enough variety, hopefully everyone can find something they like.
If you don’t use spotify, I’d look into it. My brother in law got me a subscription to the mobile version (the desktop verson is free), which I now don’t know how I lived without (thanks again Chris).by rsiv with no comments yet
Before I forget, I’ll talk about my other favorite magazine, The Virginia Sportsman (also available on Amazon). Virginia Sportsman is a lot like G&G, but more Virginia Specific. However, it is not limited to VA; the current issue has an article all about Georgetown, DC (**UPDATE – just got the new issue, which is about Georgetown SC, cheeky). If you’re a Virginian and a sportsman, definitely check it out.by rsiv with no comments yet
Pictured above is the current issue of one of my two favorite magazines, Garden & Gun (also available on amazon). I’ve only read the article on drinks so far, but as always, its a great issue. I’m a huge mint julep fan (I’m sure I’ll do a whole mint julep post when it starts to warm up). I bought some sorghum syrup a while back to try in cocktails in place of sweetener. In the drinks article, a sorghum sweetened julep is suggested:
I’ve had a brandy julep, and a julep made with white dog whiskey, but never one made with rum. After reading the article, I think I’ll try a more traditional recipe, but substitute sorghum syrup or simple syrup.
I also like G&G’s sporting life coverage. They review hunting lodges and vacation spots I’d love to visit.by rsiv with no comments yet
I started a book club a year or so ago. The first book we read, which was instrumental in getting all parties to agree to join the club, was Bourbon, Straight: The Uncut and Unfiltered Story of American Whiskey by Charles K. Cowdery. If you’re a fan of bourbon, its a must read. I’d describe the book as a history of bourbon and the bourbon industry. It also includes instructions on how to taste bourbon, and reviews of specific bourbons at the end. Mr. Cowdery also has a blog, and a documentary. He also puts out a newsletter, “The Bourbon County Reader”, which I get sent to the house. I highly recommend the book. I’ve been thinking about taking a road trip to bourbon country. If I do, I’ll be sure to reread Bourbon, Straight so I can ask the right questions, and get the most out of the trip.
On the latter, I recently found out that my go-to value bourbon, Very Old Barton, is dropping their age statement. However, some folks on straight bourbon had some and didn’t realize it had changed. I haven’t had the new kind yet, but I’m hoping it hasn’t changed too much. My bottle, with the age statement, looks like this:
And while we’re on the topic, I do a lot of my alcohol shopping at Magruders. In Virginia, we have state run ABC stores, so a quick run into DC can yield me much better prices, and a different selection. Blantons is usually a few bucks cheaper than in VA, and VOB, which is unavailable in VA, is about $19 for a handle.
***Update on VOB age statement here.by rsiv with 2 comments
Its been a good while since I’ve read And a Bottle of Rum. I read it before the kindle, or at least, before I had a kindle. As much as I like a good James Bond book on a vacation, I think this may be the ultimate vacation read. Each chapter is named for a cocktail, so it makes your next drink order much easier while sitting at the beach. This is a book about the history of the United States, so if you’re not into history, this book may not be for you. I found the book fascinating, but of particular interest to me, was that rum, not bourbon, was America’s first favorite brown sauce.by rsiv with no comments yet