Hopes and fears

7/4/2018 Monticello Naturalization
For 56 years Monticello has hosted a Naturalization ceremony on the nickel side of the house, July 4. It is July in Virginia, in the direct sun, high humidity. It is a joyous celebration at the complicated man’s house, on the day he died.
new citizen
The Honorable Michael F. Urbanski presided. 70+/- people took the oath, joined the work, new citizens from Afghanistan, Barbados, Bhutan, Burma, Burundi… the list goes on, 35 countries in all. Andrew Tisch, Leslie Bowman and Judge Urbanski spoke. Their words were meaningful, inspiring and portentous. Or maybe it is the mountaintop venue? Like singing in a cathedral where voices reverberate. Monticello is a complicated place to contemplate Liberty, it is the high altar and the thin ice.
Monticello crowd
And so, into the 243rd year.
Monticello 7/4/2018
Tyler Simpson sings the National Anthem, lady on his right signs…

 

Not. One. Inch.

Emancipation Oak, photo by Moncure Chatfield-Taylor
Hampton University has a three-word message for the Virginia Department of Transportation: Not. One. Inch.
And they mean it.
They do not plan to give up a single inch of land or blade of grass to make way for the planned expansion of the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel and the widening of Interstate 64 adjacent to their campus.–Kerry Dougherty, Virginian-Pilot

Read more about the living history of the Emancipation Oak