Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Joseph R. Biden

Joe Biden 46th President of the United States (2021- present)

When I first heard that guys like Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders would be running for president I dismissed it because both of them were to old I thought. Either one of them would be taking office at an age older than Ronald Reagan when he left office. I assumed  that Elizabeth Warren or maybe Mayor Pete Buttigieg would get The Democrat nomination. I was very wrong. Anyways here we are. 

  I have yet to visit any sites connected with Joe Biden. It’s my understanding that he has a birth place and boyhood home in Scranton,  PA. Many of his family members are buried in Delaware and I’m sure he has some homes there too. I’ll have to look into all of it before I make another East Coast trip. 

Biden sites that I’ve been to:

None yet

Saturday, December 26, 2020

2020: Year in Review

Historical Marker in Yorktown for General Washington’s campsite

      2020 was a year like no other for everyone. I started out the first 3 weeks of the year recovering from carpal tunnel surgery that I had in mid December. In the first couple weeks of the year I remember thinking that I was off to a good start with my with hobby. We drove up to Canton and toured the Saxton McKinley house. Which was part of the First Ladies museum. We also drove out to the McKinley family farm. It is private property so we were sure to keep our distance. Also in early January my Dad and I drove up to Toledo to see the President speak in what I hoped to be the first of many campaign rallies to attend in the election year of 2020. I like to attend rallies for both sides. But  like everyone else the restrictions that would arise from the Covid 19 pandemic would change a lot of my plans. 

McKinley family farm

McKinley farmhouse

Inside the Saxton McKinley house. President McKinley lived here for awhile but it is actually the family home of his wife Ida Saxton McKinley.

My kids on the porch of the Saxton McKinley house

At the Trump rally in Toledo I happened to have a cousin across the arena from us. My Dad and I showed up in the background of some of her pictures and video. That's my Dad and I in the background behind the President.

Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale talking with Joe Wurzelbacher aka "Joe the Plumber". Joe became a household name during the 2008 McCain v. Obama campaign when he confronted then candidate Obama when he was walking through his neighborhood. The clip went viral as Obama spoke about "spreading the wealth".

Brad Parscale and Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany

President and VP Mike Pence

The very next night after the Trump rally. We went back to the Huntington center in Toledo to watch a Toledo Walleye hockey game on scout night.

It was Marvel night and so the Walleye wore Spiderman jersey's

My boys and I walking around the Hocking Hills while the girls were at a baby shower for my sister in law

      In February, I booked a room in Williamsburg, Virginia for the first week of June. Then in mid March came the lockdowns and a whole lot of uncertainty. I was fortunate that I was able to keep working as my wife stayed home with the kids. We stayed close to home as suggested for a month or so. Then little by little we would leave the house to get carry out in some of our favorite food places in nearby counties. As well as stopping at some sites. 

In April we went down to the Harding Memorial and recreated this pictures from 2014

Khloe made an encouraging sign for our window

Stopping by the new historic marker for President Hayes birthplace in Delaware

Stopping by President Hayes gravesite in Fremont.

Gravesite of Howard "Hopalong" Cassady. Heisman trophy winner in Dublin

Gravesite of Senator Allen Thurman. He was Grover Clevelands VP running mate in 1888. Columbus, Ohio. 

Just across the pavement from Allen Thurman is the grave of Samuel P. Bush. Grandfather of President George HW Bush. Columbus

     After a great deal of consideration we decided to go ahead with our Williamsburg vacation that I booked in February. Colonial Williamsburg and pretty much every historical sites visitors centers and museums were closed, but since we had a nonrefundable room we decided to go and see what we can see. 

First stop along the way was the gravesite of General Arthur St. Claire. We was the First Territorial Governor of Ohio

Gravesite of Mr. Fred Rogers of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. 

Gravesite of Edmund Randolph. First Attorney General of the US. and Second Secretary of State of the US.

We saw some beautiful scenery along the way

Visiting my older cousin Jeff in western Virginia was nice.

My boys and I with Skyline Drive in the background. President Hoover had Skyline Drive constructed so that the people could easily access the beautiful scenery of what is now Shenandoah National Park.

President Hoover's Camp Rapidan Presidential retreat is usually accessible via National Park bus. Since that service was unavailable I had to hike to see it. It was a 4 mile round trip hike through the Virginia wilderness. My son Nick went with me. The hike was rougher then expected but it was worth it. The hike involved crossing 3 rivers one way. Luckily we didn't have to get our feet wet. 

Nick and I crossing the river on a narrow log bridge.

Finally found the cabin

Nick at Hoover's cabin

We really had to earn this one.

We spent 3 days at the beach since most the the history sites were not available.

Governors Mansion at Williamsburg. Thomas Jefferson served as Governor here.

Battle of Yorktown monument

Cave where British General Cornwallis hid during the Battle of Yorktown

Cornwallis cave

Moore house, Yorktown, Site were representatives from General Washington and General Cornwallis negotiated peace to end the Revolutionary War

Site of Washington's camp at Yorktown

Kids enjoying themselves at a nearby state park near Williamsburg

We took a ride on the Jamestown ferry. We could see the original site of the Jamestown settlement.

My disappointment of not being able to see Jamestown after walking out to the island. Only way to the original site is through the visitors center, which was closed.

According to the map we thought that this path would get up to the original Jamestown settlement. We were tempted but decided to not push our luck.

My Mom and Nick at the recreation of the Jamestown glass house.

My kids watch Thomas Jefferson draft the Declaration of Independence. 

College of William and Mary Wren Building constructed between 1695-1699. Presidents Jefferson, Monroe and Tyler all attended school here.

James Monroe statue on William and Mary campus

Jefferson statue and I on William and Mary campus

Tyler family has deep roots at College of William and Mary. 

Bust of President Tyler in Tyler Garden on campus of William and Mary

Date night with my wife. We got a giant burrito that took us about 3 days to finish. Yorktown, VA

President Tyler's Sherwood Forest.

Tyler's intended gravesite

City Point, VA site of General Grants headquarters during the Siege of Petersburg

Site of the Battle of the Crater. The Union Army dug a tunnel under the Confederate lines, packed it full of explosives and lit it. The event is depicted in the opening sequence of the movie Cold Mountain.

Entrance into the tunnel. 

The Crater

Hollywood Cemetery Richmond, Virginia. The vehicle gate was closed. So we had to walk to see the gravesites of Presidents Monroe and Tyler

Tyler's gravesite

Monroe's gravesite. Which has undergone a major renovation since I was last there. 

Gravesite of Confederate President Jefferson Davis

Robert E. Lee statue Richmond, Virginia

My Dad has always been a fan of Secretariat. So I took him to see his birthplace

Gravesite of President Tyler's first wife Letitia. She died while her husband was President. She was buried at her family plantation.

  After a nice week in Williamsburg area we started to make our way home. But we hit a few sites on the way home.

Massaponax Baptist church. Where a famous picture of General Grant and his staff was taken.

General Grant and his staff sitting in the church yard in the church pews.

Gravesite of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Fairfax, VA

Gravesite of Francis Scott Key, who wrote the "Star Spangled 
Banner" Frederick, MD

Gravesite of Chief Justice Roger Taney. Frederick, MD

       I had an audio CD tour of the Battlefield at Gettysburg from a previous trip. I thought that this would be a great chance to use it again on the way home.

Site where Major General John Reynolds was killed at the Battle of Gettysburg.

My Dad telling my kids about Pickett's charge

General Lee statue

My kids at Little round top

General Meade Statue

Last stop before going home was Flight 93 Memorial in Shanksville, PA

Flight 93 crash site

The wall behind me is a memorial wall in line with the flight path to the crash site

Wind chime memorial

      The following weekend from when we returned from Virginia was our wedding Anniversary. So we went up to Lake Erie for a couple of days.

Perry's Monument behind us while on Put in Bay

Enjoying a Beer. 

Gravesite of Mark Hanna. Political organizer who got William McKinley elected President. Cleveland, Ohio

President Garfield's Tomb undergoing a renovation

Memorial to DJ Alan Freed. 

Original Tomb of President Garfield. This is where his body was kept while his existing Tomb was being constructed. 

We stopped by the Air Force Museum in late Summer. This is the Boxcar. The bomber that dropped the Atomic Bomb on Nagasaki, Japan. Ending WW2.

We attended an out door drive in Casting Crowns concert in August. 

Fall kept me very busy with these boys playing football

We took a hike in a park near Columbus. 

     In September, I heard that the President would be having another rally near Toledo at an airport. I remember as a kid attending a rally when President Bush was running for reelection in 1992. I got to shake the Presidents hand and it was an amazing experience. I wanted to give my kids the same chance to at least see a sitting President. What was most amazing is that we got to see Air Force One in action. 

President Trump at the podium

The President boarding Air Force One

Hanging out with my nephew John at his First birthday party in September

A fish Nick caught at a scout outing in October

Nick and his fellow scouts whittling

Nick and Grant at the fall scout campout.

While Christmas shopping down in Columbus I stumbled upon this cool monument to an Indian Chief Leatherlips. 

I found the gravesite for Chief Leatherlips nearby

William Henry Harrison's headquarters during the War of 1812

Hanging with Coach Woody Hayes

Harding Presidential Library. Yet to be open

My kids at our Church Christmas program