Monthly Archives: July 2008

George Washington and the Problem with Replicas

Although not necessarily of local concern, the recent announcement that archeologists have discovered George Washington’s boyhood home raises important questions about objects and memory. Here is my response, which appeared in the July 25th edition of the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star. … Continue reading

Posted in birthplace, boyhood home, Ferry Farm, George Washington, Horace Albright, National Park Service, replicas | Leave a comment

Living History

The phrase “living history” usually invokes visions of chubby guys in funny costumes bent on making you taste their hardtack. There’s certainly a lot of that in and around the mid-Atlantic states, but a local news item has me thinking … Continue reading

Posted in Anne Frank, Bartram's Garden, Ben Franklin, Charter Oak, Delaware, living history, trees | 7 Comments

Proximity Value

People love to touch old stuff. It’s like an involuntary reflex. I’m sure that at some point in your life you or somebody you were with picked up an old piece of junk at an antique store or a garage … Continue reading

Posted in Atlantus, Battery 223, Cape May, New Jersey, relics | 1 Comment

The Boardwalk and Beyond

While watching New Jersey Public Television just a few days after arriving here in Philly, my wife Hilary and I discovered that the Jersey shore’s famously kitschy beach front boardwalk communities are struggling with a rash of architectural teardowns. A … Continue reading

Posted in boardwalk, boardwalk gothic, Hilary, New Jersey, teardowns, Wildwood | 1 Comment

"Does anyone here object to this marriage…"

I’ve seen a lot of reenacting in my time. From the summertime kepi brigades of my Pennsylvania home to the weird guys in tricorn hats that lurk nearly everywhere in Williamsburg, VA where I spent my grad school years, I … Continue reading

Posted in Ben Franklin, Betsy Ross, Jean Baudrillard, Michael Nutter | 3 Comments