Sunday, June 7, 2009



The rolling hills are quiet now--the dead long buried, the guns silent and still--but the feeling still lingers. If you've been to Gettysburg, you know.

Blood-red Gettysburg is a reverent place, a complicated place, and for three days in July, historians and experts will gather there for a symposium on how to keep its story alive and accessible to the public.

I mentioned the Journey Through Hallowed Ground( JTHG) project in last Monday's post. Each year they host their annual meeting bringing in a stellar panel of top-notch historians, authors and other notables whose presentations will teach, entertain and inspire. This year's meeting--Switching the Lens: History from a New Perspective--will be held in Gettysburg, July 15 through Friday, July 17. If you love history, particularly the Civil War, you may want to plan a little time off from work to attend a few of the truly unique opportunities available.

The meeting's primary purpose is to build support for the Journey Through Hallowed Ground project, but the planners encourage everyone to come out and become excited about the rich history present in the 175 mile swath of land the Journey encompasses.

The opportunities are many from panel discussions with extremely notable panelists/educators/authors; to a perhaps once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to attend a screening of the Civil War epic, "Gettysburg", being presented by its director and producer, Ron Maxwell, in Gettysburg's historic Majestic Theater.

There will be book signings, a 3-D photography exhibit, a bike tour of the battle grounds and a tour of the Eisenhower Farm and much, much more. Something for everyone. Some activities are free, but most have a cost attached. All require advanced registration.

Let me recommend a few personal Gettysburg favorites. Make sure to have a meal at the Dobbin's House. I love this restaurant! The food is wonderful but it's the ambiance of the place that's phenomenal. It's like stepping back in time. Ask to be seated downstairs. If they can't seat you there, ask to at least walk through and experience the "feel" of the place with it's cold stream running along the floor to the old cold cellar. It's such a delight and its own history is amazing! I based several scenes in Dark Sky at Dawn on events that actually occured in that famous home. There's even an underground railroad station. Ask to see that as well.

A trip to the Majestic theater, mentioned above, is also a must-see. And if you do nothing else, just plan to enter the battlefield and sit quietly for a time at one of the many garden areas. I promise you'll feel the spirit of this place.

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