by Odell McGuire, © Oct '95

"I'd rather die than be whipped."
 -  JEB Stuart, mortally wounded on the field at Yellow Tavern, May 11, 1864.

(note, photo lost) At left is my friend Cockamo, a Virginia fighting cock. He knows the meaning of life, always has, never doubted it. He runs the place.

Or anyway he did. It is my duty to inform you that Cockamo, on October 16th, 1995, failed to return from a foraging expedition in the woods, possibly killed and eaten by a gray fox known to inhabit them. His flock was unhurt. His picture and homepage will remain here in tribute to his memory. RIP Cockamo. A new rooster, son of Cockamo, has emerged from the flock and begun crowing. His name: 'Gallo Basso'. For some reason I always think of roosters as Italians.

     Q. How many Virginians does it take to change a light bulb?
    A. Three. One to change it and two to talk about how much better the old bulb was.

Virginians are less enthusiastic than most Americans about forgetting the past and getting on with it. The past has a stronger hold on our minds. Its not that we reject the new out of hand; its just that we are forever testing it against the old, finding, often, that it doesn't measure up to suit us. We are an obstinate people.

I doubt that the people of any other state in the Union could have found the resources of sheer obstinacy needed to block Disney from bringing them a historical theme park and a half billion dollars in extra income. The notion of a Disney-sized Hollywood fake setting up in one of our most sacred precincts stuck in the collective craw. Stonewall Jackson, standing there on Henryhouse Hill, might cover his eyes for shame to see legions of Yankee traffic cross his front without challenge. John Marshall, perhaps, would step down off his pedestal in Warrenton, go in the courthouse and write another immortal opinion: the power to Disneyfy is the power to ..ah... disturb the peace of the dead...or something like that. John Mosby, materializing from the dust of Fauquier County, might set about robbing Brinks trucks instead of Yankee payroll trains; hijacking Hondas and Toyotas from the invaders instead of horses. Old Dan Morgan, up the country, could muster yet one more militia of Valley riflemen, descend through the gaps, and...

Well...around here the past is even the stuff of our fantasies. But fantasy or not, it makes me feel better inside that that part of Virginia is not to become a pitch stand for the mouseared people, huckstering to a lot of bulgepocket Yankees a lot of correct, crowdpleasing lies about Pocahontas, George Washington and Robert E Lee. Why? Why does it make me feel better than a half billion bucks a year would make me feel better?

I don't have any idea why. I'm probably wrong, by any acceptably correct line of reasoning. Its just that I'm a Virginian. The old bulb is better. I am free to say so.

There will be plenty of chances to return to this page if you want to browse or grab any of the following:

George Mason's masterpiece:The Virginia Declaration of Rights

'Many were Sore Chased and Some Cut Down'.

March with the riflemen of western Virginia. A true epic tale of fighting Cornwallis in the Carolinas in 1781. In four parts:

I.    The Cowpens
II.   Marches, Skirmishes, Mass Desertions, and a Massacre
III . Battle near Guilford Courthouse
IV. After the battle, enough was enough