We knew that a visit to this historic city would be cool, but it was much cooler than we imagined it would be. As we began our tour of the old colonial village, the boys stepped back into the 18th century with a change of clothes; a period style shirt, a shoulder pouch, a tricorn hat and a musket. When dressed they were given this written greeting:
Dear Young Gentlemen,
Welcome to Williamsburg! I hope that you and your horse are well rested, and I trust that you did not meet with any villains or robbers along the way. I am happy to say that the roads in Williamsburg are free of such scoundrels!
I am sorry that I cannot greet you myself, but there is urgent business I must attend to. We have run out of shot for our cannons. I am taking my horse to Kemp’s Landing to see if cannon shot can be had there. Our cannon are useless without shot! We are as defenseless as field mice.
Have you considered becoming a soldier? I ask this because I have heard much about you. I have heard that you are a good scholar, you never protest or complain, you never speak ill to your parents and you are trustworthy and brave. Indeed, I have heard that you are a gentleman of honor. Our company of soldiers needs lads such as you!
If you wish to join our short drill, report to the sergeant on the porch of the Guardhouse beside the Magazine on Market Square at Eleven Thirty of the clock.
I must bid farewell for now. Please accept my hearty thanks for your help! I hope you find Williamsburg to your liking. My regards to your parents.
I Am Your Most Humble Servant,
And so that is just what we did. Ben and Jack knocked on the great big door of the Guardhouse and when the sergeant answered the door, each boy said after announcing his name, “Reporting for duty, sir!” Then the drill began. Whew! The orders came fast and furious. They kept up as best they could. The sergeant named them the Awkward Troop.
The weather was very cold with a soft mist falling so to warm up a bit we bought a delicious hot apple cider and a gingerbread cookie from a local merchant. We entered the village courthouse and heard how legal matters were handled in the 18th century. Outside stood the stocks where an offender in that day was secured by the hands and head and left in public to be ridiculed or abused. Then we toured the home of Peyton Randolph, cousin of Thomas Jefferson and key revolutionary figure of the day. The traditional dinner featuring a main course of cow head on a platter elegantly displayed on the Peyton dining room table made our mouths water for the meal that awaited us in the Williamsburg lodge…
With just a few more steps to go before reaching our Thanksgiving feast destination we heard a voice from a car driving slowly by saying, “Hello Beckers!” What a pleasant stroke of synchronicity! It was Leslie Henson and her two daughters, Rachel and Mary Keeling, from Poplar Bluff. Rachel and Mary were in our youth group back in the early 90’s. What is the chance of that?
Our meal was out of this world! We gave thanks for all our blessings. It was one of our most memorable Thanksgiving celebrations to date.
Our short stay in Williamsburg also allowed us to hook up with our good friend, Archie Wright. Archie is a part of the Jerusalem School and a really good friend. We enjoyed dinner at Outback with him, his friend, Tara, and her son, Taylor.