Much of my mental energy this summer has been spent on my volunteer duties at Governors Island National Monument. I had always known that the island had a rich history. I feel that this summer I have come to understand some of that history in a deeper way than I had perviously. Other than the week the Hayfoot and I went to Gettysburg, I have not missed a Saturday. My favorite part of the island is a toss up between the general orientation tour and manning the gates–literally–at Castle Williams. The latter is especially rewarding because, standing at the entranceway to the old fortress greeting passersby, one eventually meets most visitors to the island. Some are in and out of the fort in minutes and some stay an hour or more reading every wayward sign. It’s all good.

At my day job we do not work on Fridays in July and most of August. So, today I went out to the island for a walk-through of the interpretive program I have been preparing for the upcoming Civil War Weekend. Essentially I spent the past few weeks researching and drafting an interpretive program about the island’s connection to the Civil War, and today a ranger and I walked the island where I performed it for him for advice and feedback. It is always beneficial to get some input before facing the public and I got a great deal of it today from a ranger who is especially knowledgable. It was lot of fun. I was about 90% there before the walk-through. After a few tweaks based on the input I received this morning I will be ready.

If you live in the New York area, I hope you are able to make it to Governors Island for Civil War Weekend, August 11 and 12. Details to come.