I hope everyone had an enjoyable Easter or Passover. I’m watching the beautiful sunset as I type this.
We indeed went to Mount Vernon today. We were questioning our decision halfway there because mass transit proved difficult this holiday weekend. Still, when we arrived we had a good time. (Not wanting a repeat of the frustrating arrival, we took an Uber back to our destination.) The grounds were crowded, which was great. It’s always good seeing people experiencing historic sites. It was warmer than when we were there in January and more of the grounds were thus accessible. The gardens were blooming and the animals–sheep and even cattle–were out. We took in quite a bit. I also had many conversations with the living historians who work there. My strategy on these things is: jump in. At the shoreline not far from where I took the above image I had a conversation with a staffer about how Washington used these low-lying grounds. She replied that it was basically swampland and thus not especially productive. She then added that the flood walls in the Potomac were constructed in the 1930s. This naturally led to a conversation about how and why that happened, with yours truly speculating that it probably happened as part of the New Deal’s Civilian Conservation Corps. I intend to dig a little more on this when I get home.
In the gift ship I bought a copy of Ron Chernow’s Washington: A Life. I don’t want to go into specifics right now, but Chernow and Thomas Flexner will play into some Interpretive projects I hope to work on this summer. It’s only about six weeks away now.