Viva la France


Today is Bastille Day, or French National Day, which commemorates the beginning of the French
Revolution with the Storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789. I don’t normally observe Bastille
Day, my French Hugenot relatives having left in the late 1600s before settling just a little west
of here on the James River.

I may, or may not, by the time you are reading this, have been celebrating Bastille Day with a
friend. It’s a long story. Sometimes friendships are.

If we aren’t celebrating Bastille Day, we’ll be celebrating something soon enough.

I don’t know much about French history. After seeing Les Miserables for the first time, I read the
book. Not quickly, but I read it. It’s a long book, but far from the complete story.

I think I’ve told this story before. I grew up in Virginia in the 1960s.

One year in history class we would study Virginia history. Generally that started in Jamestown and
we usually got to the Civil War just before the end of the school year.

The next year we would study American history. Generally that started in Jamestown and we usually
got to the Civil War just before the end of the school year.

True Story. I took American History in college and for the first week was confused regarding why
the professor wanted to start in Massachuetts.

Yeah, I know they were involved, but c’mon.

We Virginians are a proud lot.

History, they say, is told by the victors. That’s why a lot of people need to study more about the
Civil War before trying to shout that the southernors were all racists and the northernors were all

It’s just not true.

Sure, the war was about slavery, for the south. For the north it was about economics and how they
depended on the southern economy…driven by slavery.

Don’t argue. Go study.

Because I’ve already said all I’m going to say about that.

I love history. I wish I had time to study it better.

For a while I was reading lots of biographics about the European royalty. I was fascinated by
Victoria and her children and grandchildren with the connections to Russia and Germany, and more.

But enough of that for now.

I need to be looking for a French restaurant.

Or maybe a restaurant that serves really good French toast.

Or maybe we’ll just have American food and drink a toast.

This post is rambling. I understand that.

If I knew my history better, I could blame the French.

But, since it’s been hot and soggy for what seems like weeks now, I blame the rain.

Not to be confused with “The Reign.”

That’s a different story.


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