Sunday, October 15, 2006

Four score and seven years ago ...


Our east coast US trip gave me more than a chance to catch up with family and friends: I also got a good dose of American History 101. A lot of this was the history you pick up by spending a lifetime watching American TV series and movies. How many times have you watched a sit-com or family drama and watched a bunch of American elementary school kids whiningly reciting Lincoln's "Four score and seven years ago ..." - and how great was it when I actually read this speech inscribed in the wall at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC, next to that huge statue of Lincoln himself (the view he gets - later shared by Martin Luther King and Forrest Gump - is shown above).


A couple of days later, my aunt and uncle took us on a driving tour of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. We know Americans love cars and driving: so some clever folks set up self-drive tours of the Civil War battlefields. Pop in the cassette or CD, drive as directed, and watch out the window as a honey-voiced narrator explains the key events of the Battle of Gettysburg. What a great idea! I've started to think about self-drive tours of Australia, but I'm worried there'd be a lot of silence as you drive along endless outback roads where nothing really changes.

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