Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Day in Providence

Nope, not what you think -- no flags, although there are plenty flying in the Old North Burying Ground; no parades although word is they do in fact exist here in Rhode Island.

For the two of us this day, this "holiday" was a time for reflection, taking stock and hoping the best for those we hold near and dear. And since it was an absolutely gorgeous day in Providence, in fact in all of Rhode Island (motto: "Roads, what roads?"), we thought there's nothing better than a stroll along the waterfront on the East Bay Bike Path.

So put on our casual clothes, hopped in the Mini and headed off for points south. In particular we had our eye on Bristol, RI.

Our first objective was to find the location of "King Philip's Throne," a hunk of rock east of Bristol where the famous (or infamous) Pometecom, known euphemistically as "King Philip," ruled his people. In the late 16th century King Phil had had enough of the white settlers and decided to get rid of them once and for all, thus initiating "King Philip's War," the bloodiest conflict to have ever raged in New England. Needless to say he failed, was caught and executed. Needless to say we, too failed, but in this case there were no British soldiers waiting to take our heads or our lives.

After driving around where the rock was supposed to be -- signage is a concept lost of the folks in New England -- we wished Phil's memory well and drove over Bristol proper, a few miles west of where the throne was reported to be. We parked right downtown and soon found the beginning (or end, depending on your viewpoint) of the bike path. Joining the throngs of other like-minded folks, Susie and I strolled for both a while and a ways in the bright sun of the day. We eventually found a nice spot to park ourselves on a bench in the shade and enjoy the moment.

I'm curious though. If this is New England, why is everything so old, broken and run down?

Anyway, we sat and thought about our great, good fortune and wished the same for our family and friends: we prayed to all the gods that ever roamed the earth that you stay well, be happy and find a corner of the planet that gives you peace of mind and a lightness of heart.

Steve and Susan, picking our way through space and time in Providence, for the moment

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