The Battle of Fredericksburg was fought from December 11th to December 15th, 1862. Among the 120,000 or so Union soldiers in the Army of the Potomac was a 36 year old French-Canadian immigrant named Moises Beaulieu. Moises had enlisted in June 1861 in Company A of the 11th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment (sometimes known as the Boston Volunteers) and thus had already been in the Union army for some 18 months when he found himself on the bank of the Rappahannock River across from the town of Fredericksburg, Virginia. Major General Ambrose Burnside, a Rhode Islander who had risen from Colonel of the 1st Rhode Island to commander of the army, was waiting for pontoons to arrive so bridges could be built across the river. At that time the 11th Massachusetts was in Brigadier General Joseph Carr’s brigade, of Brigadier General Dan Sickles’ Second Division of George Stoneman’s Third Corps, part of the Center Grand Division commanded by Major General Joseph Hooker.
Well. Where to begin.
Yes, 2016 has not been a great year for all sorts of reasons. In that sense. John Oliver is right (see below, and definitely not safe for work).
We can’t wait for it to be over either.
Yes, there have been some good things that happened this year. Kelly and I finally have a house of our own, and we love it. Just this past weekend we put up our Christmas tree for the first time in several years. I was smiling from ear to ear. I just couldn’t help myself. As silly as it might seem to some people, putting up the tree in our living room as we listened to Christmas music was one of the most serene and happy moments I have had in a long, long time. It meant the world to me.
Also, there was the addition of little Violet to our family a few weeks after we moved to Winthrop, and we love her very much. She is an absolutely sweet and affectionate little thing and we could not have hoped for a better addition to our little family. She has found all sorts of little places around the house to sleep, and one of my favorite things to do around the new house is to find the new places where she has decided to sit and/or nap.
We spent our Thanksgiving day in New Hampshire at my sister Liz’s house, after picking up my Aunt Donna from her place (also in NH now) and heading over to have Thanksgiving as a late lunch. And we had a pretty good time, all things considered. Luckily, we managed to avoid all discussions of politics.
So yes, while I can’t avoid discussing politics forever, I am going to put off talking about it for a little because I wanted to end this post on a positive note. While I have much to see about current events I will still try to put up some more pictures of the new place, as well as some pictures of all of our furry “kids” together. It is the season for that sort of thing.
Much love to all our family, friends and acquaintances.
I’m bringing you greetings from the inimitable Dave Scott. He’s got two gigs coming up in New Hampshire. They both sound fantastic, especially the one in Portsmouth because 1) it’s in Portsmouth and 2) Beatles.
Go if you can, Dave and his friends make great music and great fun. From Dave:
FRIDAY, JUNE 19th, 8 p.m. THE PURPLE PIT in Bristol, NH, $14
This is another Jonathan Lorentz “joint.” You hopefully know Jon as the tireless (well, I have to assume he gets tired at some point, with all the teaching and playing and family-manning and gig curating he does) sax player and impresario of a number of performance situations throughout New Hampshire. He’s put together a new performance situation at this nice coffee place and restaurant in Bristol. There’s a whole summer and fall full of entertainment planned! Check out one of the shows, if you’re in the area or are traveling there, so that the music endures at this location.
(David Thorne Scott – voice, bass, trumpet, mandolin, melodica)
(Mark Shilansky – piano, voice, intent to play other instruments at some point)
Sunday, June 21st
6-9 PM at THE PRESS ROOM, 77 Daniel St, Portsmouth NH, $10
We are the Meta-beat, and we were born out of numerous lunch-time conversations between Les Harris and Mark Shilansky. As such, we play the music of the Beatles, plus solo Beatle material, plus music by Beatle collaborators and contemporaries, often in medleys. We recontextualize things as well, so though we are often doing straight-up covers, we also will play instrumental versions of tunes, swing some of them, latin-ize some of them, play an early Beatles tune in the style of the later Beatles, mash them up, reharmonize them. It’s fun and I think fun to listen to as well, and this gig we have a very special guest because Sara Caswell is joining us.
M.S. – piano/voice, David Thorne Scott – voice, Les Harris Jr – drums/voice, Aubrey Harris – bass/voice, Eric Byers – guitars/voice, Special Guest: Sara Caswell – violin
I’m working tomorrow night, but if we can make it to the performance in Portsmouth, we will. Go out, get some culture, tell your friends!
I had to go to our branch office in Bedford, New Hampshire on Friday, which gave me a chance to have dinner with my sister Liz and her family in Lee. It also allowed me to make a trip to Mt. Washington the next day to do some hiking for the Longest Day with coworker Jason Lynch and his team. I had never been to Mt. Washington before, but I have wanted to climb it for years. So I finally had my chance.
From the always awesome David Scott comes a list of performances in the greater Boston area that you, yes you, should attend. Dave is an amazing performer and he’s always working with amazing performers. If you haven’t heard him before take a moment to check him out.
Geoff and I have wanted to go panning for gold or gem hunting for a long time. I have had the bug for a particularly long time since I’ve been reading about gems and minerals since I was a wee geek. As yesterday we both had a rare Saturday off at the same time, Geoff planned a day in NH where we could go gold prospecting. Yep, there’s gold in those granite hills.
Yes, it’s true, folks. For the first time in well over a year, I have a Saturday and a Sunday off. In a row. I have a weekend.