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Day 41 - Richmond, Virginia

Lisa and Ray B. met up with Ziggy and me at the State Capital Building in Richmond, Virginia. We were surprised to see them there waiting. I asked how long had they been waiting and they said 3 days. Oh my! This state, as the one of the original colonies has some beautiful and interesting history. Lisa asked Ziggy what hat was she going to wear for her state and ziggy wipped out this one for the colonials.

Virginia was the 10th state in the USA and it became a state on June 25, 1788. As we toured Richmond, Lisa said, "In 1775, Patrick Henry delivered his famous “Give me Liberty or Give me Death” speech in St. John's Church, during the Second Virginia Convention. This speech is credited with convincing members of the House of Burgesses to pass a resolution delivering Virginia troops to the American Revolutionary War. One year later, in the throes of the Revolutionary War, the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence."

Ray B. continued, "In 1780, Virginia’s state capital was moved from Williamsburg to Richmond. In 1781, under the command of Benedict Arnold, Richmond was burned by British troops. Yet Richmond shortly recovered, and, in May 1782, was incorporated as a city."

"In 1785," Lisa said, "The James River Company was formed with George Washington as its honorary president. Development of the James River and the Kanawha Canal, designed by Washington, ensued. The cornerstone of the Virginia State Capitol, designed by Thomas Jefferson, was also laid this year. These events led to further development of the economy of the city. The first bridge across the James River, named Mayo’s Bridge after the founder of the city, was built in 1787."

Ray B. said, "The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, written in 1779 by Thomas Jefferson, was passed in Richmond on January 16, 1786, and the first freemasonry in America was constructed on Franklin Street between 18th and 19th Streets."

Man I'll tell you, the subscribers to Kieto's ezine are pretty dog-gone smart. Wouldn't you say?

But Ziggy and I were getting hungry and asked what was for dinner. They looked at each outher and then at us and said, "Why, Viginia Baked Ham and Sweet Tea!"

Picnic days are here and what fun it would be to prepare this the day beofre along with your favorite potato salad. Here's the recipe.

Virginia Style Baked Ham

1 country ham, soaked overnight in cold water
3 lemons, peeled
3 oranges, peeled
1 cup dried apricots
1 cup dried prunes
24 whole cloves
2 sticks cinnamon

Scrub the ham, transfer to a pot of fresh water and boil for 1 hour. Remove from the pot and trim away the rind.

Return to pot, cover with water, and add the lemons, oranges, apricots, prunes, about a dozen cloves, and the cinnamon sticks. Cook about 4 hours or until the meat is tender and loosened from the bone.

Preheat oven 350 degrees.

Remove ham from the pot, drain and wipe dry with a towel. Cover with brown sugar, stick in a dozen cloves, and place into a shallow baking dish. Bake 1 hour or until browned.

Here ya go. Back off the sugar if you can't handle it or not supposed to use it. Use splenda per glass if it's OK.

Southern Sweet Tea
Makes 2 quarts

6 regular tea bags
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups boiling water
1 1/2-2 cups sugar
6 cups cold water

In a large glass measuring cup, place the tea bags and add the baking soda.

Pour the boiling water over the tea bags.

Cover and steep for 15 minutes.

Take out the tea bags and do not squeeze them.

Pour the tea mixture into a 2-quart pitcher; add the sugar.

Stir until the sugar is dissolved.

Add in the cold water.

Let cool; chill in the refrigerator and serve over ice.

Have some fun. Go on a picnic.

_______________________________

Once we ate, we were tuckered out but had to get to Concord, New Hampshire. We said our goodbyes to Lisa and Ray and headed north.

We needed gas so we pulled into this old gas station. As I was getting out of the car, a man came up and asked how much. You just don't see or hear that anymore. I told him to fill it up. He put the pump in the car, checked the oil and even cleaned the windows. Man oh man. You really don't see that anymore.

I asked him what his name was and how long he'd been doing this and he said Buster Bilby and 75 years. He started when he was 10 and bought the station when he was 30 and had been running it ever since. I told him what Ziggy and I were doing and asked him about how he felt about America and being an American.

He said, "Gas prices are outragious. I feel like this. You gonna charge someone these prices, you should give them a little extra service. Of course, I don't make a lot of money, but it keeps me busy. I've never been anywhere else but America. My ancestors came over here in the late 1700's and I'm a Virginian. There's no country in the world like America!'

With that, I paid him, shook his hand and we were off to Concord, New Hampshire. See ya tomorrow!

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