The New York Saga, continued…
I like a gal who appreciates a nice romantic stroll through a rustic cemetery.
It was a sunny early-January morning when Kate and I went driving in her van out between the snowy fields to the home of her sister’s family. I mentioned Doug and his pottery in the wedding episode of this ongoing family drama; well, his studio is here next to the house, in a quiet village called Schuylerville, 15 miles southeast of Saratoga Springs, which featured prominently in the American Revolution and took me several attempts to pronounce properly.
We had lunch there with Kristen and a friend and then strolled over to the Saratoga Monument (there’s a great shot of it under construction on the National Park Service website), which stands tall and straight on high ground with a cemetery in its shadow. Oh, I suppose I should mention that we were a couple now — it had been an eventful few days and the old Goat magic, which originally manifested itself in the virtual pages of this very blog and proved even more powerful in the flesh, was still going strong, much to my relief and amazement — and I’d blown a grand or so, quite happily, scrapping air tickets so I could stay there in Upstate New York for an extra couple of weeks. Things were going very well indeed, in fact, and now I could actually relax enough to take in some of the area’s highlights and begin a crash course in American Revolution history.
Here’s the monument, a 155-ft obelisk dating from 1877-82:
It was closed for the season but in Summer you can climb the stairs to the top. A century before its construction, the battles the monument commemorates — there were two significant ones, on September 19 and October 7, 1777 — had concluded a mile from here with the first significant British surrender of the war. Believe me, I had to look this stuff up. My Civil War history is okay; my grasp of Revolutionary War stuff very limited.
Apparently the Battles of Saratoga are often included in lists of the most significant clashes in history. The British defeat here led directly to the French siding with the Colonials against Britain — and they were just the first. That threatened to turn the conflict into a world war which Britain could never have won. The fighting in this area, and General Burgoyne‘s subsequent surrender, is considered the turning point in the Revolution.
But that story deserves its own post when I get the chance to explore the battlefield properly. For now I’ll leave the two love-struck protagonists, those crazy kids, sauntering gaily (I’m telling you they sauntered gaily — deal with it.) between the rows of snow-draped graves and mausoleums, pausing here and there for a photograph or to gaze adoringly into each other’s gorgeous blue-grey eyes. They made an adorable sight, take it from me. (I checked with Kate: “Babe,” I said, “How adorable were we that day in the graveyard?” “Now, hon,” she replied, falling at once into a swoony kinda reverie, “You know darned well we were freakin’ adorable that day.”)
So there. A good journalist always checks his facts.
Enjoy the pictures.
~ And that’s all the Goat wrote