So How Did You Celebrate the Fourth?

As anyone who has looked at the calendar knows, today is the 4th of July. What better way to celebrate the 4th than to visit a president’s home? So that’s what we did!

The Hermitage was the home of Andrew Jackson, the 7th president of the United States. Jackson is an interesting fellow: he was “the people’s president”, being known for opening the White House to the public after his inauguration. He was self-taught, a hero of the War of 1812. He had his share of scandals, having to remarry his wife after it turns out the first marriage wasn’t legal because her divorce wasn’t final yet. He was accused of being “King Jackson” because of his kitchen cabinet (not chosen by Congress), his revocation of the charter of the Bank of the United States, and other perceived abuses of power. He was the first president born in a log cabin. In short, a very interesting fellow, with many parallels to today’s “King George”.

The Hermitage consists of a museum, the mansion itself, wonderful gardens, and more. It was interesting to compare the mansion itself to similar plantations we have seen (Belle Meade, Carnton) — there were similar aspects, such as faux wood and marble, but no real Civil War aspects. The museum provided a good history, but left out many of the facts about Jackson (the Tennessee State Museum, in many ways, had a better exhibit). The gardens were beautiful, with many herbs and vegetables, as well as the tomb of Jackson and his wife. The grounds also featured a Jackson-lookalike, which was quite interesting.

In short, it was a wonderful way to celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence. One can only hope that the cherished ideals of liberty, freedom, and individual rights that our founders fought for remain in our country, for they are potentially in danger of being lost in the name of “security”. Hopefully, we all remember what Benjamin Franklin said, “Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.” We need to remind our “King George” of this, and that no one is above the laws and the constitution, and that we all must be vigilent in protecting our rights.

On the way back from The Hermitage, we stopped by The Game Keep, a FLGS (Friendly Local Game Store) for Nashville. This was a wonderful store. K picked up a Cheapass Game, and I picked up a wonderfully cute T-shirt that I couldn’t resist.

Tomorrow we go on the road to Memphis, Tennessee, spending the night in Jackson, Tennessee. There are two things we want to see in Memphis: the National Civil Rights Museum (which we’ll hopefully see tomorrow, as Memphis is only a 3-hour drive), and Graceland (which we’ll see Friday before driving back to Nashville).

P.S. Today was a headache day, because I really didn’t sleep well. I finally got it knocked down by around 2:30 PM.