A trip to Vermont can provide an opportunity to remove oneself from all that prevents peace and relaxation. While travelling the highways, back roads, and by ways of the state, you can witness the vivid green mountain ranges as well as see up close the covered bridges that connect roads over valleys and waterways. Using a thoroughly modern piece of machinery, the automobile, to find architectural skill that benefited the horse and buggy rider sometimes requires compromise. For almost all bridges, there is room for only one car to cross at a time so diplomacy is required. “You go first, then it’s my turn.”
The covered bridge lives in many states across America but it also can be found in many countries such as Germany, China, Switzerland and Turkey. Covered bridges have an architecture all their own and can vary is types. color and size.
Construction workers and engineers built the first covered bridge in Pennsylvania over the Schuylkill River in 1800. Pennsylvania has its share of covered bridges, more than 200 spreading out across the state. However, Vermont has its share and the count comes in at just over a 100. The state has the highest number of covered bridges per square mile than any other state.
The covered bridge was engineered for a couple of reasons. The primary requirement was to protect the bridge from the weather by enclosing it on its sides and with a roof. Experts in the field of Covered Bridge-worthiness say that an authentic covered bridge is built with trusses. Vermont law now protects covered bridges and none can be torn down without approval from the governor and the Board of Historic Sites. A covered bridge can extend the life of bridge well past the 10 or 15 years a wooden bridge can last without the cover and enclosure walls.
Many states can boast covered bridges but they will have a tough time matching the high concentration of bridges per square mile combined with the scenery you will enjoy while looking for them. Besides the skiing, Vermont’s bridge scenery remains in place for travelers to see the past.
A quick pan over the globe shows us all that some of the best places may not be in the middle of a major metropolitan area. You can find Roman Walls and artifacts in a small town in Turkey called Sinop, on the Black Sea coast. In another part of the world, you can travel a few hours South of London over the rolling hills to the area where Stonehenge fascinates many viewers. If you travel just North of London you arrive at Stratford Upon Avon, the home town of Shakespeare. Just South of Tucson, AZ, a traveler can walk the streets of Tombstone and visit the OK Corral area. There are many places in the United States and all over the world where if you look hard enough you can find some interesting places to visit and learn a little in the process.
A building in the small town of Chadd’s Ford just South of Philadelphia presents the art enthusiast a perfect stop. It houses an influential collection of paintings by some of the best artists of our time, the Wyeth family. Here is where genius lives, in a building tucked behind some trees off of US Route 1 on Hoffman’s Mill Road. NC Wyeth began a family who over several years created some of the best art works of our time. The Wyeth collection, displayed for viewing in the Brandywine River Museum, is worth the trip and the price to see one of the best art collections in the Western World. The three-story exhibit presents the person who travels to the place a chance to see pieces of art work that are awe-inspiring in their creativity and craftsmanship.
Of all the Wyeth artists, I have the greater admiration for Andrew Wyeth who perfected the technique of egg tempera painting. If you haven’t seen this type of painting up close, then I recommend you travel to the Brandywine River Museum and take a look at the art treasure. The scenes the family painted are of out-of-the-way
pastures, fields, and simple day-to-day activities with ordinary people and household objects. It is in the detail in each tree branch, human subject and river flow that the artists show the how simple subjects can hold a wealth of satisfaction.
If you want to see what the best in human creativity has to offer, you may need to travel a few miles away from your hometown. You don’t have to go far, just far enough to find the best the world has to offer. The Brandywine River Museum is just such a place.
If you see a malcontent, discontent, dissident or an activist fighting for a cause on the world stage, you’ll likely see someone or some power base trying to stop it, quell it or ignore it.
Turkish protestors are news today with more clashes with the government. The demonstrations are seen as protests against the conservative President Recep Tayyip Erdogan against secular Turks. Erdogan is being accused of forcing his Islamic views on a segment of the Turkish population. Islamic conservatives and secular politicians have long battled for government control and the best way to run a country with an overwhelming Islamic population. Situated at the edge of the European land mass and the Middle Eastern Territory, the Turkish people have fought for their religious identity while trying to be part of the European Union and culture.
Demonstrations, protests, marches, and riots usually begin with peaceful sit-ins and marches but soon escalate to violence and mayhem. Some of these achieve results while others are just the beginning of a longer struggle. Depending on where you sit at the table, one person’s terrorist, radical, guerilla, and rebel is another’s freedom fighter and force for change. After all, the United States revolution began with a peaceful protest.
Here are the top eight that we noticed.
1. Hungarian Uprising of 1956-The Soviet Union tanks rolled into Budapest after the Hungarian leadership informed Moscow that they were leaving the Warsaw Pact. This act fueled Soviet leaders to send in the tanks. Thousands were killed during the crackdown and its aftermath.
2. UK Miner’s Strike and early US Union Strikes -Worker’s unions in the United States, the United Kingdom and elsewhere fought corporate abuse to increase wages, improve working conditions and work schedules. The passing of the 1935 National Labor Relations Act (Wagner Act) significantly aided unions to recruit and negotiate with corporate management.
3.Freedom Riders-1961-The Freedom Riders climbed in the bus, drove through the South, and more importantly, had the courage to get off the bus when the welcome party was unfriendly.
4.Antiwar Protests-From Vietnam to the Iraq War, when talk fails another tool of diplomacy takes form. An instrument in a country’s diplomatic tool bag is the strength of its military– Army, Marines, Navy and Air Force. Whether it be two people or two countries fighting, someone is likely against the idea no matter how noble the cause.
5.Tiananmen Square-1989-Who can forget the lone protestor standing in front of the tank line, moving left to right as the tank moved. Later, the brutal crackdown at the square displayed government power for all the world to see on news channels across the globe. The final chapter for this hasn’t been written yet.
6. 1968 Democratic Convention-The news networks aired the violence for the world to see. Riots in the Chicago streets served Republican nominee Richard Nixon well. The media savvy Chicago Seven knew cameras would be rolling and the networks broadcasting while the city police forced people into paddy wagons. The whole affair alarmed Middle America and put an exclamation point on the terrible year of 1968 when Senator Robert Kennedy and Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., were assassinated.
7.Polish Solidarity Movement-1980s-The Solidarity movement forced the communist government to the table to negotiate with the country’s labor force. Another brick was removed from the Berlin Wall.
8.Wounded Knee-1973-The American Indian Movement clashed with the Federal Government and lives were lost. The past repeats.
Whether the many or the few, failure to compromise with the opposing view will result in the beaten down using the power of numbers and the force of the media.