Williamsburg, VA, Mini-Reunion
October 8-12, 2015
Click here to see our entire Williamsburg Photo Album
the weekend of October 8-11, over 60 of us gathered in the Historic Triangle of
Virginia to enjoy each other’s company and experience the early fall where our
nation got its start. Our hosts
were Clay and Pinky McEldowney who moved to Williamsburg a couple of years ago
and were kind enough to show us how hospitable their new home is.
our opening reception on the evening of October 8, we boarded a bus the next
morning that took us the short distance to Jamestown. Of all the places we visited, this was the one where there
have been the most recent developments, largely due to the work of the
well-known archaeologist Bill Kelso who about 20 years ago identified the
actual location of the original James Fort (it was thought to have been washed
out to sea) and began excavations there. In the past few months, his project,
Jamestown Rediscovery, identified the remains of four individuals buried
underneath the original church.
They were all people who had been known to come to Jamestown, but it had
not been known what happened to them.
to Dan Harman (a member of the Jamestowne Society), we got a behind the scenes
tour of the archaeological activities currently underway, including an
introduction by Dr. Kelso who showed us the ongoing excavations. We then
received separate presentations regarding the objects recovered, the history of
the early settlement and the preservation techniques used to catalog the
leaving Jamestown, we moved over to Yorktown and enjoyed a cruise on the York
River in two schooners—the Serenity and the Alliance. We were treated to a warm, sunny and windy afternoon as we
proceeded under sail down the York River observing the same view of the
Yorktown Battlefield that the French fleet experienced 235 years ago. Some of us even helped to hoist the
sails on our schooners.
disembarking from the ships we proceeded to the Yorktown Battlefield Visitors
Center to get an overview of the siege from the land, including a tour of two
of the important redoubts that the colonials seized from the British during the
course of the battle. Our visit to the Historic Triangle coincided with the 235th
anniversary of the start of the siege, and we saw many tents for the
re-enactors converging on the area for the anniversary.
then returned to the Williamsburg Lodge where we had a cocktail reception and
dinner with two speakers. The
first was Taylor Reveley ’65, the current President of the College of William
and Mary, who, with his wife Helen, joined us at both our reception and
dinner. He spoke to us about the
difficulties experienced by William and Mary during and after the Civil War. We rewarded him by giving him a
personal locomotive, the first he said he'd ever received. After dinner, Patrick Henry
made a surprise visit and speech, extolling the virtues of liberty and putting
in a few digs at our fellow alumnus James Madison. After his presentation, Mr.
Henry revealed that he was in fact a graduate of Rutgers University, accounting
for his knowledge of matters related to New Jersey that were peppered throughout
Saturday we were guided around Colonial Williamsburg on tours of the major
buildings like the Governor’s Palace and the Capitol as well as the re-created
trades facilities and shops that exist throughout the restored colonial
That evening we marched
to our dinner at one of the Colonial Taverns behind a fife and drum corps. Before the dinner adjourned, we thanked
Clay and Pinky by presenting them with a group photo autographed by all of us.
Sunday most of us returned home, but 12 of us lingered to play golf on Ford’s
Colony’s Blackheath Course, arranged by Clay. A good time was had by all, despite the quality of our golf,
and the competition concluded with Clay sinking a birdie putt on the last hole,
a fitting end to all the festivities.
to Clay and Pinky for making the local arrangements and also to the behind the
scenes team of Dan Harman, Jeff Kaplan and Ken Mertz who helped put everything
together. Thanks also to everyone who participated in the trip,
especially those who journeyed from the West Coast, David and Roberta Johnson
from the Bay Area and Bob Andre from Seattle.
plan to arrange several more minis over the next few years, so if you couldn’t
join us for this one, we hope to see you at the next one.
Text: Rick Kitto
Photos: Clay McEldowney, Niel Lewis, Curt Kehr, Jeff Kaplan