Today I lost a friend. He was a really good friend too. No matter what crazy Civil War ideas I threw his way, he listened patiently, explained the error of my ways, and then put me back on a normal path. Well, at least, as he would say, as normal of a path as normal can be for me.
He said he liked talking to me because I made him think about Civil War things that he had forgotten about. Sometimes I even told him things he did not know. It is hard to stump a master so I take real pride in outsmarting him every now and again.
He always asked about Jezebel. He would even bring me little containers of whatever he cooked over the weekend to give to Jezebel. Lasagna and chili were her favorites. In fact, he said he started talking to me because he could see how much I love Jezebel and he felt the same way about his cats. Then we found out how much we both loved the Civil War. Pets to war, odd stream.
A few months ago, he was the first person I talked to about my new interpretation of the Maryland Campaign. Not only did he not say I was crazy, but he actually supported my idea, told me to get to writing so that I can get published, and that undoubtedly I would be on the lecture circuit for my South Mountain theory. He was so excited about my idea! It was like a proud papa sending the young one off for the first swim.
So, I have decided the best way to honor my friend is with a special commitment. My commitment to my friend is that from this day forward I will work as hard as I can to become the best Maryland Campaign historian, to get my not so crazy idea published, and to give lectures to anyone who will listen. One year from today I will go to my friend's grave and I will give him a progress report and I will make him proud of me.
Thanks for everything Tony. I miss you tremendously.
|Cedar Creek's Gentleman Planter|