I was born and raised in Washington State. Unlike many places, Washington was not seriously involved in the Civil War, and despite a few connections such as Pickett and "The Pig War," it wasn't deeply affected by it. Unlike Texas, students in Washington do not pledge allegience to the Washington flag. Where my family roots are, it's more serious. Monuments to "The War of the Rebellion" are scattered throughout New England and what people in the North Central US erroneously refer to as "the Northwest." Still, even there, the war was minor compared to the devastation and suffering spread throughout the States of the Old Confederacy. Other than a couple of incursions into Pennsylvania, and a raid coming from Canada, the Union States were never invaded.
Texas was almost unique in the CSA in this regard, in that it was heavily involved in the war, but was never successfully invaded. In truth, the last battle of the Civil War was fought in Texas, with a Confederate victory. It became a place that Confederate and Union veterans went, holding on to the Old South, with its traditions of both hospitality and intolerance.
Gravestone of John Lane
18 Texas Cav, CSA
All this has left deep marks on Texas. Along with large monuments to the Confederacy, such as the Dallas Confederate War Memorial, it is easy to see signs of pride amongst the veterans and their descendants that remains today. One example of this is the grave of John Lane (shown at left). It simply notes he was a member of the Texas Cavalry. No mention is made, other than on the monument added later (shown at right) of his other achievements.
Even in suburbs, such as Bedford, the War runs deep and strong. The Bedford Cemetery, sited across from a Wal Mart, has several veterans buried there, and, at the entrance to the Cemetery stands columns with the names of those who served, on both sides, that were connected with Tarrant County. Considering that Tarrant County was part of the frontier when the Civil War raged, the sheer number of names gives a faint feel of what it must have meant to the families of the men who fought. This heritage explains both some of the outstanding friendliness offered freely to people by Texans. It also explains some of the darker side. Those of us NOT from the South cannot truly understand a people that were both conquered and liberated. In the words of a famous movie, it truly IS "a Civilization Gone With the Wind."
Entrance to Bedford Cemetary with Wal Mart Looking On
Grave of George Johnson, Wounded at Chickamauga
POW in Illinois, Where my Family Lived After Leaving Connecticut
Subject Matter Mostly it's about local transportation cycling, as it exists in the here and now. It's got a smattering of other gratuitous toy recreation thrown in to keep y'all a little off balance. For those that don't know me, toy recreation means English & Italian cars, aircraft - and downhill skiing.