Wednesday, July 06, 2005

History is vital

Last night we had a history trivia contest at Toastmasters about the Revolution in honor of Independence Day--I knew all the answers except which signer of the Declaration of independence had two descendants become president--I had an inkling that Samuel Adams was a trick, but I couldn't remember two Harrison presidents. What surprised me is how few other people knew any of the answers--and we had multiple choice.

Today at Kiwanis we had a guy portraying General Lee giving us background and history from his perspective. It was pretty cool. I had no idea that Lee had seven children and that all three of his sons were officers in the Confederacy and none of them died in the war. I had no idea that Lee's sole injury in the war was that he broke both his wrists when he was thrown from his horse--not even in battle. I had no idea that Stonewall Jackson was killed by friendly fire because the gray and blue looked so similar all faded out and there wasn't a lot of grey left as the war dragged on--Lee had to wear beige for the pictures after the surrender. Stonewall Jackson's death probably played a part in his decision to surrender. I had no idea that Lee wore a red sash which denoted that he was an engineer (which he was) rather than a gold sash for commanding officers so as not to be too obvious a target. I had no idea that one of the last battles was the confederacy trying to capture a shoe factory, because they needed shoes and that the union army had anticipated the battle and was ready for them. [Your trivia update for the day, so that if you ever play trivia and it's about the Civil War, you can make fun of all the people who can't get these answers--even when it's multiple choice.]

No luck!!

I have had no luck with the books on CD recently. After the Robert Parker that I finished a few weeks ago, each one I have picked up has been a dud. I had been hearing about Don DeLillo and I picked something up by him and it was terrible. Maybe it just didn't work on tape. I never had any idea of who was talking or where they were. I wish I could get a list of books that my library has on CD so that I could look up reviews, etc. before I go. I usually just stand in front of the selection, pick something up at random, and if it sounds OK on the jacket I get it. This is not a good method of book choosing.