For the past two Mondays I've visitied Gettysburg...I live about fifty miles from the battlefield; this is something that I think I'll be doing regularly.
Happily, I no longer approach the place as a Park Ranger, but as the nine-year-old who traveled there with my father in 1962. It's a lot more fun that way.
I stopped by the visitor center and found my good friend and old rangering buddy, John Hoptak, in the midst of swearing-in a new Junior Ranger.
John and I had a swell visit, and I was gratified that it wasn't all "remember when" stuff, but rather, reports and reflections on fatherhood, family, and other threads of real life.
John is a great guy, a fine historian, and a peerless Ranger (now that I'm retired, that is).
Maybe you and I will bump into each other on the battlefield, stop me and say hello - that'd be nice.
(retired) Ranger Mannie