Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Americus and Gratuitous Political Commentary

Mrs. Mosley and I spent a lovely weekend at a B&B in Americus, Georgia to celebrate our third anniversary. During our stay, we managed to see two of the three big tourist spots in the area, and I came away with some thoughts on all three:

The Andersonville National Historic Site currently has, in addition to the site of the infamous Civil War Prison Camp, the new National Prisoner of War Museum. This museum of artifacts and information about American POW's also includes video interviews of POW's from every war since WWI. It's an incredibly moving exhibit that brought back memories of our visit to the Holocaust Museum in D.C. back in September.

I wish I could fly every American (particularly those who would turn a blind eye to Guantanamo) down to Andersonville to visit this museum and listen to this record of human suffering. Oh, never mind, I forgot. "9/11 changed everything". Including our sense of moral responsibility, I guess.

The Jimmy Carter National Historic Site has preserved the former President's boyhood farm and home just as it had been when he was growing up in the 1930's. We visited at 10:00 Sunday morning, which means we had the park all to ourselves, save for the kindly park attendant in the wheelchair. When you walk through the house and other buildings on the property, you can press a button and actually hear a recording of Carter recalling his poor upbringing. One gets the impression that the man who grew up here was kind, humble, good Christian who knew the meaning of an honest day's work and the plight of the common man.

Given all of this, it's a truly depressing thought that many Americans, when they consider our recent presidents, think of George W. Bush as the embodiment of these traits.

Habitat for Humanity has their international headquarters located in Americus as well as their "Global Village and Discovery Center", which is an educational site that contains "life-size Habitat houses from countries around the world". We only got to drive by this place on our way to Plains, but we could see all the different buildings through a chainlink fence. On the opposite side of the road, you could see dilapidated and crumbling old homes, due to the fact that this attraction is on much poorer side of town.

In other words, one side of the road has fake shanty towns and the other had real examples of urban decay.


I know what you're thinking: Great place to take the little woman for your anniversary! What's on the schedule next year? A leper colony, perhaps?!?! Truth be told, we both enjoyed ourselves very much. It was decent weather, a luxurious B&B (especially for the money we paid) and, true to our history major backgrounds, a worthwhile educational experience.

Still, maybe next year we can visit some attractions that don't talk in depth about diarrhea.

No comments: