Like a lot of folks, I’m like Goldilocks – I want everything to be juuuuuuuust right. In the winter, I long for summer – in the heat of summer, well….. you get the picture. Another thing that never seems quite right, being Goldilocks and all, is that maybe I was born into the wrong time. Is all the neat/exciting stuff over and done with? I mean, I missed the Black Plague and everything!
Here’s how I would overcome this little problem. There would be a Time Depot for us imagineers – we could go up to the window and request a ticket to another time/place, and the ticket would be for an automatic return after so many days, weeks, whatever. We’d go strictly as observers, maybe in a magic invisible bubble, drifting through the scene, never to interact or interfere. Now, where to go, what time period would it be? Hmmmmm. Remember, the Time Depot allows each traveler only 5 trips.
Trip 1: I’d ask for a ticket to Charleston, April 1861. The city would be alive with excitement, the thrill of possible war – our brave citizens wanting, waiting to hear the sounds of a bombardment in the harbor. Would General Beauregard fire the mighty 8-inch Columbiads at Fort Sumter? If firing commenced, would Lincoln back down? Could we really secede and become our own nation, unmolested by the Yankees?
Trip 2: “A ticket, please, to Skagway, Alaska, 1897.” This was the year that the Yukon gold rush began, the year that 100,000 fortune seekers headed north to gather up easy riches. Rumors of gold for the taking, “just bag it up”, led many of those desperate men to Skagway. This was one of the most popular routes to the goldfields. It would be mind-boggling to see the crush of novice miners vying to buy all the supplies they’d need for the struggle ahead.
Trip 3: “Plymouth, Massachusetts, 1620.” I’d love to be there to witness the arrival of the intrepid freedom-seekers we refer to as the Pilgrims. What did their ship look like as it appeared over the horizon? How did they accomplish the unloading? How did the preparation of the settlement begin? What tools did they use to fell trees and construct living spaces? I’m only an amateur historian, but all these things would greatly interest me. How about you?
Trip 4: Before my ticket purchase on this journey, I’d have to prepare myself with language lessons – 18th century French. “Please, may I have a ticket to Paris, 1789?” I want to immerse myself (as much as possible, being only an observer) in the life of the people of Paris at the dawn of the Revolution. How did they really live? Was it terribly dark and smoky in their homes in the evenings? What was their food like, what clothing did they wear? Some of these answers have been attempted by Hollywood, but I think maybe Technicolor has possibly put a false bloom on the true history. What was the feeling of the people in the streets? Was there constant uprest right up to the storming of the Bastille? Send me, please, let me see.
Trip 5: My most important journey, saved for last. I’d like to see the village in England where I was born. They told me at the ticket window it’s ok to go back and view yourself in another time, so that’s what I want. “A ticket to 1943 Saffron Walden, Essex, England, kind sir.” A small village northeast of London, near to the wartime airstrip at Debden where my father was stationed – show me, please. What did my young parents look like, how did they live in wartime England? How much time did my father have away from the base – was he constantly on duty? He was assigned as one of many ground support personnel who kept the fighters flying to escort the bombers on their way to Germany. Show me the newlyweds, open that portal for me.
What trips would you take? You don’t have to choose 5 – when/where would you go? Fill out a comment, it’ll be fun to compare notes, yes?