OK, well maybe not strangers, but certainly folks who are under no obligation to help me. I’m back from my day trip to Antietam. NPS historian Ted Alexander provided me with more information on my In Harm’s Way subject house than I could ever fit into an article of under 1,000 words. I could have read through the material all day, but I only had a couple of hours and with the help of my buddy Mike waded through the material and made copies of the most essential stuff. Cultural Resources Specialist and historian Keven Walker took us over to the house and gave us a fine tour of the structure along with detailed history of the building and its occupants. Thanks to both Ted and Keven for their expert and enthusiastic assistance.
We decided to drive back to Pittsburgh via Gettysburg (kind of like Uneasy Rider driving to LA from Jackson, MS via Omaha). We ran into Antietam ranger John Hoptak on the street there, outside the Farnsworth House bookstore. It was a beautiful, warm day – lot’s of folks milling about. Curiously, many merchants stuck to their 5:00 PM closing times. Of course I’m not privy to their financial records, but it seems odd to me, especially considering many of these are small businesses actively staffed by their owners, implying more flexibility in scheduling operating hours (that is to say, “Look Marge, the hotel parking lot is full and there are a bunch of people eating outside O’Rorke’s. Maybe we should stay open until 6:00 or 7:00″). I’m just sayin’.