GDG- In Defense of Peter

Tom bunco973 at
Wed Jan 4 16:06:41 CST 2012

   I also have strongly resisted in getting involved in this discussion, but 
George's post brought me out. This is the first time I've observed a 
discussion go rapidly down hill, from a bit of nit-picking (which I can live 
with) to an inference that should never have been made. C'mon GDGers - this 
is a class act site for discussion (even with a bit of heat thrown in) - so 
as George said - LIGHTEN UP!!! Enlighten me - that's what I'm here for ;-D.

Tom B.

-----Original Message----- 
From: George Connell
Sent: Wednesday, January 04, 2012 4:02 PM
Cc: gettysburg at
Subject: GDG- In Defense of Peter

Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:
I enter this particular discussion with considerable reluctance.

Peter's style is, at times, not easy to defend, but I certainly welcome his 
enthusiasm, good cheer, knowledge, and generally provocative viewpoints.

Moreover, in this particular discussion I think he raises the interesting 
substantive question of what should be "taught" at our national landmarks. I 
don't think any of us would be happy with an over emphasis on one particular 
aspect, but who decides that?  I accept what Peter says about Arlington 
based on his considerable personal experience and conclude that things may 
be out of whack there.

I personally don't care for the presentation at the new Gettysburg Visitors 
Center, but accept that other people do. At Gettysburg, I don't want to be 
taught about causes; I want to see as many as possible of the park's vast 
holding and at some level I resent anything that gets in the way. 
Unrealistic? Sure. Some context is vital, but we'll never have a VC big 
enough to  provide all the context some want and show all the stuff. So 
what's the balance?

I am also a little uncomfortable with the thought that the NPS needs to 
"educate" the American public as opposed to just tell the story (though I'm 
hard pressed to explain the difference). There's an elitist, Menkinist 
undertone here I don't like.

Lastly, Peter has an almost-shorthand writing style that is unique, 
sometimes perplexing, and occasionally irritating, but it's his and I say 
lighten up.



On Jan 4, 2012, at 1:58 PM, joadx1 at wrote:

> Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:
> While intended as a light-hearted reply to a light-hearted attempt to 
> lower the temperature on this conversation, this message is indicative of 
> a certain subtext in your posts to this group.  Since you may actually not 
> be aware of that subtext, I'll give you some hints.
> First, in this message you write "Damn that Bill Cosby," while insisting 
> that "You can't beat Patsy Cline and Willie  Nelson when chili grease is 
> dribbling down your chin."
> Now, the former phrase is intended jocularly and literally, but taken in a 
> larger context it sends a message that you may not intend.  Here is that 
> context:
> 1.  You insist upon misspelling Abraham Lincoln's name, even though Ms. 
> Margaret Blough (who is not only a senior member and director of this 
> discussion group but is also about as good an expert as there is on the 
> Constitutional history relevant to the Civil War) has asked you, politely, 
> twice, to stop doing that because it is disrespectful.  It is 
> disrespectful.  Why do you continue doing that?
> 2. You attribute language and motivations to Abraham Lincoln that other 
> senior members and experts on this site (like Mr. Al Mackey) have 
> definitively refuted.
> 3.  You insist that you personally know what is most "important" about 
> Arlington Cemetery.  That insistence is consistently voiced as a protest 
> of what you call the disproportionate attention to black Americans by the 
> NPS.  As a number of thoughtful and well-informed messages to this list 
> have explained, given over a century of not only ignoring the 
> slave-related part of the American story but also of persecuting the freed 
> slaves and their descendants, the NPS, at the behest of the elected 
> leaders of this country, has been trying to redress the balance.  Your 
> protest of this is part of a pattern.
> Within such a context your Bill Cosby/Patsy Cline-Willie Nelson quips 
> assume a certain resonance, a resonance that is clearly apparent to a 
> number of the contributors to this discussion.
> To: gettysburg <gettysburg at>
> Sent: Wed, Jan 4, 2012 10:33 am
> Subject: Re: GDG- Chilli in DC
> Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:
> Ben's?
> Ha ha!
> You like Ben's?
> I think it is lousy and excessively over-rated.  It is  more of a 
> condiment
> than real chili.
> I'd go to Ben's for a chili half-smoke tho.
> I don't understand the attention Ben's gets.  Damn that  Bill Cosby!
> What about the Hard Times Cafe?   That's pretty damn  good.  The Terlingua
> any time.  I'll eat the veggie too.  Last  time I was there some guy came 
> in
> and bot up a whole mess of corn bread.   All their juke boxes are good.
> You can't beat Patsy Cline and Willie  Nelson when chili grease is 
> dribbling
> down your chin.
> Any time-  we'll go find John Grim too.
> ;-)  !!!
> Your  Most Obedient Servant,
> Peter
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