But no fear. He was behind the wheel when we headed out for a day trip recently, so we actually made it to all the places we were hoping to visit.
This was our first stop... the Georgia Guidestones, which rise twenty feet into the air in the middle of a farmer's field in little ol' Elberton, Georgia. Also known as the American Stonehenge, I'd read quite a bit about this mysterious monument, and even wrote about it in a couple previous posts, but this was the first time we actually visited. Totally cool! Look at that dramatic sky, too. I'm not gonna go into a lot of detail here, but if you're interested in learning more of the background behind the mystery, you can read about it in this earlier post: Stonehenge Whodunits
Here's a shot looking up toward the capstone. See the writing? The same message for mankind (Perhaps for a post-apocalyptic world?) is engraved on the stones in twelve different languages: English, Russian, Hebrew, Arabic, Hindi, Chinese, Spanish, Swahili, as well as in ancient Sanskrit, Babylonian, Cuneiform, Egyptian Hieroglyphics, and Classical Greek. Talk about covering all the bases, huh?
I can't verify what the writing says in all of the languages, but I can tell you what it says in English:
- Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.
- Guide reproduction wisely - improving fitness and diversity.
- Unite humanity with a living new language.
- Rule Passion - Faith - Tradition - and all things with tempered reason.
- Protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts.
- Let all nations rule internally resolving external disputes in a world court.
- Avoid petty laws and useless officials.
- Balance personal rights with social duties.
- Prize truth - beauty - love - seeking harmony with the infinite.
- Be not a cancer on the earth - Leave room for nature - Leave room for nature.
Our next stop was the Elberton Granite Museum. This portion of Georgia is largely agrarian, but there are also forty-five granite quarries and more than 150 manufacturing plants to turn that granite into monuments, memorials, and building stones. (Which I'm sure must have played a large role in the selection of this area for the Guidestones.) There were lots of displays about the industry, how it's grown, the tools that are used, blah, blah, blah, but there were three things in that museum that captured my interest.
This antique camera...
this antique chest...
Elberton's first granite finishing plant was built solely to create this statue after the Civil War, (Or the war of Yankee aggression, as it's known in those parts.) and was intended to be a grand monument proudly honoring the Confederate soldiers. With much pomp, the monument was unveiled to an excited crowd of enthusiastic people in July of 1898. Let's just say their enthusiasm was short-lived, because they were totally unimpressed with the short, squat dude with a moon pie face, short fat legs, and huge feet. But to make matters worse, the uniform and cap he's wearing looks like (gasp!) Yankee garb. He was dubbed Dutchy, which was not intended as a term of endearment, and two years later, poor ol' Dutchy was... lynched. Kinda. A rope was thrown around his neck, and townspeople pulled him right off his pedestal. Broke his legs off in the process, so they dug a big hole and buried him... and his legs... face down. In 1982, the statue was dug back up again... and he now lies in the museum... with his legs and feet beside him. Looks pretty darned good for being buried all those years, too.
Our third stop (after lunch!) was the Ty Cobb Museum, which is located in his small hometown of Royston, Georgia. Some consider the Georgia Peach to be the greatest baseball player of all time. After all, he was the first player to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, had a lifetime batting average of .367, won twelve batting titles, scored 2245 runs, got 4191 hits, and stole 894 bases, including 55 at home plate. Amazing numbers, most of which still stand as records today, but as proud as his hometown is of his on-the-field actions, his philanthropy, which created an amazing healthcare system in Royston, secured his position as favorite son.
All-in-all, it was a fun outing, and just goes to show ya: there's a lot to be seen in your own backyard. (So to speak.) So let's not (ahem) take those local attractions for granite...
Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.
P.S. Smarticus and I will be hanging out with some of our grandchildren for the next few days, so it may be a while before I respond to your comments. But like good ol' Arnold said, I'll be Bach!