Playing Queens and Indians
My father served in the US Army in the 1950′s. He was stationed in Germany, and he visited London in 1957. His departure for his tour leads a series in honor of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee, a post you can read here. His photographs of London in 1957 are juxtaposed with my own modern images to try to tell a story each day.
The Queen is going to Virginia. She’s going to Virginia, and here I am in London. I wonder. What would it be like to see America through the Queen’s eyes? Especially given her reason for going.
Jamestown, Virginia. 1607. King James I gave a bunch of good ole boys the go ahead to start a colony in the New World. Those people sailed across the ocean, landed on an empty island, and tried to build a colony. Nothing grew in that sandy soil that was so different from their rainy English home. At least, nothing familiar. There wasn’t much material to build a proper English house, either. By the time they erected shelter, many of the English ladies and gentlemen were happy with their crude wooden fort made with pointed sticks, given that the natives attacked them unpredictably and often.
I wonder if those people felt like me? Marooned far from home. Alone. Surrounded by people I don’t understand half the time.
The Queen is going to Virginia to commemorate the 350 anniversary of the founding of the Jamestown Colony. They say she’s going to meet President Eisenhower and Vice-President Nixon. Fitting that they’d bring out the big guns, given that it’s her first state visit to America and all that.
I wonder if she’d take a homesick American boy in her entourage, let me watch her when she gives her speech in Williamsburg at the College of William and Mary, maybe let me march behind her car in the trip to Yorktown. London sure is pretty, but Virginia sounds like paradise to me right about now. So close to Tennessee.
I wonder if I will ever see home again.