austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

Wishing is good time wasted

We got up about the same time Tuesday, and ate at home while waiting for word my father's next checkup was done. My mother drove us out to pick him up at one of many, many building complexes named MUSC, which turns out to stand for Medical University of South Carolina, which is an admirably straightforward name for a thing. Apparently Charleston has been developing a big health-industry complex. Also one of the doctors my father saw actually knew him already, thanks to having worked at the hospital where my mother used to work, which is the sort of long-shot coincidence that makes you go ``huh'' and then move on.

We were going, again in deference to my history interests and perhaps because it's the obvious thing to bring tourists in Charleston to, to Fort Sumter. There's a ferry running to it from Patriots Point, where among other things we discovered the USS Yorktown. I didn't know the ship was there or, really, anywhere, and I caught enough of a documentary video playing with the sound off to know that among other things it was the recovery ship for Apollo 8's Command Module, so I was ready with that in case anybody asked, which nobody did. But I was ready for my bluff and trying hard to remember if it was the recovery ship for any other Space Race missions. (No, although I can't say whether it was a backup ship.)

We had some confusion actually buying the ticket, because we got confused about which booth to use, and then which lane for the boats to take, and they kept directing us around to other places. We did all pose for a group photo, which they offered us to buy on the ferry. I did buy it, even though neither my mother nor bunny_hugger thought it was a good picture of them, though I can't give a rational explanation why I felt like getting it.

On the ferry ride we started belowdecks, in the enclosed area, although after a couple minutes bunny_hugger and I went out to the front, listening to the ferry's narration of the harbor and the city's history and all that. My father joined us, while my mother sat inside by herself. I'm not positive she wasn't a bit seasick. My father mentioned that on this ride often on the left side you could see porpoises, and sure enough, we saw a couple of them off on the right side. Briefly; it wasn't a porpoise-heavy ride.

And, finally, we pulled up to the dock and actually got onto Fort Sumter.

Trivia: On the 15th of April, 1861, the United States federal government spent about $172,000 per day, in all its departments. Three months later the War Department alone would spend a million dollars per day. Source: An Empire of Wealth: The Epic History of American Economic Power, John Steele Gordon.

Currently Reading: Washington Burning: How a Frenchman's Vision for Our Nation's Capital Survived Congress, the Founding Fathers, and the Invading British Army, Les Standiford.

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