austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Lift up your hearts and sing me a song that was a hit before your mother was born

The rehearsal dinner was held -- as the ceremony would be, and as my sister and her husband live -- in North Jersey, and so was therefore in a restaurant where, allegedly, George Washington once slept. I don't doubt this, because George Washington spent pretty much all of August 1776 through December 1782 finding places in northern New Jersey across which to brilliantly retreat hundreds of times until the British finally gave up, and don't think that much retreating -- brilliant or not -- isn't going to exhaust someone.

If the current restaurant is anything like what the facility was in Revolutionary War Era days, Washington probably didn't intend to sleep there so much as he hit his head on the overhead beams, since the ceiling is at maybe six foot five inches above the floor and various beams dip down a surprise eight inches or so, except in one long hallway where they're for some reason tipped about ten degrees off level so that one side is safe to walk and the other is dangerous. My family's tall, all around, and we were wondering who'd get hit on the head most. As it happens, it was mostly my youngest brother, who never quite managed to get the hang of not walking into the beams.

Standing outside the restaurant, to fit the theme and leave any children who might visit with an image that will haunt their dreams, was a statue of a horse. The captivating thing is that it was painted so that it appeared, kind of, to be wearing something vaguely resembling General Washington's uniform. In fact, it's a sign painted under the horse's neck which first announces that George Washington Knocked Himself Unconscious here. Thematically it's not really different from those lions painted creatively which decorated Singapore tourist sites a couple years ago, or similar creatures oddly painted which serve as tourist attractions. It's just a startling thing to have when you're not really sure what dinner is going to be like. I hope the photographs of it came out. I had to use the flash, so the color balance may be distorted.

Trivia: General Charles Lee was captured by the British at a tavern in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, owned by a woman named White. (I can't find her first name without, like, doing some research.) Source: 1776, David McCullough.

Currently Reading: Leave It To Psmith, P G Wodehouse. ``Shouldn't have left you like that. Shocking bad manners. But, my dear fellow, I simply had to pop across the street.'' ¶ ``Most decidedly,'' said Psmith. ``Always pop across streets. It is the secret of a happy and successful life.'' Oh, I like that.


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