Friday, June 10, 2005

My gf and I had a great week. We went to the shakespeare in the park, their performance of Midsummer's Night Dream was a good one. I liked that the cast was multiracial but sometimes the postmodern sets and acting kinda wears on me. Maybe I watched too much of the Zeffirelli's version of Romeo & Juliet. Classical and charming. Compare that with the 90's version of R&J. Remember the one with Leo and the chick from My So called Life? Lame and irritating. Ted Montague? Whatever.

Anyway, we spent sometime at Monticello, toured the house and gardens. Right away you can tell the difference in class between Washington's Mt. Vernon and Monticello. Jefferson was house rich and cash poor and by the time he died, he was penniless. We had a mini-tour of the slave quarters, known as the Mulberry Row. The guide was awkwardly precise in his assessment of life as a slave. He called them "enslaved laborers" which made me think of how Jefferson might have called the slaves. My guess is wasn't "my enslaved laborers". The estate was beautiful with green hills and well cared for gardens. The house tour was short but really informative. I came out feeling that his life was a little more complicated than others of his time. On one side he wrote that King George "carried slavery into this hemisphere" and then owned over 150 slaves. There was no mention of Sally Hemmings and the fact that there are decendants of TJ who are black. I could go on and on about Jefferson, slavery, Sally Hemmings and his legacy, but eh, I'm not in the mood.