George Washington’s Grave

(Originally visited on the 21st of June, 1999.)

George Washington's grave site.

George Washington’s grave site.

While planning journeys one should always be aware of dead presidents along the path. I was looking at routes from my home in Connecticut down to Virginia and decided to revisit Mount Vernon to get a digital shot of George Washington’s tomb. More than twenty years ago, a similar visit by a young boy to that neglected grave initiated a chain of events which lead to this web site.

As I approached the gates of the estate I realized that they wanted money in exchange for granting entry. I had the cash, I just didn’t much care for having to pay to visit a grave. No other president has required such tribute. I was second in line when I noticed another open ticket window. I walked over and told the girl behind the glass that I was only interested in visiting the tomb. She looked at me, looked at her money drawer, typed something into the computer and printed off a ticket. She said that since she’d already closed out her drawer, she didn’t want to be bothered with another financial transaction. My luck was returning.

Twenty years ago the tomb of the first President of the United States was along a path overgrown with weeds and there were just two young boys gazing in through the iron grate at the stone sarcophagus.

On this summer solstice the grounds were immaculate and the area in front of the tomb crawling with humans. Historic Mount Vernon even had a person standing by to answer any questions the mostly teenaged visitors might have. I asked and learned that it had been even busier earlier in the day. Remarkable. This was one of a very few occasions where I was not alone when visiting a grave.

While taking pictures a lady asked if I was using a digital camera. We talked for a brief time and I mentioned this web site and gave her my card. As I was leaving the tomb I thought about how much things have changed over the past twenty years both around me and in me. I guess I’m not as introverted as I thought.

About Bartholomew Barker

Bartholomew Barker is one of the organizers of Living Poetry, a collection of poets and poetry lovers in the Triangle region of North Carolina. Born and raised in Ohio, studied in Chicago, he worked in Connecticut for nearly twenty years before moving to Hillsborough where he makes money as a computer programmer to fund his poetry habit.
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2 Responses to George Washington’s Grave

  1. Emily Cooper says:

    Just wondering — is the lady on the left in the white outfit the one who asked you about the digital camera? She appears to be staring at you.


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