Tuesday, February 17, 2015

George Washington In London

In the Spring of 2014 I was waiting for Brock Dundee in Trafalgar Square in London. Tourists mounted the four lions at the foot of Lord Nelson's Column for photos and art lovers queued before the National Gallery to view the Leonardo Da Vinci exhibition, while busy Londoners strode across the square for various rendezvouses in the capitol.

Brock showed up on time and I asked the avant-garde filmmaker, if he wanted to see the exhibition.

"With all those tourists?" He shook with revulsion. "Better I take you to the best pub in London. It's right around the corner."

"Sounds good to me." It was already past noon and we walked toward St. Martin in the Fields. I stopped in my tracks upon seeing a familiar personage posed in bronze on a thick plinth.

"There's the Father of your Nation."

"What's he doing here?" The writing on the plinth stated that the statue had been donated by the people of Virginia."

"Supposedly the soil underneath the statue had been imported from the USA." Brock had lived in New York for a number of years. He had almost married the most beautiful girl in the city. The Scot had even written a play for her. It had something to do with a revolt on a Caribbean island. She left him for Hollywood. We didn't talk about those days now.

"What for?"

"The Father Of Your Nation once said he would never step foot on British soil again."

"Washington had never been to England." I had minored in American History at university.

"You're forgetting that America was British soil before the Revolution." Brock hooked his arm with mine. "Let's get us some beer."

"In honor of George." I headed east with a parting nod.

"He was a man who never lied." Brock was an historian too.

"Just like my father." My old man came from the same stock, only we hailed from Maine.

There were no statues in London honoring anyone from the Pine Tree State.

I know, because I googled it.

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