Friday, March 25, 2011

A STEP BACK IN TIME WITH RUTH G. ZAVITSANOS


Thomas Jefferson on his
way to visit a cobbler
The other day I ran into Thomas Jefferson. It’s true. I’d been adjusting the setting on my camera while crossing the dirt road in Old Williamsburg, Virginia when we came face to face. He offered a faint smile, tipped his tri-cornered hat and said, “Good day, Madame.”

“Oh, yes,” I stumbled for the words. “Good day, sir. ‘Tis a lovely day.”

“Truly, it is. My apologies, my eyes were fixed on my worn shoes,” He smiled and looked across the street, “I’m off to the cobbler.”

I looked down at his pointed shoes with his stocking covered legs and did my best to conceal a laugh. Truthfully, our founding father looked very dapper, but I was picturing my husband in the 18th century apparel/attire.
 “Madame, I believe something sounds of music in your handbag.”

“Oh,” I said and pulled out my cell phone. I’d lost my husband somewhere between Ye Olde Coffee house and the Governor’s mansion. I excused myself and took the call. Mr. Jefferson nodded politely and walked on.

Ruth and new friends
at Williamsburg VA



I told my husband he interrupted my conversation with Thomas Jefferson. He said to meet him by the shackles. Oh, no!

Not to fear, we found each other and took a shuttle bus over to William and Mary University. We walked the grounds in awe of the school’s historical value and scholarly reputation.

My “Step back in time,” proved to be more than what the entrance of Colonial Williamsburg boasts. For me it was an experience of the 18th century coming alive and reeling me in.

Available from Whiskey Creek Press
http://tinyurl.com/456r93m
Though I write historical/romance, my writings take place a century later. Perhaps the most visible contrast to the times, Levi’s. And, of course, a country that was growing well beyond the thirteen colonies. However, it is these thirteen colonies and our founding fathers with their great insight and integrity that brought our country to where it is now.


I thought about my brief conversation with Thomas Jefferson later that night. There is so much I would’ve like to have said to him. Of course, I would’ve been careful, not wanting him to think I was a witch. Though he had it in his mind to get his worn shoes repaired, I might have deterred him with a cup of tea. Certainly, a lady did not go to the pub for ale. How improper.

Thomas Jefferson
Over tea, I would share with him my concerns for the natives of this “God laid land.” And for the people placed in slavery simply by the color of their skin and the rigorous journey that had taken them from their African tribes forever. Without changing too much of our future, I’d hope to eliminate prejudices, persecution and strive for equal rights to be attained for all. As a woman, the latter would prove to be most difficult.

Of course, I realized the following day another tourist would most likely “run” into Thomas Jefferson. And, he would once again be polite with light conversation taking one in with his eloquence. He’d have no time to discuss politics with such worn shoes. “This is not the time,” he might say, prioritizing the writings he labored over to thoroughly discuss his resolutions for the growing nation. Resolutions that were ahead of his time.

I am grateful for the leaders of this era and their determination. No doubt, the cobbler had a great deal of shoes to repair in a time when things were not taken in light stride.

Who would you want to “bump” into from the past? What would you ask or discuss with this person?


Ruth Zavitsanos

Ruth G. Zavitsanos has been writing since the age of 12. She has three books published, FLIGHT OF LITTLE DOVE is a historical romance and her two children’s chapter books, THE VILLA DOG (nominated for the EPIC award, the recent conference took place in Williamsburg, VA) and THE OLD FORTRESS DOG. Please visit her website at http://www.ruthzonline.com/.


Ruth's children's books are available from Wild Child Publishing at http://tinyurl.com/4omn2T4.

11 comments:

Vince said...

Hi Ruth:

This is very interesting. Before I asked Jefferson anything, I’d want to know what year it was. I don’t think we should tell a person their future.

I might tell Jefferson that because of slavery there would be a massive Civil war with over 500,000 soldiers killed. But he could say, “Yes, but without the slavery compromise, there would have been no United States. There would have been seven different countries on our continent with each one having fought many wars with the others resulting in millions of war dead. North America would have been less important than South America and there would have been no force to hold back the Nazis in Europe.

“Politics is the art of the possible,” he would tell me.


I’d like to meet Plato and argue philosophy with him. I wonder how he would do given I’d be aware of 2,500 years of philosophical developments and he wouldn’t. He might still come out ahead but at least he would consider me to be very smart. : )

Vince

Caroline Clemmons said...

Ruth, thanks for sharing with us today. I so want to travel to Williamsburg!

Miriam Newman said...

LOL--meeting Jefferson indeed. Am glad to see you made the most of your trip. Nice post, Ruth!

pebzoe said...

Caroline,
Thanks for having me as a guest blogger..
Vince,
YES! Going back in time with our knowledge from the future would give us an advantage for arguing with those who, like Jefferson and Plato, were certainly ahead of their time in their thinking!
Miriam,
Yes, it was a fun trip! Anyone interested in that time period should visit.

RuthZ said...

Caroline,
Thanks for having me as a guest blogger..
Vince,
YES! Going back in time with our knowledge from the future would give us an advantage for arguing with those who, like Jefferson and Plato, were certainly ahead of their time in their thinking!
Miriam,
Yes, it was a fun trip! Anyone interested in that time period should visit.

jrlindermuth said...

Jefferson and Franklin would definitely be on my American list. Too many others to just name one.

Williamsburg was among my favorite places in Virginia. Not as nice to me since they plunked Busch Gardens down next door.

Cara Marsi said...

Very interesting, Ruth. I haven't been to Williamsburg for a while, but I love it there. If I met Jefferson, I'd talk to him also about the treatment given to the Native Americans and about slavery. But you know the first rule of time travel is to change nothing. I'd love to speak to Julius Caesar and get details about life in Ancient Rome.

Anthology Authors said...

While in Colonial Williamsburg, I didn't bump into Thomas Jefferson, but Ruth G. It would have been interesting to have bumped into him, but I must say I enjoyed my interlude with you. (g)

Hm... When I took the tour of the "palace," Vince, it was 1771. They were already fomenting against the Crown. Did you know that Jefferson had some land in Indian Territory? One of the many things we aren't taught in school.

Celia Yeary said...

Ruth--very interesting and very different post. Conversing with Jefferson...well, I say, how intriguing!
I congratulate you on your newest book, and wish you well.
Hi, Caroline!!! Celia

Celia Yeary said...

Ruth--very interesting and very different post. Conversing with Jefferson...well, I say, how intriguing!
I congratulate you on your newest book, and wish you well.
Hi, Caroline!!! Celia

Jody said...

Hi Ruth! Just read your Williamsburg blog! Very interesting and amusing at the same time! Quite enjoyable! THANKS for SHARING! ~~ Jody