Posts Tagged ‘union history’

Educators 4 Excellence: Brought to You by the Insidious Arm of the Disgustingly Rich

January 29, 2011
Brought to you by Bill Gates and and a whole host of hedge fund managers !

Brought to you by Bill Gates and and a whole host of hedge fund managers !

After a bit of pondering, I’ve concluded that from the list of cynical, disingenuous, insidious and astoundingly arrogant characters that make up the relentless billionaire backed hydra-headed campaign to privatize American public education, few are more cynical, disingenuous, insidious and astoundingly arrogant than Mr. Evan Stone and Ms. Sydney Morris, the two 25 year old teachers who founded and front Educators 4 Excellence (or E4E), a recent recipient of a $160,000 grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and so much more. Gates, as anyone paying attention to the issue can attest, is the self-appointed de facto national education policy maker and as such he would top the list referred to above.

On Wednesday, January 25, 2011 Stone and Morris and their eight month old organization were the subject of not merely a luminous article but also a positively worshipful editorial (“ Teachers For Excellence” ) in Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post.

All that was missing was an audio of heavy breathing. But who knows what next week will bring.

The Post was only the latest in a long line of major media attention this bold young lion and lioness have garnered. They’ve been praised in The Wall Street Journal and all but genuflected to on Fox’s Varney and Company. This virtual shill convention must be seen to be believed. On it Stone not only compares himself to the founders of the United Federation of Teachers who risked their jobs and pensions to build the union this man is being paid to discredit but Varney and another talking head go much further: they liken Stone to the founders of American unionism itself, repeatedly referring to him and his front group as “ revolutionary.” The entire preposterous dialogue is entirely scripted and vehemently anti union.

Throughout it all, Stone humbly accepts this absurd comparisons and praise, oblivious to the fact that real fathers of unionism — men such as the Molly Maguires — would have hung the likes of corporate shills like Evan Stone from the nearest and highest tree.

It gets weirder: Despite the fact that he’s been teaching for three years (and has a completely unremarkable record at that) Mr. Stone was invited to sit on an education policy panel featuring the brilliant Diane Ravitch and then-Deputy Chancellor Shael Polakow-Suransky (currently employed as Cathy Black’s brain.) Then there’s the elevated crowd they’re suddenly hob-knobbing with, not to mention and the A List funding their work has inspired.

Helping Gates help E4E is a Who’s Who of the corporate education reform campaign, which, like the Tea Party, is a billionaire backed media effort passing itself off as a “grassroots” “movement. ” Among the prime movers of the E4E arm of the movement are John Sabat of mega hedge fund, SAC Capital, John Petry of Gotham Capital, and Whitney Tilson’s omnipresent front group, Education Reform Now and Democrats For Education Reform

And these are the only one’s I’ve been able to find out about.

And just who are this wunderkind who have created ex nihilo “a powerful group of teachers more concerned with kid’s futures than the fine print of their labor contract? ” Who are these youngsters “ giving parents new hope and making leaders of their union sweat. “? What exactly are they doing that’s causing all this excitement and raising all this money – not mention the sweat?

Fearless Leaders

Fearless Leaders

Have they created some wonderful new pedagogic method that will help our children grasp the fundamentals of math and science?

Are they proposing some revolutionary teaching method that will explain to students why the USA has the greatest disparity of wealth and poverty in the Western World?

Are they teaching their charges how to feed themselves in a world without work?

Are they for standing up to the billion dollar corporate scam that is the standardized test industry?

Are they horrified at an education so impoverished that is renders our children culturally illiterate?

Are they incensed at the state of an education policy that leaves our children virtually defenseless against an increasingly predatory pop culture?

Are they bucking the ever-metastasizing corporate hijacking of every aspect of reality including our schools systems?

No, no, no.

Nothing like that for these mavericks. Like the motto of Bloomberg’s DOE, the concern of E4E is
“ putting children first.”

Oh.

In fact, that collection of words somewhat approximating a thought is all over E4E’s website, a website bearing the greatest collection of platitudes I’ve seen in a long, long time. Check it out for your self ! It’s a scream!

E4E are also deeply concerned about the prestige of the teaching profession and, while they don’t come right out and say it, more than a little embarrassed by some of the union protected scumbags they work with who very clearly do not put children first. Mr. Stone and Ms. Morris want these parasites out and “good teachers” in. And who can blame them? And after teaching for a full three years who can possibly question their judgment? Who dare?

Revealing the same totalitarian impulse shared by some of their backers and many cults, the site also implores you to sign a pledge that you agree to E4E’s “principles. “

The major principle of E4E upon which all other principles rest, of course, is putting the children first. The insinuation, of course, (their only identifiable talent appears to be insinuating) is that that everyone who is not in E4E is putting kids somewhere else. Again, who can question their judgment?

E4E also wants to “ have a voice in the creation of polices that affect their profession and affect their students.”

Well, who doesn’t?

But wouldn’t that mean you actually knew something about the field you wish to affect?
And wouldn’t such knowledge take time and experience to accrue? And don’t you already have a union representing these very things? A union, like all unions in the USA that is being attacked from all side and at times?

I’d like to believe that anyone entering a field as complex, as nuanced, and as unpredictable as education would have at least a little humility – at least until you have some idea of what you’re doing. Humility, after all, is what allows you to learn.

Mr. Stone and Ms. Morris, mind you, have both been unremarkable teachers for three years. This last year they have apparently worked but one day a week.

Yet, somehow they know all the answers. They don’t actually say they have all the answers. As I stated above, like everything else they do, they insinuate that they have all the answers.

Allow me to repeat something: Mr. Stone and Ms. Morris have been full time teachers for three years.

I may be wrong but they seem to be demanding the right to negotiate their contract and to do so not through the UFT but somehow around the UFT — the same UFT that provides them with every protection and benefit they have. They seem to be demanding nothing short of a seat at the table.

The big, big table.

And they seem to be demanding it for no other reason than to surrender everything the good and brave men and women fought for, everything good and brave men and women risked creating a union so that fools such as themselves might be treated as professionals and have some dignity.

Wow.

Even in an age as demented as is ours, does something about these two people and this organization strike you as insane? Does anything about these two mediocrities and their absurd, insidious organization merit the amount of media attention they’ve received? Does anyone doubt that the huge amounts of cash dropped at their feet is in direct proportion to the degree their masters believe they’ll succeed in undermining the UFT?

Allow me to state the obvious: to believe you can speak with authority about teaching, about contracts, about what is means to “put students first ” after three years experience is beyond arrogance.

It is beyond foolishness.

It is hubris.

And the idea that, after three years you should
“ have a voice in the creation of polices that affect their profession and affect their students” is mind-boggling.

Indeed, everything about these two people and E4E is simultaneously ridicules and disturbing. Outside of their preposterous (or super-natural) conceit of knowledge, Stone and Morris make several claims that display a staggering lack of integrity. They claim, for example, that they are not anti union.

This is a lie. A hideous, insidious lie.

Consider E4E positions on everything — particularly tenure and seniority — two subjects they display no understanding of whatsoever. Contrary to Mike Bloomberg and his pals at the New York Post– conscious liars all — tenure does not mean and has never meant ” a job for life,” a phrase they repeat as often as they can for no other reason than to stroke the blind rage of a citizenry increasingly jobless and terrified.

Tenure means due process. Nothing more and nothing less. It means a teacher cannot be fired on the whim of a crazy principal or because he or she has a nephew who needs a job. It is difficult to understand what Stone and Morris are talking about when they talk about tenure. They seem to want tenure to be something that is earned on an annual basis, meaning whatever it is they are asking for, is not tenure in any recognizable sense of the word.

This change, they claim, is necessary to keep teachers from becoming complacent and thus failing to keep the students first. Tenure, according to the Stone, does nothing less than encourage complacency. A complacent teacher, by definition, does not put students first. Stone knows. He’s been a full time teacher for three years.

Hmmm.

Can you imagine any real teacher espousing this condescending, toadying idiocy? Can you imagine any teacher with any understanding of the arbitrary viciousness of the DOE under Bloomberg even considering this lunacy? More to the point, can you imagine any one who is not a paid and protected agent of union busting billionaires even suggesting this stuff with a straight face?

Seniority, on the other hand, E4E wishes to abolish altogether. Again, they wish to do this not for reasons of selfishness, mind you, nor to please their pay masters but for the kids who deserve the best teachers.

And E4E, saintly and wise beyond their years, knows exactly who they are and how to identify them.

As Gates and Broad and Bloomberg know, even if the idiots running E4E do not, the abolition of either of tenure or seniority would spell the death of the union. That same union that, somehow, E4E is not against.

It would also instantly usher in an era in which teachers would be virtually defenseless against a growing army of vindictive and clueless administrators, already growing like a cancer due to absurd institutions such as Bloomberg’s Leadership Academy and Eli Broad’s similar “academy” for instant superintendents. Both, needless to say, have been created exclusively to stock as many schools and school systems as possible with the monstrosities that are the logical result of the insane idea of the principal as a CEO.

Somehow, according to E4E, teachers stripped of rights and due process would create a world that would be better for kids, a world where teachers could be free to put students first. Somehow this world would then attract and retain dedicated professionals such as themselves. Just as importantly, such a world would repulse and reveal all those clock-watching scumbags who seem to surround them and make them so sad.

They know. They have been full time teaching for three years.

Is it merely a coincidence that the policies lusted after by Gates, the Wal-Mart family, Democrats for Education Reform, Eli Broad and Mike Bloomberg’s DOE and every other union busting organization in the nation and the polices sought by E4E are exactly the same?

Not similar, here and there, mind you, but exactly the same?

Consider too E4E’s desire for the scam called “merit pay.” Forget for a moment that ample evidence shows that merit pay makes no difference whatsoever in what is chillingly called “student achievement.”

Consider too that if there is a way to distribute merit pay fairly it has yet to be discovered. Consider then that merit pay gives teachers every incentive to game the system, garner the best students, avoid those most in need, and destroy the collaboration necessary for any decent school environment to function, never mind flourish.

In short, the desires of E4E – which are the desires of every privatizer in the US of A – are fundamentally and profoundly opposed to the ethos of solidarity and fraternity that is at the core of any true union. And anyone who has any knowledge or understanding of what a union is — or for that matter of basic history — would find these positions and these people repulsive.

They would also find the attempt to pass them off as anything but repulsive as contemptuous.

The Post’s love letter to E4E centered on a “conversation” between the followers of E4E and UFT President Michael Mulgrew, whom the paper slanders as often as possible. I must admit that I was mystified why a man of Mulgrew’s statute and intelligence would dignify this ridicules and miniscule group with a meeting. Still, I must assume he had his reasons. From all accounts, the meeting was unremarkable – except for something former Chancellor Joel Klein said to Mulgrew before his the Klein’s departure: “Chancellor Klein told me before he left: ‘I’m going to pit new teachers against older teachers and I’m going to do it by trying to make it look like we’re doing layoffs.’”

Despite the fact that city officials immediately denied that Klein ever said this, the statement rings true to me. Very true.

In fact, after I read it the idea came to me that Klein may well have been referring to Mr. Stone and Ms. Morris. How else to explain the fact that two teachers three years into the job are allowed to work one day a week in a public school system? How is that possible? Who is permitting it? On what grounds? Who is protecting these horrible people?

One hint can be found in a Gotham Schools post of last year, which tells of E4E throwing a party to celebrate the DOE’s announcement that there would be no teacher lay offs. And who was their guest of honor? Why none other than that friend of teachers everywhere — party animal Joel Klein!

Can you imagine any self-respecting teacher in all of NYC inviting this loathsome person to your party? Can you imagine Joel Klein showing up at a party held by any other group of teachers besides these champion ass kissers? Klein, mind you, is the man who needed police protection at PEP hearings.

The more you look at E4E the sleazier it gets. Nothing makes sense with these people or this organization. Nothing, that is, except that in exchange for being shameless shills for their billionaire backers and conscious operatives hired to undermine the UFT as much as possible, they will be given extraordinary privileges, protections and recompense.

Their work situation with the DOE should be investigated forthwith. It stinks to high heaven and points to collusion with the DOE.

Creatures of zero imagination, creativity and integrity, Mr. Stone and Ms Morris are of no importance in themselves for in themselves they are but ciphers and nothings who can only echo the weasel words of their masters and employers. What importance they and E4E does have is in what they reveal. What they reveal is the fragmentation of this nation. What they reveal is the logic of so many dwelling in perpetual survival mode where empathy is not and life is “an endless war of one man against all others.” What they reveal is a moral and spiritual void where only power over others is honored. What they reveal is the alignment of much of the media with the most anti democratic forces and individuals in the nation.

Above all these two fools reveal the ruthlessness of the dangerously rich who believe it is their right to strip us of our rights and to impose their will upon all they can, however they can. Mr. Stone and Ms. Morris are merely two willing and utterly shameless collaborators in that process. And rest assured, neither one of these “revolutionaries” have any intention whatsoever of working under the conditions they are demanding for others. Their job now is to tell others how to do their job — and how to put children first, of course.

They need to be exposed, all of them, as people who loathe democracy and the freedom of anyone other than themselves.

Cycling the C & O Canal and the Great Allegheny Passage: Reflections on and of a Little Journey Part One

July 19, 2010

On the Potomac

Cycling the C& O Canal and the Great Allegheny Passage:  Reflections on and of a Little Journey

Part One

On July 4, 2010, urgently needing a change of scenery from the toxic reality of teaching in Mike Bloomberg’s New York, the bottomless pit of the BP catastrophe, frightening (perhaps permanent) unemployment rates and two endless wars over God-knows-what, I placed my trusty bicycle as gently as I could in the luggage space beneath a 7 a.m. DC -bound Chinatown bus and set off to cycle the 344 miles of the Chesapeake & Ohio  Canal and the Great Allegheny Passage.

My desire was to be a pilgrim.   Circumstance conspired against  me,  forcing me to settle for being merely a traveller.  What to do, what to  do  ?

The bus cost all of $20 and all my fears — crazily unprofessional driving, holiday traffic jams, inane or intimate-yet-impossible-not-to-overhear-cell-phone conversations competing with  the paralyzing monotony of electronic drum beats seeping out of headphones 2 or 10 and 20 rows away — proved blessedly unfounded. Save the steady hum of the engine, the four-and-a-half-hour passage to the Capital passed in almost blissful silence. It was a most welcome silence.

My little journey would begin in charming little Georgetown (where pretty coffee girls with bizarre enthusiasm ask you your name) and end in dismal, defeated  McKeesport  (where with rather less enthusiasm no one asks for anything but change). Last summer I cycled from McKeesport to Georgetown but, having no idea what I was doing, had miscalculated the distances between cities and towns and consequently  had to rush through places and vistas well worth lingering over, well  worth pondering.

This time around I was determined to linger and ponder to my hearts desire and planned accordingly.  Over time, I have become a great believer in the wisdom of pilgrimage and try to engage in this practice as often as I can.   Even as I knew  that by sheer time and space  this trip was bound to fall far short of that noble word, I could not help but feel  it as such, could  not  keep  myself  from the expectation of some sort of transcendence,  could  not help but imagine.

This may be explained by the fact  that I’m Irish.

At  any rate, many years ago, more by despair than design, I found myself walking the thousand year old 500-mile pilgrimage trail called El Camino de Santiago de Compostella  from Rochenville, France, to the city of  Compostella in Galicia, Spain.   It was one of the most difficult and rewarding experiences I’ve ever undertaken, alternately terrifying and deeply inspiring.  El Camino was terrifying, because removed from all external stimuli — newspapers, books, movies, all of the numberless diversions we employ to hide from life as we entertain ourselves to death— I was forced to look square in the face my of my  impoverished existence.

I did not like what I saw but having nowhere to hide had no choice but to see it.

Yet, because of the small but extraordinary kindnesses I repeatedly received from the people of that hard, lovely, living land — I was, truth be told, ridiculously ill prepared to undertake  such a  journey —  my experience was  also inspiring and even, at moments, exhilarating. In that  journey came  unexpected encounters  with  all  manner of experience: intimations of Otherness, epiphanal  flashes that told me in no uncertain terms that life is much larger, grander, more wondrous than my little eyes were allowing me to see and thus allowing it to be.

The medieval mind did not know a great deal about, say dentistry or the spreading of disease.  Still, it seems to me they knew a tad more than we know about certain needs of a healthy psyche, about certain requirements for a truly lived life.    They knew, for example, of the need for solitary reflection, of  the space and place  to  let go of one’s identity from time to time without being destroyed.

They knew about pilgrimage.

We have no such camino in the United States and we are poorer for it — that much more in the age of toxic narcissism in which we are forced to dwell.  But we do have the Appalachian Trail and, thanks to organizations like Rails -To- Trails, we also have an increasing number of former railroad lines that are now hiking or bike paths. And, because of the work of the late great Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglass whose efforts saved the trail from being turned into a parkway, we have the C & O Canal Path.

Memories of walking to Santiago de Compostella swanned through my mind as I rode the bus to Georgetown.   Too long for a bike ride, too short for a real pilgrimage, I saw my excursion as something in between. I saw it as a kind of small existential adventure with physical and historical components. I saw it as a very welcome challenge and change.  Whatever it was to be,  it would have to do.

Only recently was the C & O Canal Path and the Great Allegheny Passage wed so as to be a single entity.  The C & O begins in the center of Georgetown and runs 184 or so miles to the little city of Cumberland, Maryland.   (Where, I assure you the spires of that city are a most welcome site, that much the more so after 60 miles of cycling on unpaved paths in 95-degree heat when you have run out of water.)  If you leave from Washington, you will find the Potomac, glorious and rushing, flowing with history, always on your left. The Great Allegheny Passage begins shortly after the C & O ends when one crosses the mountains into Pennsylvania.    The Passage plows through forest and mountain almost to Pittsburgh. Along it  I met the Youghiogheny River (pronounced Yock-a gain-ee) and its many, many tributaries.  The sound and sight of lapping water was often near.

Throughout the ride, I came upon all manner of things, cultural and natural, historical and not, mundane and sublime.   But again and again and again I encountered memorials or vestiges of two epic struggles: the American Civil War and the rise of the American Labor movement.

Two major episodes pf the Civil War (and countless lesser ones) took place along or very, very close to the C & O. The first night of my trip I slept in Harper’s Ferry, site of one of the great catalysts of  the great war: abolitionist John Brown’s October 16, 1859 raid on the Federal Arsenal in Harper’s Ferry, Virginia (now West Virginia).  The arsenal, which still stands, contained 100,000 muskets and rifles. Brown’s “army” consisted of 16 white men, three freed blacks, one freed slave and one fugitive slave.

Brown hoped in vain that his act would spark an armed slave revolt that would spread throughout the increasingly divided nation and bring an end to the abomination of slavery.  Instead, on October 18th, Brown was met by a detachment of U.S. Marines under the command of Brevet Colonel Robert E. Lee of the 2nd U.S. Calvary — he who would soon command the Confederate Army against Lincoln’s Union Army a few miles down the road at Antietam.    Lee quickly overtook the arsenal, wounding Brown and several other raiders in the process, and the insurrection was over. Brown was tried for treason in nearby Charles Town. He was found guilty, hanged and instantly immortalized in legend and song.  Across the Union abolitionists and later  soldiers would sing as they marched:

“John Brown’s body lies a-mouldering in the grave,

John Brown’s body lies a-mouldering in the grave,

But his soul goes marching on.”

Witnessing Brown’s hanging was future assassin John Wilkes Booth. On the morning of his execution Brown wrote what time proved a horrific prophecy: “I, John Brown, am now quite certain that the crimes of this guilty land will never be purged away but by blood.”

Less than 20 miles south of the insurrection, in the fields of the sleepy little town of Sharpsburg, Maryland, in the second major event of the war to be taking place along the trail, Brown’s purge would come to pass in a heretofore-unimaginable fashion. We know it as the battle of Antietam, a name that gives pause to all those who know what occurred there. On September 17, 1862, in a 12-hour encounter between 100,000 Union and Confederate soldiers (led by the same Robert E. Lee who captured John Brown) that began at dawn and ended at dusk, 23,000 men were killed, wounded, or went missing. Lee’s army retreated over the nearby Potomac. The Union prevailed. Victory allowed Lincoln to issue the Emancipation Proclamation and thus reshape the war, freeing slaves in states in rebellion and providing the war effort with two goals: preserving the union and ending slavery. It remains the bloodiest day in American history.

The killing fields have been preserved. They are green now and spread out for miles. Monuments to battalions mark various battles.  Cannons sit perched on hills.  Above all there is  silence.  Miles and miles of silence.

It is humbling and disquieting to walk among these fields.

I came across many other sites of import to the Civil War but none as jarring as Harper’s Ferry and Antietam.  I also came across signs that seemed to show for some, the Civil War has never really ended.  In rural Maryland, indeed on the very road that led to Antietam, I passed homes flying both American flag and Confederate flags. In Virginia, I saw several bumper stickers bearing the “Stars and Bars” with the legend, “IF THIS OFFENDS YOU IT JUST SHOWS YOUR IGNORANCE.”

These were sandwiched in between others that read  “YOU LIE !”  and “GUN CONTROL MEANS BEING ABLE TO KILL YOUR TARGET”  and “SOCIALISM IS DEATH!”

I took note and pedaled on.

Along the Great Allegheny Passage one finds sites and vestiges of a second epic struggle (albeit one barely remembered) where horrific human suffering and loss of life led in time to the triumph of another kind of union: that of the  American Labor movement.   On the Passage I passed through ghost-towns and near ghost-towns — Confluence, Connellsville, Dawson, Smithton, West Newton, Suterville,  – where mining disaster after mining disaster, death upon death, gave rise to the union.

Slowly, fitfully and against tremendous resistance and officially sanctioned violence, thousands of coal miners and steel workers who laboring and dying under the unspeakable polices of Andrew Carnegie and Henry Clay Frick (among others) forged into being those institutions the rest of us can thank for the eight-hour day.   (That and pensions, health care, contracts and so on.)

For 50 years, the labor policies of Frick and Carnegie were crystal clear and perfectly legal: Human beings are nothing but economic units to be paid as little as you can get away with, worked a minimum of 12 hours a day six days a weeks and summarily fired at the first whiff of dissent or dignity.  With no thought to worker safety, horrific and deadly accidents were regular occurrences. That was the pre-union reality just as sure as it is now becoming the post-union reality.

All that remain now are the forgotten ruins of  refineries and scattered   memorials to the dead. These, too, are humbling and disquieting, no less so to me, than those of Antietam.

As for partners Carnegie and Frick, outside of historians as conscious and humane as Howard Zinn, both have largely escaped condemnation as the slow-motion mass murderers they surely were.   In fact, both are now fondly remembered as titans of industry, benefactors of society and great philanthropists who in their later role endowed hospitals, art museums, parks and libraries. Indeed, I’ve been haunting Carnegie-built libraries since as far back as I can remember. But does that mean I need to somehow rationalize the fact the Andrew Carnegie made a 200-percent profit on steel, 25 million dollars a year, while the men actually making the steel made 15 cents an hour and died of old age at 40?    I think not. Apparently, and to his credit, neither did the dying Frick. In Henry Clay Frick, An Intimate Portrait, author Martha Sanger relates the following. After their partnership ended  acrimoniously,  Carnegie sent a mutual friend to the dying Frick to see if Frick would shake Carnegie’s hand one last time before the lights went out.   Frick responded that he would “see Carnegie in hell, which is where we are both going.”

Hard to argue with the man given all the facts.

Along the Passage, the ghosts of the industrial past abound.  But in between these two wars much beauty is to be found.

The small, once thriving, now impoverished ghost towns along the Passage are both depressing and comforting. Somehow they keep going. Their children leave to fight our wars – signs to that affect are all over the place — but everyone in the town, it seems, knows where they are and await their safe return.

And then there is nature.

There is something wondrous in an empty road.  There is something sublime in witnessing a forest awakening with the sun. There is something deeply, deeply calming in the  subtle sounds of  a  river,  of  unseen birds chirping, first one,  then many,  of crushed leaves as deer, chip monks, beaver  and who knows what kind of animal set out for their morning strolls through their pristine morning kingdoms.

Such moments invite reverie and our souls need reverie as much as our hearts need love as much as our bodies need oxygen. In one such moment, looking in 6 a.m. silence at an open, empty  road and trying to see, words of Yeats, long ago encountered, ever since elusive, flowed from somewhere in my memory into my mind:

“And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,

Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings.”

I was a child when I first heard those perfectly metered lyrics to life.

Such moments are moments of grace.

Such moments are tiny pilgrimages in themselves.

Such moments are life.

I tried to capture some semblance of my little journey in the photographs below.    I hope you might enjoy them.

(Thanks to K.O. )

Notes:  My journey was greatly enriched and enhanced  by  Mike High’s  The C & O Companion ( Johns Hopkins University Press ), and Bill Metzger’s   Great Allegheny Passage Companion ( The  Local History Company.)   Labors of love, both, any one undertaking this  passage would be well advised to read them before setting out and hold them near throughout.

The  words above are taken from “The Lake Isle of Innisfree” by William Butler Yeats.


Along the way

On the C & O.

The bridge to Harper's Ferry.

The arsenal seized by John Brown and his followers.

Lower Harper's Ferry.

Prize of War

Strange Sentiment.

Site of John Brown's Last Stand

Lewis and Clark Were Here

The Potomac River

Antietam: Where 23,000 died in a single day.

Antietam: a road in the killing fields.

Antietam: Hallowed ground.

The Mighty Potomac

A bank in Williamsport, MD

Somewhere In Maryland

"One thought fills immensity."

Entrance to the Paw Paw Tunnel

Inside the Paw Paw: 3,118 feet and 14 years in the making

Paw Paw

A canal man's home

"Come...."

Allegheny Court House, Cumberland, MD.

The 10 The 10 Commandments on the lawn of the Allegheny Courthouse, Cumberland, MD.

Masonic Temple, Cumberland, MD.

Lock and Canal man's home

Idyllic

Ghost of a Lock