Nomadic Goza Family travel blog

Greetings from Greensboro, NC,

Winter is inching in upon us, but by a strange coincidence, we're inching our way south. (Good thing, because for some reason we've had a devil of a time finding propane for our RV lately.) During the month of November, we've made our way down from New England to North Carolina, where we spent Thanksgiving in the Greensboro/ Winston-Salem area, so Zephyr could spend some time with his band and even get some recording done.

On the way, we took a bike ride into Washington, D.C., one of our favorite sightseeing cities. The Smithsonian Institution has many wonderful museums, including the National Portrait Gallery, the National Postal Museum, the National Air and Space Museum, the National Museum of American History, the National Museum of African Art, and the National Museum of the American Indian, to name just a few. And they're all free! Not to mention Ford's Theatre, the Washington Monument, The Lincoln Memorial,etc. etc. The day we went into town was Veterans' Day, and we passed by two holiday ceremonies, one at Arlington Cemetery and the other at National Mall. Thousands of veterans from all branches of the armed forces were on hand, most wearing commemorative jean jackets and some showing off their shiny motorcycles. Zephyr took advantage of the increased crowds to do some strutting in public as Capt. Jack Sparrow from "Pirates of the Caribbean", and have his picture taken with tourists.

But Capt. Jack might be taken aback (a term of nautical origin, incidentally) to learn that his ship got its details "100 percent wrong" for vessels of the era, according to a guide at Jamestown Settlement, where we dropped in just prior to Thanksgiving. Jamestown, of course, was the site of the first English colony in America. You know -- Pocahontas and Powhatan and John smith, oh my. (The day before, we had performed at Pocahontas Elementary in Powhatan. How cool is that?) As you know, these folks had a life long before Disney -- and, for that matter, long before the myths and legends that gave rise to the Disney myths and legends. What better place to get the facts straight than at the source?

The Settlement features an excellent indoor museum (it even had Zephyr absorbed, and if anyone is museum-jaded, he is) that depicts the three cultures that converged here: the English settlers, the Native Americans, and the Africans imported as slaves. Currently the museum features a special exhibit, in observance of the 400th anniversary of Jamestown, "The World of 1607", featuring articles on loan from the period from all over the world. But it's on the outside that Jamestown really comes to life, with costumed interpreters giving tours and conducting hands-on demonstrations at a recreated Powhatan village (Powhatan was the name of the tribe, not its chief), a recreated fort, and replicas of the three ships the immigrants came over on. We asked our guide about the old yarn concerning Pocahontas supposedly saving the life of John Smith, and he informed us that Smith's journals reported similar incidents in other places to which he traveled -- indicating that he was a kindred spirit, a spinner of tall tales.

And now we're getting ready to perform for the first time ever in Georgia, making state number 45 for us!! (Plus D.C. and Japan.) After that, it's Florida for the winter, no doubt including Zephyr's annual pilgrimage to Disney. Maybe he'll tell them the REAL story of John Smith and Pocahontas, if they're interested! Wait until they hear that Powhatan's name was actually Wahunsunacock.

Remember, December is Write A Friend Month; and in fact Dec. 7 is Letter Writing Day. So keep in touch with people, even if it's by email instead of those outdated pieces of paper in stamped envelopes. And if you feel like dropping us a line, we'd be glad to hear from you!

Dennis, Kimberly, and Zephyr Goza

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