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March Date Tuesday September 12, 2006 March Day 88

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

Ah...no morning reveille and we wake on our own with the morning light. Dave emerges from his tent to report the night near the water was quite cool and breezy. We each in turn visit the strong forceful shower at the Fort's maintenance headquarters and enjoy a leisurely camp-cooked breakfast of sausage and pancakes. We have important visitors this morning....David's brother John, wife Amy and fraternal 4 year old twins Jenna and Shannon come to visit from Odenton, Maryland, and accompanied by David's Mom Jean who is visiting for a few weeks from Wallingford, CT. It seems David is never far from his loving, supportive family. While David's relatives tour the Fort grounds, the men sit beside Martha, measuring waists, legs and other body parts to call a seamstress order for period clothing to replace rapidly deteriorating items. Mike looks sadly at his period shoes, knowing "something" must be done about them soon. (How about a burial?)

This afternoon, the group of Mike, David, Dave and Rose travels by carriage to Baltimore inner harbor to sight-see and rendezvous with a photographer from the Baltimore Sun. Most often, we are the sight to see, as area tourists frequently ask us to stop for portraits with them. We enter the museum office of the USS Constellation, moored in the harbor, where we are to meet our press agent, are given volunteer passes and board the ship, complimenteur. Mike, ever photogenic, is briefly the subject of the camera lens and we then tour this lovingly restored vessel at our leisure. From the upper deck to the captain's and crew's quarters, from sick-bay to the hold, we imagine life at sea intercepting slave ships and engaging in battle. As we disembark, we draw the attention of Bruce McKenzie, Senior Shipwright at the Constellation museum, who presents us each with a most unique souvenir... an original portion of the wooden hull complete with brass nails, necessarily replaced during the ship's restoration. We carry these relics back to camp, each of us stowing our treasure for safe-keeping.

Ursula Reed arrives from Philadelphia and greets us on our return to the Fort camp. We dress for dinner as we are to be the guests of BJ and George Gerber, Pat and Robert Archer-Jacob, and Rob Reyes, who has reserved a private room for dinner in a Fells Point establishment. We carriage-pool to this delightfully restored and vital historic area, streets lined with handsome period buildings and homes. We are photographed outside the London Coffee House where George Washington is known to have dined, tour the water inlet lined with present-day taverns and shops, and descend to the wine cellar room of the Admiral Fell's Inn. We dine extravagantly, the wine flows, Rob shares enlarged Rice and Brown period maps of the Baltimore encampments, and we are entertained by a period balladeer who leads us all in a rousing "Fathom the Bowl."

The evening is over much too quickly and we are transported back to the Fort by our gracious hosts, where they briefly tour our camp, impressed by the support capability of the Washington rig. 'Tis a late night as we take to our beds, but we are renewed by our friends' support and thankful for their generosity. A demain.

Avec amour,