Hello. Today is the first day of my 2015 Mount Vernon Life Guard Teacher Fellowship if you consider the "travel day" to be the first day. The first official day of my fellowship begins tomorrow. This afternoon I flew in from Kansas City on a pretty non-district flight - they way they all should be right?! I have been fortunate to visit Washington DC for many events over the past 10 years and when I am flying alone I always try to get the window seat. The views coming into DC never get old to me. Today my biggest thrill came from flying over a place I recently read about by chance. Last week I finished David McCullough's "The Wright Brothers" (great read by the way) and he describes the accident Orville Wright had in 1908 flying at Fort Myer just outside DC. Orville's passenger that day was Lt. Thomas Selfridge. He encountered a problem with the propeller and crashed to the ground - Orville was hurt pretty bad and Selfridge died - the first fatality in aviation history. It took place next to Arlington Cemetery (where Selfridge is buried today) and as we flew directly over I was struck by the act of flying over the site in a jet plane and considering myself extremely safe. Upon arriving at Mount Vernon I checked into the DeVos House, a residence built next to the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington. It is an amazing residence to host scholars who are working on projects at the library. I feel honored to be able to call it home for the next several weeks. I will check to see if I can share pictures in a later blog post. It is very nice and as I type this I am sitting in a beautiful screened in porch off the residence with a gorgeous view of some woods.
Tonight's work area
After dinner I walked a little on the estate grounds and took some pictures of the gardens - both upper and lower. The gardens are one of my favorite parts of the estate and I highly recommend reading the newly published "The General in the Garden" edited by Susan P. Schoelwer if you have an interest in this subject. I took some pictures as the light started to fade away, a couple of videos and some photospheres.
Mount Vernon - the mansion
Mount Vernon - View of of the Potomac from the mansion
Mount Vernon - Lower Garden
In front of the mansion I did a quick Google Hangout with the family back home. The girls were excited to see the mansion and view of the Potomac. I plan on doing quite a few Google Hangouts with them to share as much as possible. In the future we'll be bringing the whole family out here for an extended vacation. Tomorrow is a big day. I have meetings with a variety of individuals from the library and I will learn more about utilizing the most extensive collection of research on the life of George Washington. I will try to post articles and share photos/videos of as much as possible. Thanks for visiting the blog.
Tonight after dinner I walked through the gardens on the estate and took a couple of videos.
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