Monday, March 30, 2009


Sometimes good things just happen …

So … this friend has these old swords, right? And at some seeming great distance I hear someone say, “Oooohh, my husband knows all about old swords. He can tell you all about them.”


So … that’s why I’m standing there holding this pair of rusting old relics from the year one half. And a thousand eyes are staring at me in breathless anticipation.

(Okay, so maybe it was eight eyes in mild curiosity – ten eyes, if you count the rabbit in glasses. Oops. No. Wait. That was me. Eight eyes for sure.)

Here’s one of the swords. Not overly forbidding. A little on the petite side to be a for real fighting weapon. Probably carried in some social club of some kind. Purely symbolic something.

First clue. Figures on the hilt are dressed in Civil War garb.

After some research I find the same figures on a present-day logo.

Here’s the story. A number of years after the Civil War ended, the Union veterans were becoming more and more aware of their own mortality. Yet they felt that their individual stories, their very lives stood for something unique, and their passions should not be lost with their deaths.

SONS of UNION VETERANS of the CIVIL WAR came into being. In addition to the stories, all the rituals have been carefully handed down.

The group still exists, modernized, to be sure. Yet “camps” can be found all over the United States. The swords in my hand once adorned the alter in one “camp” in Michigan.

I know this because I talked to one of the present day leaders. Wistfully, he asked if my friend would consider donating the swords to the group, returning them to the very spot they occupied with honor a hundred and twenty-five years ago.

And my friend is going to do exactly that, which seems to me to be the coolest thing ever.
And how was your day?

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