This Is When I Start Liking Williamsburg!

There are people who really get into the groove of Williamsburg, and quite easily it seems. I'm not one of them.

I do realize that the "groove" of Williamsburg for each person is colored by which particular artificer, architecture or argument one experiences on those colonial streets. For me, the enjoyment of Williamsburg came not from the engagingly presented history, the colorful recreations of colonial life or the amazing handicrafts. I'd rather sit in Starbuck (yes, even Starbucks) and sip iced coffee the entire day with a group of fun people than walk through 1775 by myself.

For me, the highlight of the cabinetmaker's shop was not the fellow using a regular handsaw to slice an 1/8 by inch slice off at the flat side of a 5 inch wide board for use as a veneer, (although that was really amazing). The highlight was hearing Cam play the handcrafted harpsichord in the anteroom.

Other highlights were along a similar grain. The King's Arms Tavern had some good food, but listening to the Bach discussion with the young mandolin player in the next room was even better. The guy playing a hurdy gurdy was fun but it was even much more funner to see Gina trying to learn the baroque guitar to accompany him on the fly. If you have some time, google the instrument called a serpent, there was this guy who was vibrant on his antique serpent.

So if you get a chance, visit the Bruton Parish Church in Williamsburg. It's an architectural standout, designed by a common American, and has an interesting history. But if you really want an experience, sing in that church with a bunch of fun people called Oasis Chorale. Trust me, it's worth repeating.

-John Strickler (baritone)

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