Posts Tagged ‘Lee Highway’

An Escapade in Drive-By Photography

I had a chance to practice “drive-by photography” today on a brief trip out of town.  Sometimes I avoid the interstate in favor of taking Lee Highway, which was once the main north-south connection through the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.  Of course, it’s named after Robert E. Lee of Civil War fame.

Bucolic Scene

Traveling along this peaceful highway is always a pleasure because in addition to bucolic farming scenes there are vestiges of the old motels, gas stations and other evidence of thriving commerce in bygone days.

Traveling a road once traveled is mind opening  as your thoughts wander among yesterday’s clues to the way we were.

And I drive slowly looking for photo ops and places where I can pull in safely to practice on the smart-phone-camera.

But, did I tell you the darned thing quit clicking (the audible sound that says you have actually snapped a photo)?  Then like magic it started clicking again.

Actually I was inadvertently hitting a “mute” button!  Sigh.

Anyway, for years I have been driving up and down Lee Highway and have noted a small walled in cemetery atop a hill just north of Lexington, Virginia.  The graveyard is unremarkable – flat and treeless, overgrown, uninviting and obviously off limits to spectators.  I never paid much attention to it, other than thinking it was probably a family burial ground.

On this day however, I decided to stop at the memorial signs just below that cemetery along Lee Highway.  And what a surprise!

Yes, it is a family cemetery.  But look who’s here!

The Father of Abdominal Surgery.

Father of Abdominal Surgery

How remarkable is that?  I was astounded at the marker and kept clicking away hoping the story would be legible enough to share.

McDowell Memorial

There is another memorial too – a tribute to a McDowell who died during a conflict between Iroquois Indians and colonial settlers in 1740!

Memorial Story

And once again I am reminded that when I slow down and take the time to stop, a hidden world emerges revealing unimaginable secrets and stories of people who contributed immeasurably to an unknown future.


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