Whispers from the wood

Don Barone
Patrick Henry

About the author

Don Barone

Don Barone

db has been in the reporting biz for over 30 years, won some Emmys and other awards, but is proudest of his four-decade marriage, his two kids and the fact he founded Tackle The Storm Foundation to help children.

"I walk down every evening and stand on the shore
I try to cross to the opposite side … "

Dateline:  1750

There are no hallways.

Just rooms and doorways.

And creaky heart pine wood floors, in the house built in 1750.  Built  26 years before we were built.

We … America.

Last night as I walked through the house in my bare feet, I walked on the pine that heard the dreams of those who built us.

We … America.

Last night, under a dark Virginia night, I sat in the library room under an original portrait of the first Governor of Virginia, Patrick Henry … a founding father without a pen on the Declaration of Independence.

This morning as I write this, my WIFI sits on a table once owned by Patrick Henry … my coffee made by one of his descendants.

I run my hand across the table top, around the carvings on the legs, feel the knots of the wood, stand silent next to it, barely breathing, afraid I won't hear the whispers from the wood … "Give me liberty, or give me death."

Words that gave us, us.

We … America.

4th of July, 2011 …

… and I'm in a house built when America was just a dream.

… and as I lean against a wooden mantle over an original brick fireplace, I am humbled by who stood here before me, and what it is they must have discussed.

Dreams of our founding fathers.

Now whispers in the wood.

Whispers, Elite Angler John Crews grew up listening to.

"I know I'm searching for something … "

"When you grow up in a house like this, it's like living in a book, a history book, in this very room people may have talked about the American Revolution, may have talked about the very issues of that day."

Issues of the day … The Constitution of the United States.

Issues of the day … The Declaration of Independence.

Issues of the day … The Bill of Rights.

I hear the whispers in the wood, I hear the discussions of over two centuries ago about freedoms … Give Me Liberty … freedoms … to own, and not be owned, freedom to dream … Or Give Me Death … freedom from nightmares.

I hear the whispers in the wood, and those whispers are about me.

And I am who I am, because of those whispers.

"db, growing up here it's like living in a history lesson every day."

I know John, last night as I stood against the kitchen hearth, I heard the whispers … heard the history of …

… Freedom of the Press.

We … America.

" … something so undefined that it can only be seen
by the eyes of the blind … "

"At every B.A.S.S. event we play the national anthem," John tells me as we are seated in the dinning room at the corner of a long table. I'm listening to him talk, but looking out through wavy glass in six over six windows, "and whenever I hear the national anthem I think back to the people who built this country, who fought for this country, who through their efforts, I get to pursue what I love to do, if not for them … "

Under the watchful eyes of Patrick Henry, with my the green light of my WIFI blinking on his table, I write these words, Give Me Liberty, or, Give Me Death.

" … if not for them … "

And upstairs the floor creaks.

" … if not for them … "

And in the 261-year-old hearth I can smell the ashes from the past.

" … if not for them … "

And the wood echoes John's words, … "if not for them … "

If not for them, those who guaranteed our liberty with their souls, the 4th of July would be just another day.

Thank you Patrick Henry.

Thank you founding fathers.

Thank you, all who protect us.

Thank God, for the 4th of July.

And the wood that whispers in the night …

… we, America.

" … by the river of dreams
in the middle of the night … "

The River of Dreams

Billy Joel

-db

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