Monday, August 6, 2012

Renaissance Man

 Soon after leaving Dulles airport, the consistent green gives way to varying shades of greens and blues.  The light blue of the much taller Appalachian Mountains further west highlights the dark blue of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the near distance.  Only about 25 minutes after leaving Dulles, we spot the beautiful, compact Charlottesville airport that has been designed in the Jeffersonian style.   
Rotunda undergoing renovations
Jefferson's Ingenious Serpentine Walls
Charlottesville is Thomas Jefferson’s town; excuse me, that’s “Mr. Jefferson”.  Natives still use the respectful salutation.  I grew up with the great man’s accomplishments all around me.  The home he took such pains to build, Monticello,  where you can see examples of his many inventions and innovations, is 2 miles to the south overlooking the University that he founded and designed.  The Rotunda and the “Lawn” at the University of Virginia are working examples of Mr. Jefferson’s vision in creating a functional but beautiful educational environment.  

Mr. Jefferson’s tombstone at Monticello has this epitaph he wrote for himself and in which he purposefully neglected to mention being the governor of Virginia, or Vice President and President of the United States, but including those things he thought were most important:
  “Here was buried Thomas Jefferson, Author of the Declaration of American Independence, of the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom, and Father of the University of Virginia.” 

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