Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Deltaville Virginia

We're here in a nice little marina for a few days, waiting out some blowy weather. There are yachtspeople here from all over the world - English, French, German, Dutch ... - most of them on the way south for the winter, so there is a wealth of interesting experiences and good advice to be shared.

It didn't take long to have a good look around Deltaville, which is another small water-based town on the Rappahannock and Piankatank Rivers. It has an interesting little museum, mostly dedicated to boatbuilding and restoration, and to local Virginians in the Civil War. The main road through town is the General Puller Hwy, and we discovered that Stewart 'Chesty' Puller was, in fact, the toughest and most highly decorated US Marine ever. He is buried nearby. Chesty rose from the ranks to various commands, served in Haiti, WW2 and Korea, won five Navy Crosses and a DSM, and is immortalised in Marine marching rhymes. He is famous for NEVER giving up:

  • "They are in front of us, behind us, and we are flanked on both sides by an enemy that outnumbers us 29:1. They can't get away from us now!""[12]

  • "Great. Now we can shoot at those bastards from every direction."[13]

  • "We're surrounded. That simplifies our problem of getting to these people and killing them." — November 1950, during Chosin Reservoir campaign[14][15]

  • Every little town seems to have a favourite son or daughter with an interesting life story, and Americans are not backward in commemorating them with named buildings, roads, scholarships, statues and the like. Individual achievement is celebrated to a degree that most Australians would find a bit embarrassing, but it certainly gives places more character and supports an ethos of striving for success.

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