Richmond, Virginia

Give me Liberty or give me Death. I’m in Richmond, Virginia.

I drove thirteen hours straight from Alabama. Pulled in to downtown Richmond through a major rainstorm and booked The Commonwealth from the street. Scored with the room.

I’m overlooking the Capitol building and the room is the size of a large one bedroom Manhattan apartment.

I got lucky with a couple of those perfect crisp clear Autumn days for my walkabout. I’m back to jeans, no more shorts.

Close by Setton Coffee served an excellent mocha drip and pumpkin buns to kick off my day. Jenny And David have owned the business for 8 years. They live above their villagey cute store. The business struggled a little during The Plague, but with a number of the local buildings now converted to apartments things are picking up. Jenny & David expanded to serve wine and beer. They also get a lot of custom from the local government buildings.
It’s getting harder to get people to listen to me.

Their skeleton was named Karl. It was fate.

The First Freedom Center didn’t sell keychains so I bought a copy of the constitution. Cecily, currently in grad school and working part time behind the counter, recommended walking to their partner Museum. So I did.

Keary was nice enough to give me the meat juice history. Great souvenir store.

The Valentine Museum (1892), bequeathed by the creator of Valentine’s Meat Juice Health Toxin, houses exhibits that span the city’s 300 year history. It’s small and hosts exactly as much antiquity as I felt like looking at.

Mann S Valentine II created the toxin, squeezed from raw meat with spices added, to aid his ailing wife. Depending on how you tell the story it kept her alive for three years or killed her in three years.

Either way, you Can’t Beat Valentines Meat.

Meat Juice

The MJ (as locals called it) was produced and sold internationally until the 1970s. There are visitors that swear by it: AKA The Undead.

You can ring my bell.

I had to visit the Poe Museum, everyone kept raven about it.

Nevermore with the Dad jokes.

Poe spent a lot of his life in Richmond, though none of his residences survive.

APT (who goes by her initials) has worked three years at the location and is a self proclaimed Museum nut. She has worked at a few, including the Civil War Museum. APT was previously employed by The Girl Scouts of America.
As expected the Poe museum attracts an oddball crew. It has a broad selection in the gift store and two roaming house cats. The Poe Museum has the largest collection (if not the most valuable) of Poe artifacts in the world. This creepy Mausoleum will be 100 years old in 2022. Lots of events are planned.
So I’ve waited two years to see it and readers have waited over 50 years to see it done properly. I went to see Dune at The Regal Short Pump (coincidentally my college nicname). It’s a masterpiece. One of those movies that begs to be seen on the big screen. Dune outperformed anything I could have imagined from what’s considered the greatest , most influential, sci-fi book ever written. I will be rewatching this week.
The Lucky Strike Native American is gone. The giant model was moved from the baseball stadium to the roof overlooking the James River. It had been shifted twice previously because of complaints; it had it’s third Unlucky Strike. Out!

I had a sunny morning saunter along the Canal walk. Having grown up on Lower Canal Road, back in Galway, I’ve a thing for man made waterways. I still dream of living on Upper Canal Road. Siiiiiiigh.

Movie Updates (late): Both Asha and Brienne did excellent jobs with their research and presentations to the group the past two weeks.

Both Uncut Gems (Asha) and Psycho (Brienne) got 100% Thumbs up.

Next weeks presentation (bring the kiddies) . Thor Ragnarok.
I had a late night craving for pie and took a mile hike to the Sweet Spot Ice Cream Cafe. Mohammad, behind the counter, couldn’t have been more welcoming. A recent emigrant from Lebanon he is currently studying Political Science at The University of Virginia. We had an interesting chat about our homelands. Damn fine Oreo cheesecake.
Dolly Llama

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