Norwalk Reflector: Top 10 historical moments from traveling the country

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Top 10 historical moments from traveling the country

By JIM BUSEK • Jun 12, 2018 at 10:00 AM

One of my best ideas ever was to have an adventure in every state.

It was fun planning them. It was fun doing them. It was fun making videos about them. And it has been tremendously fun making presentations to area clubs and organizations about them.

My very first half hour performance was at the New London Rotary Club in December. And my most recent was at the Firelands Historical Society in mid-May.

All told, 14 groups and more than 400 of their members have invited me to share my pictures and stories. And it has been a ball.

When possible, I try to tailor the presentation to the group.

For instance, at the Historical Society’s annual dinner, I tried to pick out my Top 10 Historical Moments from my adventure travels. And narrowing it down to 10 was not that easy.

So I started with my “honorable mention” list. It looked like this:

Georgia – Walking among the ruins of the Carnegie mansion on remote Cumberland Island

Louisiana – Bicycling to St. Francisville’s amazing Civil War-era plantations

Rhode Island – Being amazed by the mansions in Newport

Nevada – Visiting Howard Hughes’ Spring Valley Ranch in the desert outside Las Vegas

North Dakota – Walking inside the cabin Theodore Roosevelt built for himself in the Badlands

Iowa – Sitting on the front step of Herbert Hoover’s tiny childhood home

Idaho – Searching for—and, with John Flickinger’s help—finding the home where Ernest Hemingway died

Then I got into my actual Top 10. Here they are in reverse order.

10. New Jersey – Walking the boardwalk in Atlantic City where my parents honeymooned.

9. Maryland – Bicycling the C & O towpath and imagining life along the short-lived 19th century canal.

8. New Mexico – Strolling the streets of Los Alamos, once the most secretive place in the world as the first atomic bomb was being developed there.

7. Connecticut – Sneaking a photo in his Hartford home of the desk where Mark Twain wrote Huckleberry Finn.

6. Mississippi – Bicycling to the ruins of the Windsor plantation where 23 magnificent Corinthian columns are all that remain after the mansion burned in 1890.

5. Delaware – Touring Cape Henlopen State Park with its intriguing towers used during World War II for spotting enemy invaders by air or submarine.

4. Kansas – Walking in the footsteps of presidents at the Emporia home of one of America’s most famous journalists, William Allen White.

3. Texas – Shooting video from the very place Abraham Zapruder stood as he filmed the Kennedy shooting in 1963.

2. Oklahoma – Being moved by the sights and sounds of the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum.

1. Nebraska – Learning the miracle of the North Platte Canteen.

To see details on any of the Top 10 in a two minute video, simply search online for Jim Busek and the name of the state.

To book a presentation later this summer or fall, email or call, and I will tailor a program to your group.


Jim Busek is a free-lance writer who lives in Norwalk. He can be reached via e-mail at [email protected]

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