Saturday, June 03, 2017

Bedford, PA: Day 3

Day 3 of our trip included the anniversary party of my grandma's brother, which is really the whole reason we visited Bedford. But we thought we'd fill the rest of the day with something fun, so we found a covered bridge driving tour and hit the road.

Bedford County has fourteen covered bridges in total, and the suggested driving tour in the visitor's guide hits nine of them. Some are drivable, some are not.

Bowser Covered Bridge (1890)
While we were driving, a big covered bridge tour group came through, so we plowed past them so they wouldn't crowd our photos all day.

Kniseley Covered Bridge (~1880s)
The Bridges of Bedford County!

Cuppett Covered Bridge (1882)
After that craziness (which, by the way, involved another yard sale), we drove back to the hotel to get ready for Clyde and Emily's party.

The party was held at Old Bedford Village, a sort of colonial theme park where people do old arts and crafts and talk about historical things. It's super cute and reminded me of Mount Vernon.

When I was planning this trip, I noticed that on June 3 there would be a "Meet the Confederate Generals" event. This struck me as somewhat odd, but sure enough, there was General Lee greeting us when we arrived at the village. He was very cordial but a little too apologetic about slavery, if you ask this (northern) history major.

If we had been around next weekend, we could have seen a Civil War battle reenactment! Crazy.

I was a little nervous going into the party, because I really didn't know anyone. But after a few minutes, my mom saw people she knew, and of course, Grandma was a VIP. She keeps in contact with tons of people in Bedford still, and they loved seeing her.

Grandma and her brother Clyde
My grandma grew up with six brothers and one sister. The four brothers who fought in World War II are now gone, as is her sister, Annabelle. Clyde and Frank are the only ones left, and you can just tell how much she loves her brothers when she talks about them or gets to see them.

Clyde and Emily have volunteered for years at Old Bedford Village, and apparently they are now on the board of directors. Clyde had a farm in Bedford County for many years, which made me think of how romantic and wonderful it would have been to come have Thanksgiving or Christmas at Uncle Clyde's with the rest of the family. Clyde also had a painting business in Bedford, which he sold to one of his business partners when he retired. Clyde and Emily are obviously much beloved in the Bedford community.

For my part, it was nice reconnecting with a branch of the family that we don't get to see very often. The last time I was really in Bedford for any length of time - and visited family - was when I was four years old. Since then, we've only been in town for a day or less when we've dropped Grandma off for visits. I was able to find a few relatives on social media, and hopefully we'll be in better touch now.

I also got to hear some stories about Grandma from back in the day, including one where she drove her nieces to see "It's a Wonderful Life" in a snowstorm. That sure wouldn't happen now!

Oh, and even though I tried to hide it from my newly discovered relatives, I ate like three servings of cake and ice cream. It was so good.

At any rate, it wouldn't take much to get me to go back to Bedford again, maybe some year for the reunion that takes place in August. (Or bed races!)

No comments: