When I rejoined the Walk for a Nuclear-Free Future, it was April 10th, and the group was in Utica (central New York).
The next morning, I started walking with the group. Our destination for the day was Herkimer. I found out, from someone who used to live in Herkimer, that the village was named for a Revolutionary War general, Nicholas Herkimer. Apparently, that was not his original name. His parents were from Germany and their name was Herchheimer. Bill (the person who used to live in Herkimer) and I had great fun saying "Herchheimer"! He said that, if the town had been named Herchheimer, he's not sure that he would have moved there. He was laughing too hard for me to understand the logic of his not wanting to live there if the town had that name. He might have moved to Little Falls instead but... well... he never saw any waterfalls, big or little, in Little Falls. He said that, for sure, he couldn't live in a town that was named for nonexistent waterfalls! I pointed out that was a little false (falls???) advertising.
But I digress.
Anyway, General Herkimer's claim to fame was that, during the Battle of Oriskany, he was wounded. That wound would eventually cause his demise. But he died days later. When he was still living, he was propped against a tree, where he continued to direct the battle.
So, that was General Herkimer's last stand. He actually died of complications surrounding a botched surgery at the hands of an inexperienced surgeon. The more experienced doctor was unavailable as he, too, had been wounded in battle.
Fortunately, there were no battles on the day of the walk. We walked along the Mohawk River. In the distance, we could see either tall hills or short mountains. If were were to head north, we could have walked in the direction of the Adirondacks. But, at this point, we were headed east on Route 5.
We arrived in Herkimer in mid-afternoon. Because we carried all manner of banners (a large one with "na mu myo ho renge kyo" on a purple background beneath a big red sun, various Native American flags, peace flags with signatures, etc.), we were quite a sight. People went out on their porches to watch us pass by. They took out their cameras and were happily clicking away as we marched down the street. I enjoyed window shopping and looking at architecture and looking at the early spring flowers.
Once we settled in to the church where we were to spend the night, I took my sketch book and pencils and went to draw a picture of an interesting door that I had seen.
We were treated to a delicious pot luck dinner by a great group of people from Herkimer and surrounding areas. I was thrilled because they read my mind and provided me with my favorite foods!
More stories later!