“So Mr. Walker, let me see if I have this right. You are 58 years old, and have an absolutely perfect driving record. Not only that, but you were a driving instructor in Pennsylvania before you moved here three months ago. But now you are charged with running not just one, but three stop signs. I’m not sure exactly what you expect me to do here. Can you give me a good reason for your actions?”
“Well Judge Caprio, I mean Your Honour, I moved to Providence just for this purpose. I wanted to come before you and be famous.”
What Pegman Saw – Providence, Rhode Island
I asked my wife one evening, if she would like to go for waffles in the morning. She said that that would be nice, so bright and early I woke her so she could have her sweet treat. What she didn’t know was that I had come to the conclusion that the best place for waffles, must by definition be in Belgium. Our daughters secretly passed me her passport and we were off.
It didn’t take her long to figure out that this was no quick trip to the local pancake house. No, we headed south to Dover, and caught the ferry and made our way the Bruges.
We found a wonderful Flemish-gabled shop that served amazing waffles. Next we went for hot chocolate at the Old Chocolate House on Mariastraat. This was no mildly chocolate-flavoured milk product, but hot liquid artisan cocoa.
Bruge was our first foreign getaway.
WHAT PEGMAN SAW: Bruges, Belgium
image – Public Domain
What does loyalty to one’s country mean? What sacrifices need to be made to uphold honour? And what does “one’s country” even mean?
The fifty-seven year old Army engineer pondered – no agonised over these questions. He paced, fretted, and then sat to write a letter. Colonel Robert Lee, had made up his mind. Loyalty for one’s country requires sacrificing one’s own life for it. Honour demands it. Loyalty to one’s country – your home, the “state” is greater than some vague “national ideal.”
Lee would serve Virginia, not the union of other states. He finished his resignation letter from the US Army, had left Arlington House for the vary last time. He was going to Richmond, and his destiny.
What Pegman Saw – Arlington, Virginia/Washington, D. C.
It was in the dwindling days of empire, and the sun was beginning to set upon Britannia’s global claim. Yet, the parties continued. Into one of these strode a tall, strong jawed farm boy from Old Kentuck. He was far from home – this Marine guard of the US Embassy.
On the dance floor was a small gathering of Britain’s roses. Young and pretty in their party dresses. They too were far from home – these servants of the Queen. Among them was an Irish lass, off duty from her base where she too served the people of her Ulster birth.
There were smiles, and then flirtation. Thousands of miles from their family homes – in Singapore a love would blossom. Yes, that is how my parents met.
*A true story
What Pegman Saw: Singapore
The trucks were gathered near the clock tower in Riga. Entire families, men, women, and children, stood with the meagre belongings which they were allowed to carry awaiting their turn to board. Some of the children were unsettled and began the fuss and cry. A Latvian SS officer called over his unit’s mascot, a uniformed boy of less than ten. He was given chocolates to distribute to the doomed children, with the intent of calming them. What could be more comforting than another child sharing sweets? The gesture worked and the “transportation” continued.
Based on a true event in Riga during the Holocaust. While there is still uncertainty as to Alex Kurzem’s heritage, the fact remains that he was the mascot of Battalion 18 of the Latvian SS, and was later made a corporal. He was also the subject of a Nazi propaganda film.
WHAT PEGMAN SAW – Riga, Latvia
photo taken by Ansgar Walk
“Mr Hearne, there are three ships in the bay,” a messenger reported breathlessly.
“And?” Samuel Hearne, the governor of Prince of Wales Fort, replied.
“They are flying French colours,” the man responded.
Hearne climbed the ramparts and looked at the three warships. He then considered his options. He had thirty nine Hudson Bay Company men, and no soldiers. Oh, the Inuits might help, but even with the walls he had no chance to resist the La Pérouse’s French.
“Well let’s go meet our guests,” Hearne said.
Shortly afterwards, he and thirty one British civilians were on their way back to England on the sloop Severn. The French meanwhile were dismantling the fort.
*Based on events in 1782
What Pegman Saw – Manitoba, Canada
image; Historic Loxton
In anticipation of becoming Britain’s next prime minister, Boris Johnson sent a fact-finding team to Australia. He had heard there were some great new initiatives “Down Under,” and wanted to see if they could enhance Tory education policy.
He had given the team leader clear instructions as to which institutions to visit. No, the new pupil centered approach form Adelaide wouldn’t do. No, his team needed to go to Loxton. That’s where Britain’s educational future would be found.
What Pegman Saw: Loxton, Australia
“But it isn’t,” eleven-year-old David said, shoving the brochure back into the display case at the Sea Life Centre.
“Isn’t what?” his grandmother asked.
“A Golden Mile,” David said matter-of-factly.
“But Great Yarmouth is the Golden Mile,” she said.
“First of all,” David began, “Google says the beach here is over a mile long. Secondly, it is hardly golden. It’s just sand.”
“So at least a mile is gold coloured,” Grandmum suggested.
“Then they should say come to Great Yarmouth with its approximately one mile of yellowish sand,” he said defiantly.
Seeing she wasn’t going to win this, she said, “Why don’t we get an ice cream and go over to the beach at Gorleston?
What Pegman Saw: Great Yarmouth, UK
HMS Queen Elizabeth – Wikipedia
The Asian vacationers stood bewildered before the watch officer. Their suitcases were clustered at their feet, and they were flanked by a burly Master-at-Arms and three armed Marines.
The naval officer had sent for a translator, and he was trying to explain the situation to his “guests,” a couple of about thirty, and their bright eyed seven-year-old daughter.
The Lieutenant stared at the papers the visitor had given him. “Yes, this is the Queen Elizabeth,” the officer was trying to explain. “But it is HMS Queen Elizabeth. We are in Portsmouth. You want Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth, its over in Southampton,” he said pointing to the northwest.
What Pegman Saw: Portsmouth, Hampshire, UK
Misumi and Aiko were gravely concerned. It may not have seemed a matter of life and death to others, but it was vital to the two young women.
“Are you sure this is a good idea?” Misumi asked as she stood outside of 221B Baker Street.
“Where else do you think we can find out?” Aiko responded.
The pair walked past the uniformed Bobby and stepped through the black door into a reception area.
Aiko approached the woman at the counter and asked in her best English, “Is this Mr. Sherlock Holmes’ house?”
“Yes” the woman responded.
“I thought so, but needed to know for sure,” Aiko said. “We need help with a very big problem and I thought this must be the place to find answers.”
“Sweetheart, we are a museum,” the woman responded.
“That’s okay, but I really need to know how to get to the Circle Line.”
WHAT PEGMAN SAW: London, England