Monday, November 28, 2016
Wednesday, November 2, 2016
The American Revolution Round Table (ARRT) of the Hudson and Mohawk Valleys is a brand new group of history enthusiasts dedicated to the studies of the American Revolution. The ARRT's mission is to provide an opportunity to socialize, network, and present material for those interested and who enjoy the American Revolution. We see the ARRT as a way for people who enjoly a common topic to get together for discussion, and to have an enjolyable experience. All are welcome to participate regardless of knowledge level.
The ARRT was created by historians, tour guides, and historic site and museums professionals but most importantly, they are all enthusiasts of American Revolution history.
Brian Mack is the contact. For more information:
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
We will elect officers for the 2017-18 term at November's meeting. Nominations to-date are:
President – Bill Welsch
1st VP for Programs – Bruce Venter
2nd VP for Membership – Woody Childs
Paymaster – Art Ritter
Scribe / Historian – Bill Seward
Publicity / Web Master – Mark Groth
At Large – Charlotte Forrester
At Large – Jerry Rudd.
Walt Pulliam has graciously agreed to conduct the election at our November meeting, as well as accept any self or other nominations. These can be sent to Walt at firstname.lastname@example.org or can be made at the meeting.
But all the board members realize that we can’t / won’t / shouldn’t do our jobs forever. Regardless of who is elected in November, we offer the following proposal. Any member who is interested in a specific office in the future is encouraged to volunteer as an aide or shadow or apprentice to that officer to learn and offer suggestions. This is not meant to increase the board size, but rather to identify and orient future ARRT leaders, as well as provide occasionally needed backup to the incumbent. Let’s see if this approach works. Please feel free to speak to whomever you wish.
A scholarship in Harry's name is being established by the University of Richmond History Department. Anyone wishing to make a personal contribution may do so by sending it to:
Harry Ward Scholarship in History
Harry Ward Scholarship in History
University of Richmond
28 Westhampton Way
Richmond, VA 23173
In 2006, about a year after we moved to Richmond, Gerry, my wife, while reading the Richmond Times Dispatch, inquired if I had read the book George Washington’s Enforcers. I had and thought that it was a wonderful book exploring a hidden aspect of the American Revolution. She then told me that Harry M Ward, the author, would be discussing his work at a local book store on the following Sunday.
I had read not only that one, but a number of others by Dr Ward and, knowing that he was from Richmond, was curious to meet him. On that day, I collected a small stack of his volumes, in hopes that he might inscribe them, and headed off to Book People. (Harry later told me that he never knew what to write when someone asked him to sign a book!) I expected a large turnout. There wasn’t.
Lynn Sims, Jerry Rudd, and I were it. Harry’s friend Bernard brought him, but is a self admitted non-history guy. I expected Dr. Ward to monopolize the conversation. After a brief discussion about Enforcers, Harry steered the discussion in another direction. We spent time talking about our mutual interest in the revolution. Lynn and Harry had worked together during the bicentennial and Jerry was a former student. I would later meet many more of these folks and hear many fun stories about their teacher. I was the new kid on the block. Near the end of the time, Harry said “We need to form a round table.” He then pointed at me and said, “You do it.” To say the least, I was a bit shocked. But it sounded like neat idea. I told him that there were a few things that I needed to finish first and would be back to him in a few weeks. I often wonder if he thought that I would ever call back. But I did, and that was the start of the American Revolution Round Table of Richmond.
Harry, Lynn, Jerry, and I, shortly after joined by Steve Atkinson, met a few times and laid out our plans. Ten years later, we’re a well respected and ever growing organization, number eight on the countrywide ARRT list of sixteen. So credit Harry with our conception.
Over the next few years, our relationship slowly changed. I went from being an admiring groupie of a distinguished historian to a close friend. Harry was very accepting and warm to me personally and provided much useful advice as the round table moved along. Our friendship grew stronger over the last ten years.
We didn’t always agree on the best approach to help ARRT-R grow. Harry wanted nothing to do with computers and didn’t accept the great publicity opportunities that they offered. He preferred the printed word, whether our white advertising cards that he had printed yearly or our one foray with an advertisement in The Richmond Times Dispatch. He personally paid for that ad, but wished to remain anonymous. I suspect that some members guessed who funded it. Harry constantly pushed for us to be bigger, to recruit more members. I think that he was pleased that we’re now up to eighty members.
He was my post-meeting sounding board. We usually spoke after each gathering to hear his opinion about the speaker. He often surprised me with what he enjoyed and what he didn’t. He was always honest, and we often disagreed. And he often needed to be reminded that not all had the same level of knowledge as he did. Harry was aware of the concern of satisfying and pleasing members with different levels of revolutionary expertise. I’ll miss his perceptive evaluations.
When we started ARRT-Richmond, Harry was adamant that he wanted no office. We created the position of Senior Advisor specifically for him. As our bylaws allow the board discretion in such appointment, we have decided to leave the position open. Hopefully, Harry will advise us in spirit.
Harry Ward was a prolific writer, an outstanding historian, a valued teacher, a bit of a curmudgeon, a funny guy, a generous man, a beer drinker, a thoughtful advisor, and a great friend. I know that many round table members had wonderful relationships with him and will miss him. I will, too. He leaves a void for all of us that will be impossible to fill.
Rest in peace, Harry, as we carry on in your memory.
October 17, 2016