a note from Mr. Loomis in Florida

Hello Jim.

I share your passion for the value of key events of the past…especially when we have incidental or major connections to those events.  At an advanced age (some of us live long enough to refer to such a phrase) we look to history of the past to validate our opinions for the bend to the future.  I have seen with my own eyes…at the Hilltop….the passion and commercial arguments and “negotiations” of commercial treaties and financial mega-decisions made by men of spectacular energy and motivation.  Not a wimp among them.  All were men of physical and mental power.  Whiskey, cigars, profanity and serious social violence in the determination of pricing of the key energy source of the times…ANTHRACITE COAL!  A small matter today, but paramount on the early to mid 20th century.  My grandfather represented the railroad interest in coal pricing for the next year (year after year at the Hilltop) with the mine owners and with his backers from other railroads and other industries, for example steel remembering that steel was once priced at “FOB Pittsburgh” for the entire nation regardless of the true logistics!

That powerful man could curse for 15 minutes and not repeat one word.  He knew the span of swearing-in every language and situation.  He ran away from home at 14, became a trumpet player on the Ohio River passenger boats and down the Mississippi only to return home at age 19 and marry a prominent family’s daughter of a major land holder.  My grandfather had family history of his own.  His lineage (and mine) in America dates back to 1638, when his (and my) grand ancestor floated up the Connecticut River (from England) and with fellow travelers formed Windsor, CT.  They were as it were, undocumented immigrants as far as the indignant Indians were concerned.  The words used in history to justify European colonization and occupation of North American Indian lands was,  “Manifest Destiny.”

Most of us today are the result of such a term as manifest destiny.  Our present population has no clue…the truth and the struggle to bring civilization to the Americas.  We apparently have no clue about how to encourage the descendents of black slaves to thank with pride how their ancestors’ labors helped bring modernity to the Americas…as tragic as their ancesters’ individual’s lives seemed to have been.  We ALL should champion how whatever social structures existed in the past contributed to the ease of modern life for all Americans that are willing to learn and work.  Each man to his own interest, but honoring every man for his labors no matter how impressive or simple those labors may have been.  End of sermon.

Good luck with you labors in remembering and re-creating the Hilltop. ( If part of the new Hilltop as a hotel became a condominium, I’d live there in a minute!  )

With Great Sincerity and Appreciation of your Labors,  William “Bill” W. Loomis       (present domicile for 45 years, Florida)

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