Joe C Combs 2nd
Distributed by Shakespir
Front Cover By
Copyright Joe C Combs 2nd 2016
Front cover photograph, General Washington’s headquarters, Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. Copyright Joe C Combs 2nd 2015
Shakespir Edition, License Note
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I always hate trying to list everyone I want to thank, because I always leave people out that I did not mean to leave out. The two people I never forget are my daughter Elizabeth and YOU my reader. Thank You!
THIS IS A WORK OF FICTION. ALL OF THE CHARACTERS AND EVENTS IN THIS WORK ARE EITHER CREATED FROM THE AUTHOR’S IMAGINATION OR ARE USED FICTIONALLY (OR THEY SHOULD BE).
Table of Contents
I got to spend two whole weeks with my daddy. He asked me where I wanted to go. I told him Valley Forge. I like family, but I also like history. My only family is mommy and daddy, but one of my great-grandfathers was at Valley Forge with George Washington. I knew I wouldn’t get to meet him, but I would be able to walk where he walked.
Daddy picked me up on Thursday after school. We drove all afternoon and into the night to get to our hotel. In the morning we had breakfast and went shopping. On the way back to the hotel I saw a costume shop and asked daddy to stop. We found costumes from the Revolutionary War time. I dressed up like Abigail Adams. I like her. Daddy gave me a book about her a long time ago. Daddy dressed up like George Washington. He looked funny with a white wig and his beard and moustache.
We wore our costumes to Valley Forge. Daddy didn’t want to, but he did for me. On our way to the park I asked daddy if he believed in ghosts. He said no, but they make nice stories. When we got to the park we watched a movie about Valley Forge and the Revolutionary War. After that we talked to the park ranger who thought Daddy looked funny too. The ranger was a very nice man and answered all of my questions.
The ranger gave us a map to where great-grandpa camped. Daddy drove and I read the map. We parked in a big parking lot and walked through woods to get to the camp site. When we got to the camp site there were re-enactors there. Re-enactors are people who dress up like soldiers and play war at certain battles.
Daddy talked with the first re-enactor and told him about our ancestor George Gutekunst. He told daddy George was over by a tent cleaning his weapon. We went and daddy talked to him and told him who we were. Then daddy walked around the camp, but I stayed and talked with George. I got to talk with him all afternoon.
Daddy said re-enactors learn about people who were actually in the battle and pretend to be them when they dress up. Like actors in a movie. Daddy told me to let other visitors ask questions too, but we were the only visitors. I told daddy the re-enactors smelled bad. He said it was because they were wearing the same kind of wool uniforms George Washington’s soldiers wore and they were sweating. I think they hadn’t taken a bath in a long time.
I asked George a lot of questions and wrote everything down that he said. He told me things I never heard daddy say. He asked me questions too. He asked me what my name was and wanted to know how I was related to him. I love to hear our family history stories the way my Daddy tells them to me. He may get tired of telling them over and over but it makes me feel like I have my huge family right there all around me.
George took my hand walking me around their camp. They did not have very much food in camp and it did not smell good. George said they only had wild turnips and what they could catch in the woods. I offered him some of my sour gummy worms. He had a funny look on his face when he bit into one. He said he had never seen or tasted anything like them.
I told him my grandmother was a Gutekunst. But they do not spell it like that now. Now they spell it Goodykoontz. I told him about Bill Goodykoontz. Bill died in World War One at the Battle of Belleau Wood. Daddy and I are going to France in two years to the battlefield to lay flowers on his grave. George asked me to leave a flower for him when we leave our flowers.
When daddy came back I told him, “Daddy daddy he is telling me things we didn’t know. I’m writing it all down.”
Daddy talked with him for a few minutes before we left.
“Are you actually from Germany? Your accent is very good,” daddy said.
“Yes, the Black Forrest. I cannot place your accent sir, and some of your words are strange to me,” George said.
“Well I’ve lived in many different places and traveled to Europe, Asia, Australia, Central and South America. I’m sure my words and accent are a mixture because of that.”
“You look so young to have sailed to so many distant lands,” George said. “It is not safe around here. The British are very determined and we have not done well. General Washington says an advisor will arrive soon to instruct and drill us in the art of war. But I think now would be an appropriate time for you to take your daughter and sail to one of those distant lands.”
“We are going home tomorrow,” daddy said.
“Your daughter is a delightful, if not forward child. It has been a pleasure and an honor to meet you both.” George offered Daddy his hand and they shook. I gave him a hug and we headed back down the path through the woods. I turned and waved at George and he smiled and waved back.
Daddy took me to Wendy’s for a Frosty. I asked daddy about the re-enactors while we were at Wendy’s. Daddy has taken me to see re-enactors before. In the camps they always have sleeping bags and radios or other stuff like we have. They try to hide it, but you can still see some of those things. But these re-enactors did not have anything of those things. Daddy said it must be because only the best re-enactors go to Valley Forge.
Then we went back to the hotel and I fell asleep watching movies. The next morning I asked daddy if we could go back with the camera so I could have my photograph taken with George. When we got to the park the re-enactors were gone. Daddy found the park ranger, he said the ranger would know where they are.
“Hi, remember us? We’re not wearing our costumes today,” daddy said laughing.
“I see that. I almost didn’t recognize you two. Did you have fun yesterday Elizabeth?” the ranger asked.
“I did, I did. We want to see the re-enactors again. Where are they? Are they gone?” I asked.
“There weren’t any re-enactors here yesterday,” the ranger said.
“Sure there were, we spent all afternoon with them. They were set up where the Pennsylvania volunteers camped in 1777. Elizabeth talked the ear off one of them,” daddy said with a chuckle.
“I am sorry, sir but we have not had any re-enactors in the park since the Fourth of July several months ago,” said the ranger.
We thanked the ranger and got back into our truck to drive home. Daddy turned on the radio. I don’t think he wanted to talk. I had to think about this too. After a while I reached over and turned down the radio.
“Daddy?” I asked.
He looked at me. “Yes Sweetheart?”
“I talked with my great-grandfather,” I said.
He looked at me for a few seconds and said, “Yes Sweetheart, you did.”
And I did too.
My greatest inspiration has always been my daughter. While fictional, this story is based on a summer trip we took because Elizabeth wanted to walk where her great-great-great-great-great grandfather, George Gutekunst, walked. Yes Elizabeth believes in ghosts and dad is still skeptical.
About Joe C Combs 2nd
Joe started life in a small town in Florida, not far from St Augustine. He has many interests in life and has quite literally traveled the world. He has worked many jobs, from field hand to field service engineer. Along the way spent almost nine years as a submarine sailor, but his favorite hat to wear is that of father to his daughter Elizabeth. He currently lives in Kansas.
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Other Books & Short Stories By Joe
More Than a Dozen Free Download Ebook Short Stories
The Most Downloaded Are:
A Grandfather’s Legacy
The Christmas Angel
Available in print and ebooks
Titanic, A Search For Answers
The H.L. Hunley: its life and controversies
Historical Fiction Series
The Cartaphilus Saga
The Judas Effect
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Erik von Straus is a young German, aristocratic, playboy in the late 1800s. When he loses his wealth, family, and friends, with no place to turn, he becomes a spy for the Kaiser. Erik now joins in a deadly game with American and British secret agents. He discovers the secrets he’s not meant to discover as he travels the world. Creating his own team and gadgets to help him as he steals secret plans, blueprints, and information for the Kaiser.
Shipwrecks, capture, bombs nothing stops Erik – or will it?
Find out for yourself, new episode every month. The first episode (The Judas Effect: Book #1 Son of a Baron) is a free download. Each following episode is only 99 cents. Save and buy the series in boxed sets of 5 for the price of 3. Do you prefer print book? Each paperback edition will include all of the previous 15 episodes.
We are used to ghost stories that scare us. But here is one that makes you feel good. A father (who does not believe in ghosts) and his young daughter (who does believe in ghosts) go on a summer vacation they will never forget. As they roam the historic camp site Valley Forge they see more than they expect too.