WJFD 97.3 FM in New Bedford, Massachusetts, is the only 50,000 watts FM radio station broadcasting in the Portuguese language 24/7/365 in the United States. Travis was a featured guest in June. Click the audio player below to listen to the interview.
Recently, I was invited to speak during the Buckingham County’s 250th birthday bash at Buckingham Courthouse Square on April 2. I took my family along for the event. Thanks to the GPS losing its signal, we almost didn’t make it on time. But, if you know me, you know that fast and furious is the way I roll!
Despite the fierce wind and sometimes-looming rain clouds, nearly 250 residents and friends of Buckingham County turned out for the milestone celebration, one for each year since the county was established. This shot is only about half the crowd.
A Host of Celebrities
Among other notables in attendance were Buckingham County Administrator Rebecca Carter, U.S. Congressman Robert Hurt and State Senator Frank Ruff. Congressman Hurt saying a few words below to commemorate the occasion.
Other impersonators included Michael Wells as a convincing Patrick Henry, and Charles White, Jr., as William Smothers, a “free man of color” who lived in Buckingham and also fought in the Revolution. Admittedly, I didn’t know much about William Smothers, but enjoyed learning about his story. Michael has been doing Patrick Henry impersonations for 20+ years, and he was really into his character. Here he is rehearsing some of his lines on the porch of Maysville Manor, the newly-renovated Bed & Breakfast in the Square.
They came just for Peter
As part of the event, I signed copies of my book. Peter is well known in this area, so it was no surprise to see a few uber fans in the crowd. Among them was Randall Turner, who brought with him a 6-foot sword just like my own replica of Peter’s, which, of course, I had to test for authenticity! Shoooooooooot!
Bill Walker, who is the webmaster of Lee Wayside Historic Village and also dressed in period RevWar garb, came over just to see Peter and couldn’t wait to get a picture with me.
Peter Francisco and the History of Buckingham County
Peter is likely the most famous person from Buckingham County. When he was about five years old, he was deposited at the wharf at City Point (now Hopewell). Sent to live in a poor house, he was then adopted by Judge Anthony Winston (Patrick Henry’s uncle) and taken to live on Hunting Tower plantation in Buckingham County, where he grew up as a slave. After the war, he returned to Buckingham County, where he resided until ~1825 when he eventually became sergeant-at-arms in the Virginia House of Delegates.