There is the instant when it’s still not yet two o’clock on that July afternoon in 1863, the brigades are in position behind the rail fence, the guns are laid and ready in the woods and the furled flags are already loosened to break out…and it’s all in the balance, it hasn’t happened yet, it not only hasn’t begun yet but there is still time…
One summer day in Paris, France, just a year after the Great War, a former French military officer, not yet nineteen years of age was invited by his father to have a chat. Slim, handsome, and gifted, the young man knew it was time for the big talk concerning his future now that peace had returned.
To help him make a good decision, the father told the ex-officer that an uncle of his wanted to pay for his four years at the university. The young man’s father counseled Julian to accept his uncle’s generous educational offer. He was going abroad to The University, a great center of learning located in that distant land of which his beloved late mother had told him and his five sisters so many wondrous tales. Her tales seemed fabulous to this Parisian boy and the distant land his mother spoke of, sometimes in tears, became his favorite fairyland. Now he really was going there! His mother called it “the South.” He was going to attend the University, the only one with the right to an upper case U—Mr. Jefferson’s university, the University of Virginia. For the young Parisian Julian Hartridge Green, taking the journey across the wide ocean to become a student at that famous school was the beginning of a lifelong search to reclaim his heritage as a citizen of that faraway land, the American South.
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