Monday, August 13, 2007

What kind of town has Gettysburg become?

Ok, so this post is a bit late, but here we go...

Bike Week in Gettysburg. What the heck is that about? Now, before I go too far along, let me make the point that I'm not 'anti-motorcycle', I don't hate 'bikers', etc., etc. I just think that there is a time and a place for everything, and Gettysburg is not the place. Bike week in Gettysburg was five days of pure hell. Let me tell you why...

...It wasn't so much because of the traffic jams from the bikers themselves. It's a tourist town. We've come to expect traffic, and I have gotten pretty good at getting around it. (Closing Steinwehr Ave., Baltimore St., and the Square for the Parade of Chrome is an entirely different story!).

What joys did Bike Week bring to Gettysburg? Thousands of people going out and drinking all day and night, then getting on their bikes and driving. (I also saw a lot of weed being smoked right out in the open. Always a nice touch!) It's all fun and games til someone gets killed!

Wet tee shirt contests, and lots of flashing of breasts. That's what I'd take my kid to a historic battlefield to see. Thought this was a family town? My mistake!

Flagrant violations of almost every traffic law in existence. You can play as much as you want. Just follow the rules! They're in place for a reason.

Extreme and flagrant public profanity. Ok, so a lot of us do swear, but I overheard a lot of cursing when women and very young children were very nearby. Have some respect!

As to the Parade of Chrome itself, I walked up and down part of Steinwehr before it started. What did I see? Open public drinking up and down both sides of the streets. Lots of low-rise jeans with crack and/or 'whale-tale' (the tops of the thongs) sticking out, flashing, and very few bras being worn. The attitude and the atmosphere was definitely not good. Had I been in town with my family, I would have been shocked and outraged. I would have left vowing never to return again. I came to see history, not drunkeness and debauchery! I said something to someone about it, and one of the bikers overheard my comments. He later came into the Mine, and told me to keep my mouth shut and that I should 'learn how to behave'. Here's a thought! Don't come into my backyard and tell me how to behave! That was the attitude of most of the bikers. They'd come into a bar or restaurant and take over, acting like it was their place.

OK, so everyone had fun, and no one got seriously hurt. What's wrong with having a little fun, you may ask? answer...nothing, as long it is appropriate for the setting. Bike Week was not.

Tens of thousands of men fought and died for the cause they believed in on the streets and fields of this whole area. They, and what they did here, are the real reason people should come to Gettysburg. To learn what they did and respect their sacrifice. Not to smoke pot, flash boobs and do burnouts in the streets.

Gettysburg should be a place where you can bring the wife and kids, or whoever, and walk the streets, eat in the restaurants and stomp the fields without having to worry about the kids seeing nudity, drug use, and every other type of thing I saw, and where you should be able to walk the streets without fear of being hit by a drunken biker.

Wake up, folks, because I think once again, our priorities are out of whack here!
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