Wanted! Williamsburg Lunatick Reenactors!

All sorts of historical reenactors are strolling the cobbled streets of Williamsburg, Virginia, and playing personages of importance to the founding of this great nation. Free negroes (this is before they were black), and slaves even, are getting to have their say, but one voice is still distinctly silent and noticeably absent from ye antique scene. Williamsburg was also the site of this nation’s, then colonies’, first public lunatic asylum (state mental hospital).The old state hospital building is in fact one of the featured buildings at the end of the historical section of town.

Some talented historically minded thesbian might think about playing the original asylum supervisor, too. The hospital in fact was run by members of the Galt family until the time of the American civil war, and his face would have been a familiar one about town. He’d have his perspective, of course, but what I’d really like to see are a few ‘lunatics’ strolling the grounds, and giving tourists and townspeople their mad world view such as it must have been back in the 1700s.

At one time the asylum itself was the life’s blood of the town, and I think it only fitting and fair that such fine wastrels of humanity as those who resided therein should also receive their, albeit long suppressed and delayed, due.

Further, perhaps, we could get back to the business of deinstitutionalizing our nation’s mental hospitals that had been progressing rather well until quite late. I think it would be terrific if every state hospital in the country were completely demolished, and, no, not rebuilt anew with state of the art torture devices, but rather consigned to the archaic place on the junk heap of antiquity to which it belongs. When these reenactors are an example of what was, no longer what is, then I, for one, will feel a whole lot better.

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