his march; here had brave ladsrnfrom the Land of Flowers and all thernstates inter’ening bivouacked for arnlong, long night, from whose slumbersrnno bugle might wake them.rnThe events in Tazwell in the year 2000rncould not match those in the fallen Confederaterncapital in 1866. That ceremonyrninvolved the whole community, whichrnhad yet to recover from the devastation ofrnwar. There were living Confederate veteransrnand occupying federal soldiers participatingrnand observing. Irish Cemeter}’rninters no one as celebrated as Jeb Stuartrnor any of the other Confederate generalsrnwho, in later years, would be buried atrnHoll)’wood. Nor did Irish Cemeter’ hostrnthousands of mourners on this Saturdayrnmorning. Presumably, the great majorit}’rnof people munching on Egg McMuffinsrnat McDonald’s or biscuits and gravy atrnthe nearby Hardees, both just a stone’srnthrow away from the cemetery, had nornclue what was occurring there.rnThe ceremony was scheduled forrn11:00 A.M., rain or shine. I arrived shortlyrnafter ten, and there were already severalrndozen people on hand, including arnragtag but well-fed squad of Confederaternreenactors who would form an honorrnLIBERAL ARTSrnROMEO, THE GAY BLADErn”Imagine four prep school boysrnin white shirts and black tiesrnreciting ‘Romeo and Juliet’ likernadolescents reading Playboy.rnThis is the premise for ‘Shakespeare’srnR&/,’ a subversive andrnsexy adaptation by Joe Calarco.rn”Calarco’s novel interpretationrnof Shakespeare’s classicrntragedy depicts four repressedrnprep school boys. The boysrngather secretly one evening tornact out all the parts in ‘Romeornand Juliet.’ What they discoverrnis their own vulnerability to thernthemes of forbidden love, prejudice,rnhomophobia, and the universalrnfear of first love. Calarco’srnimaginative directing highlightsrnnot only the homoerotic aspectsrnof the work, but the universallyrndangerous and romantic elementsrnof the play.”rn—from a Chicago ShakespearernTheater press releasernguard and march up to the monument tornbegin the ceremony, some black-veiledrnladies, and the Men From Dixie singingrngroup (also in gra’ uniforms). Aside fromrnthose in costume, the crowd looked normal.rnA few were dressed up, but mostrnwere casual and as comfortable as theyrncould make themselves in the early Junernheat and humidib.’.rnMembers of a Boy Scout troop milledrnabout, passing out programs and tinyrnConfederate Batdc Flags and direchngrntraffic. I went on a brief walking tour ofrnthe cemetery in search of relatives (Irnfound none) and marked Confederaterngraves. Wliile I was examining the tombstonernof Shadrack Prcssnell of CompanyrnD, 3rd Corps of Engineers, CSA, one ofrnhis descendants told me that the gravernhad just been discovered b’ another familyrnmember, and a Confederate markerrnonly recently placed there below therntombstone. Just below his grave was onernfor William D. Thomas of I Company,rnVirginia Cavaln.’. His Confederate markerrnappeared to be decades old. For thernceremony, the SCV cleaned and decoratedrndie graves of veterans of both thernUnited States and the ConfederaternStates.rnAfter my tour, one of the Boy Scoutrnleaders introduced me to Randall LeernBailey, who has visited the monumentrnsince his boyhood and spearheaded itsrnrestoration. While I stood beside hisrntruck, an elderly gendcman sitting in thernpassenger seat eyed me suspiciously andrnasked, “Who you with?” I told him that Irnwas unaffiliated (not my exact words). Irnthen recjucsted a media kit and said that Irnplanned to write an article about thernevent. Again, the passenger interjected,rn”Who for?” I briefly described Chronicles,rnwhich the}’ had not heard of, and itsrneditor’s affiliation with the League of thernSouth, which they had.rnThe ceremony began promptly atrn11:00 with a procession of the honorrnguard followed b}’ a presentation and explanationrnof Confederate flags—the BonniernBlue Flag, the First National Flagrn(Stars and Bars), Second National (StainlessrnBanner), and the Third National,rnalong with various Saint Andrev-‘s Crossrnbattle flags, including a blue one with arnwhite cross —the Battie Flag of die Departmentrnof East Tennessee.rnThe keynote speaker was LowellrnLynch, a retired teacher from Tazwell.rnI A’ueh promised not to go on for too long,rntelling his former students in the audiencernthat he only talked about historv’ forrnan hour at a time when he was paid to dornso. Nonetheless, his ability to talk outpacedrnmy desire to listen, so I cut class inrnorder to seek refreshment and check outrnthe cars for interesting bumper stickersrnand license plates. I saw nothing racist orrninflammator}’, so I presumed that therernwere no FBI or Southern Poverh- LawrnCenter spies on hand. When I returned.rnLynch was reflecting on the NAACP’srncampaign against the Confederate BattlernFlag, which once flew above the SouthrnCarolina Capitol. He attributed the organization’srncampaign to its desire to remainrnrelevant after having achieved mostrnof its goals and repeatedly being mired inrnscandal.rnOther highlights of the rededicationrnservice included the Men From Dixiernperforming the hymn “Uncloudy Day”rnand, of course, “Dixie.” If the crowdrnfailed to sing loudly enough that our voicesrncould be heard in the nearby homesrn(as tire group’s leader had exhorted us torndo), the Confederate Honor Guardrnmade up for it later with their rifle salute.rnThe volleys surely caused a couple of thernneighbors to spill coffee on the Saturdayrnpaper.rnThe commanders of the two campsrnrecognized a handful of visiting dignitariesrnand read congratulations andrnproclamations sent by such luminaries asrnGov. Don Simdquist and Sen. FredrnThompson. At the end of the service, attendeesrnwere encouraged to place wildflowersrnat the approximate site of thernConfederate graves, some feet behindrnthe monument, and several people did.rnFor about 90 minutes, I was transportedrndecades back in time. Except for thernobvious reminders of modernih’—camcorders,rncasual clothing — this eventrnwould have been more at home in thernyear 1900 than in Y2K. But all goodrnanachronisms must come to an end, especiallyrnwhen it is so hot outside. I foundrnMr. Bailey, the man who saw to the monument’srnrestoration, and gave him therncopy of Chronicles that I had promisedrnhim. After exchanging a bit of familyrnbackgroimd with the gentieman who hadrnearlier interrogated me — he surmisedrnthat we were probably about 300thrncousins—I decided to return to the modernrnworld. 1 climbed in my truck andrnquickly turned on the air conditioning.rnDriving past the Golden Arches, I knew Irnhad arrived.rnClark Stooksbury writes from Knoxville,rnTennessee.rn44/CHRONICLESrnrnrn