The long pause Wednesday

Warm today, and cloudy. I watched it all slide away. When I was prepared to go for a bike ride I stepped outside and was impressed by the humidity and that, Nahhh. Could I have made a better use of the time? Sure. Do I feel ambivalent about that? Probably — whatever.

At any rate, I had to return to the closet project. Yesterday I resized six clothes hangar bars. Today I had to resize four more of them again.

That’s what happens when you eyeball things, comfortable with the knowledge that, these things are so adjustable precision doesn’t matter and, they are going to be in a closet, so perfection doesn’t matter and, they’re going to be in the guest bedroom closet, so this will only come to mind a few times per year. So I eyeballed it all yesterday, and I ended up doing a bit more of it again today.

I did not refine my technique. Happily, I did not have to purchase any new equipment. And now the custom-sized closet system is completed.

And, somehow, it may yield us a bit more room for stuff and things.

And, after dinner, it started raining. After a time it started raining hard. And now it is raining so hard it just sounds different.

I’d never heard water roar down a drainage pipe, and now that’s happening just outside the window next to where I am typing. It is, to be sure, a sensation.

It’s time once more for We Learn Wednesdays, where we discover the county‚Äôs historical markers via bike rides. This is the 37th installment, and the 67rd and 68th markers in the We Learn Wednesdays series. These are grouped together because they’re directly related anyway as we continue our exploration of Fort Mott.

In the last few weeks we checked out the old gun batteries and had a quick look at the observation towers that helped them in their work of defending the river and Philadelphia, beyond. Most recently, we took a quick glimpse at the parados and the moat that served as the fort’s rearguard. Last time we saw the signs for the generator, plotting and switchboard rooms at. (The signs are good, the rooms were empty.)

As a park, Fort Mott has a map on a sign that will orient you to the space.

The river is on the left side of this drawing. You can see the pier jutting out into the water. (That’ll figure into this in just a moment.) Just above that you’ll see the long row of gun placements. You can see the moat, in blue, behind them.

Today, though, we’re in front of the moat, in one of the most dangerous spots at the fort, the battery commander’s station.

Back then, all of the work of fighting invaders would have started here. The people in this bunker would visually ID and chart the progress of enemy vessels. They’d relay the information they collected, by a simple phone line, to the plotting room. There, soldiers following mathematical formulas created firing solutions that would allow the defenders to put 870-pound rounds downrange, six per minute.

This is in fact a former gun position. One of the batteries, Krayenbuhl, was outmoded as technology improved, and so this went in at the same physical space.

If bad guys ever sailed up the river — looking for Philadelphia beyond — and they were fired upon by Fort Mott, they’d want to target all the observation points in kind. And the guys sitting in here, would be the target.

Remember that pier, in the map above? You can see it through that narrow slat in the command bunker.

Fort Mott became a state park in 1951, but it was a self-contained military installation in its day. They had a small hospital, a PX, a library, school and more. It closed in 1922, when another, more modern, installation opened downstream. But we aren’t done with it yet. There’s still a bit more for us to explore on We Learn Wednesdays. Until then, you can catch up on all of the older posts, right here.

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