So, last time I was writing about Marblehead, and Tucker’s Wharf, and somehow Sealand got mixed up in it...and, finally, my fantasy having my own little nation appeared as well.
Anyway, as I was standing there, all those years ago, looking at Tucker’s Wharf, I said to myself, “Self, here’s a fun and silly idea. Suppose you got rich and famous....”
Ha, Ha, HA...I answered myself.
“Well, okay,” I responded to me. “Kinda unlikely. But just pretend. You get rich and famous...and you build your own wharf just offshore someplace. With me so far?”
I guess, I admitted.
“Okay, then you offer docking to boats...”
Technically ships, I corrected myself. If they’re ocean-going.
“Whatever. And then the individual ships would be flagged in different countries.”
Fine. What about it?
“Well, then, technically, those boats...ships...would be the sovereign territory of the countries in which they were registered in, right?”
Honestly, I’m not big on maritime law, but I suppose...
“Well, don’t you see? We have the boats flying the flags of nations which...no....longer...exist.”
Oh...I said. By Golly, I added. By Gum, I concluded.
Two images today. The first will require a little imagination applied please. This is supposed to represent a battleship (c. 1870) of the Byzantine Empire (which actually ceased to exist in 1453). The image is actually of the French battleship The Napoleon in 1852, which historians say was “the first purpose-built steam battleship in the world.” [Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_ship_Napol%C3%A9on_(1850)] I then edited in a Byzantine flag and photoshopped the whole mess.
Oh, and I should give credit to the original. This is from the painting by Barthélemy Lauvergne, (1805-1871). It is currently on Wikipedia and credited as follows: “Own work, personal photograph at the Musee de la Marine, Paris., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3009260”
It was an crazy idea, of course. But I’m crazy. And proud of it. So it appealed to me. You see, I’m very big into countries that no longer exist. And I’ve always wanted to be able to bring them back a little bit. Maybe not all the way. But just a tad.
So...I could have ships docked at “my” wharf that would officially be from...wherever I wanted. I can see it now! The grand battleship of the Neo-Byzantine Empire (formerly Eastern Rome). Or, how about the Philistine Republic! And, btw, the Philistines were a lot cooler than the Bible makes ‘em out to be. They really get a bum rap because of that whole David and Goliath thing.
And I’m just getting started. Let’s have a galley from the Fatimid Caliphate. We could always use one or two of those. Or, maybe, Al-Andalus...i.e., Islamic Spain. I always thought Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile screwed up big time with that whole Expulsion of the Moriscos thing...
And then there’s the French Second Empire with Napoleon III...and a whole lot of courtesans. Napoleon III was very much a fan of courtesans...but, okay. Martha would draw the line there. Fine. So how about the Austro-Hungarian Empire? I’m sure we could find a spare Habsburg laying around. I mean, heck, they haven’t been inbreeding to the point of idiocy for decades now. They even look almost normal these days. Maybe not all the way, but you know, good enough for government work.
And we haven’t even gotten into China and Japan and India and the Americas (oh, please, give me a neo-Aztec empire, but without human sacrifice and sh1t. It’s messy. And nasty. And plays hell with your public relations. I mean, try spinning heart-extraction with obsidian knives in the press. Not even Fox News could manage that.)
And here’s one that might even actually happen if Putin keeps losing his war against Ukraine--the Crimean Tartar Khanate! It was the last remnant of the Mongol-Turkic Golden Horde that had its own origin in the conquests of Genghis Khan. It has a fascinating (if tragic) history and the Crimean Tartars still exist, in spite of all the best efforts of Stalin and his NKVD psychopaths to exterminate them.
And, well...on and on and on.
It was about then that Martha saw the glassy look in my eyes and asked, “Are you all right?”
“Never better,” I assured her.
She looked at me doubtfully. “Okay...” she said, finally. She knows me too well.
Anyway, about then, David, Edouard, and Edouard’s mother, Brigitte, came up and said they were ready to go get ice cream. We said Great Idea and the lot of us headed off...
But I took the bright and shiny fantasy of Tucker’s Wharf...and Byzantine Battleships...along with me.
I mean, really, some people go tourist towns and get sea shells and a t-shirt.
Me? I walk away with whole (imaginary) countries.
Now that’s how you do souvenirs up proud.
Second, we have my usual photo of Martha which has nothing to do with the story but which I happen to like. This is of her at the Dahlia Cafe in Liberty Hill, Texas. We just discovered the place and may go back soon.
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If you like what I write or the videos I produce, and feel you could make a small contribution to support my efforts, please go here:
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