#8216;Lee meets Grant#8217; presented at Vesuvius

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 14, 2006

PEDRO — Al Stone and Barry Meadows are quite an unlikely pair, but on stage portraying Generals Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant, they compliment each other nearly perfectly — Stone with his bushy white hair and a rather quiet demeanor and Meadows with his neatly trimmed appearance and more commanding presence.

The duo presented their off-the-cuff presentation “Lee Meets Grant” at Ohio University Southern’s Nature Center Thursday evening. Both men, in their full Civil War attire, each gave presentations about their lives, remaining in character the entire time and using no notes. They also took questions from the audience of about 50 that gathered at the amphitheater.

Before the performance, the OUS Activity Band performed Civil War-era music.

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Hinton, W.Va., resident Stone, said he and his counterpart travel around the country making their presentation. There is no script and they rarely have to run through the show ahead of time.

“It’s not a written play or anything like that,” said Stone, a retired private investigator who owns a Civil War museum and antique shop. “We just get up there and tell about their lives.”

Meadows, of MacArthur, W.Va., said he has always had an interest in history. The former science teacher said his wife calls him a “world of useless facts.” On stage, all of that knowledge comes in handy. Both men say they have to stay on their toes to keep up with their audiences.

“It really is a constant learning process,” Stone said.

“Yes, we have people come up to us all the time and tell us things that we didn’t know (about Lee and Grant) before,” Meadows said.

The two men have been working together for about five years, but each performs individually as well.

Larry Burgess, one of the audience members, said he was impressed with the performance. The Pedro resident said he is not really a history buff, but enjoys coming to the OUS Nature Center.

“I like all of the things that they have out here,” he said. “It’s beautiful and it’s a great place to come out and get together with people.”

His wife, Polly, said she enjoyed the historical presentation.

“I think the Civil War was a fascinating time and these guys (Stone and Meadows) really did a good job,” she said.