Three weeks ago, on my visit to Longwood Gardens in the Brandywine Valley, I heard a blast of joyous music at 3 pm. I hurried to the source of the sound, the open-air theater in that onetime du Pont country estate.
The music was “Stars and Stripes Forever,” except that, instead of the spectacular fireworks associated with that Fourth of July perennial, visitors here were treated to an equally dazzling water display.
A little later that afternoon, I learned, from an exhibit at the Peirce-du Pont House on the grounds, why that particular piece of music was so appropriate. The composer of that patriotic march, John Philip Sousa, was a friend of Longwood owner Pierre du Pont, and an occasional visitor to these majestic surroundings.