Monday, April 20, 2009

Patriots' Day Weekend




We spent the weekend in the Boston area, mostly Lexington and Concord celebrating Patriots' Day by watching a series of reenactments of the first 24 hours of the Revolutionary War. It's amazing how many times you can hear Yankee Doodle Dandy on the fife and drum without getting sick of it. Really, I was shocked.

We were also able to to catch up with Dave Seeley and Rick and Sheila Berry for an evening. Any visit to Rick's studio is always a mind blower -- always a new body of work exploring new and great ideas.

We stole Sheila Berry for a day. Born in Arlington on the fourth of July, the love and enthusiasm for what, to her, is local history was infectious and redoubled our energy. We ended up in Boston proper and, without planning to, happened into Paul Revere and William Dawes trotting around town....Suddenly we were racing off to outpace Revere from the North Church to Concord, a ride that has been reenacted since 1904.

If occasionally a little hokey, these reenactments are always heartfelt and often poignant. None more so than the reenactment of the Battle at Lexington Green. Hundreds of people gathered on the green hours before dawn, despite the bitter cold. Luckily we were able to score press passes and got a front row seat. Just as the sun barely started to cut through the historically inaccurate fog, the British regulars marched into the square and giddy anticipation turned quiet and somber. Within twenty minutes eight men representing our first fallen veterans were laying on the grounds while the regulars regrouped and marched off to the beat of drummers. As the announcer called the names of the fallen minutemen, their proxies stood and were escorted to the burial grounds for a moving memorial ceremony.

5 comments:

ces said...

The summer I was 14 I spent time in Massachusetts touring all of the historical sights there - naturally, Boston, Lexington, & Concord were included. I revisited Lexington & Concord 10 years later & again 8 years later. Lovely towns! Full of history, as is Boston.

Cory said...

I love history, especially early American history. When I was 12 my class when on a trip to Williamsburg, most everyone was interested in getting in trouble (and trying to smoke the long pipes they bought in the gift shop in our hotel rooms) but I just loved it. I'd love to go back or see some re-enactment like this.

Eric Braddock said...

Wow.. these shots are so good! You DO realize you basically photographed pictures that are completely reminiscent of Howard Pyle works, yes? Like this one..

http://tinyurl.com/d8tfnb

His B&W pieces were some of my favorites too though. Either way, you must be having an awesome time down there for Patriots' Day weekend. Great pictures, that one of the boy running to the house is probably my favorite, the motion and the lighting is so good.

Jeff A. Menges said...

Irene-
Those are some solid shots, great series—smelling the gunpowder and the old barn wood. Thanks so much for putting them up for us all to see. If you can get a press pass, hell, use it.

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