Walking the Mayflower

An Essay By j. Glen pollard // 11/18/2013

This August, my family and I went to Boston, Massachusetts for exactly four days. We left on Sunday afternoon and got back Wednesday afternoon. It took us a day and a half to get to Boston and when I beheld the Old City, it was full of wonder and delight.

As I rubbed my sleepy eyes from deep slumber, I saw the ocean water lapping lazily against the harbor docks. Tourist boats skidded across the water’s edge and people waved up at the bridge. I thought about waving back. Nah, I told myself, better not. It’d be weird.

After about an hour of trying to find a parking spot, we finally got out of the SUV and felt the historical ground of Boston. It felt exhilarating to know that the most important men in history once walked these streets not but three hundred years ago: George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John Hamilton and many, many others! (I really enjoy History so just try and imagine how excited I must have been… more than most of my family!)

Anyway, we started our day by walking around, seeing the buildings and sites on a trolley. Our guide was nice, he just didn’t talk loud enough (poor old guy.) We wanted to go see Paul Revere’s house, but my Dad suggested that we stay on. I’m glad I did or else I probably wouldn’t have seen all that I saw.

As we learned about the Boston Harbor and sighted where the Boston Tea party happened and visited the grave of Samuel Adams and walked up and down the narrow and slanted streets of Boston, I kept wondering what the people from the past were thinking.

I can picture it now:

Benjamin Franklin and John Adams, walking side by side down the cobble stoned streets of Boston, their canes in hand. Their powdered wigs drooping off their shoulders like an Irish boy’s hair. The two would be speaking about politics and wondering when the South will ever be civilized as the North. Then they would walk into a tavern and speak of slavery and England of how great America will be one day. If only they knew how much work it would be.

After viewing Paul Revere’s house and purchasing a copy of Johnny Tremain, my family decided to visit the Plimoth Plantations Outdoor Museum the next day. We were told on the weather forecast it was going to rain, but we decided to go anyway.

It didn’t rain hard, only drizzled here and there, making our path in the Museum’s woods very muddy.

Anyhow, the Museum was amazing! The first part was an Indian village, deep in the depths of the woods, with huts, canoes, teepees and even actors with Native American ancestry; from the little girl making a doll, to the elder sharing healing remedies. What was also interesting was that even though they didn’t speak with a thick accent, they did answer any question you may have. I learned masses of information from listening to the Wise Woman in her hut about how the Indians used to hunt, feed and take care of the wild animals, which religion they accepted and how they acted in their villages. It was a lot of fun.

But the best part was the Plimoth Plantation Village! There, we met hundreds of actors with thick, authentic English accents, telling us about their lives and children and answering question about where to use the bathroom (a little too much answering!) We got to learn why they built their Meeting Hall, what kinds of food did they make from the wives themselves and why they wore the head-veiling (my Dad had a good laugh out of that one.)

Finally, we drove several miles and walked upon an exact replica of the Mayflower. It was interesting to feel the Atlantic waves, splashing upon the ship’s side and going into the Captain’s cabin to hear him ramble on with his adventures to the Indies and Africa. He even said that, “if I were a good seafaring lad,” I could work for “ ‘em.”

Afterwards, we took several pictures, said good-bye to the ship’s crew and then drove to the house of the famous author, Kathryn Lasky, author of the Guardians of Ga’Hoole and the Wolves of the Beyond. I quickly took a picture in front of the house and quickly retreated back to the SUV. Then we went back to our hotel.

The next day, on our way back home, I was sitting in my snug seat, reading Johnny Tremain, and thinking about when I become an author, would I also retreat back to the old city of Boston?

Comments

This is the first essay that

This is the first essay that you've written that proved to me that you CAN write essays - well! Keep it up, Joziah. I had thought you only wrote fiction. This style of writing mirrors mine though...which is really weird, I can imagine myself writing this in the past.

I did not know you went to Massachusetts in August. That is so cool. I thought you already read Johnny Tremain? Great book, right?

The only things I would say is you spelled Plimouth wrong. It's Plymouth. Also, when you have that paragraph starting with Anyhow, I think you shouldn't use that. It makes the paragraph seem unimportant or like you had been wandering off the topic. Know what I mean? Use words like "but" instead of 'anyways'.

Also - What was also interesting was that even though they didn’t speak with a thick accent, they did answer any question you may have. - that didn't make sense. I don't understand - do you mean they DID have a thick accent? And I may be nit-picky, but the ending was strange, random. You didn't say anything about you being an author and why that might be a reason why you liked the place, and then you ended on a question with that note?

I really liked the descriptions. They were impressive, because you don't do much of them.

And I am very curious. Why did they wear head-veilings?? I can just hear your dad's laugh.

Lucy Anne | Wed, 11/20/2013

"It is not the length of life, but the depth of life." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Actually, the "Plymoth" in

Actually, the "Plymoth" in "Plimoth Plantations" are spelled with an i because that's the old English spelling. Check it out for sure. Here's the website:http://www.plimoth.org/.

Yep, I've read Johnny Tremain before but hey, this is Paul Revere's HOUSE!

And the lady (or girl cause she said she was seventeen) said (in English accent):

"Because, even though we aren't in England anymore, we still must obey the King and His laws.."

Pretty funny, huh?

Also, THANKS! I never knew I could write essays so good!

j. Glen pollard | Thu, 11/21/2013

"The trip is a difficult one. I will not be myself when I reach you."-When I Reach Me.

That sure is funny.

What in the world...the covering was an English law?? Really? Or did she make it up?

Lucy Anne | Thu, 11/21/2013

"It is not the length of life, but the depth of life." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Loved this!

I really love anything to do with that era in American history. Johnny Tremain is a good book, I enjoyed it. You went to Paul Revere's house?? That's awesome! I wish I could have gone on your trip.

"Benjamin Franklin and John Adams, walking side by side down the cobble stoned streets of Boston, their canes in hand. Their powdered wigs drooping off their shoulders like an Irish boy’s hair. The two would be speaking about politics and wondering when the South will ever be civilized as the North. Then they would walk into a tavern and speak of slavery and England of how great America will be one day. If only they knew how much work it would be."

Loved that whole thing! And the way you ended this off: "The next day, on our way back home, I was sitting in my snug seat, reading Johnny Tremain, and thinking about when I become an author, would I also retreat back to the old city of Boston?"

Nice job! Definitely keep this up.

Maddi | Fri, 11/22/2013

Goodbye? Oh no, please. Can’t we just go back to page one and start all over again?” – Winnie The Pooh

Maddi:

If you like history, especially in the Revolutionary era, read John Adams by David McCullough. I am reading it right now, and it is very in depth.

And Johnny Tremain is amazing. I am always wowed by the structure, story, and writing. She is a very good author - Esther Forbes.

Lucy Anne | Fri, 11/22/2013

"It is not the length of life, but the depth of life." Ralph Waldo Emerson

2 Maddi

Thank you very much! I'm really thankful for your encouragement.

j. Glen pollard | Fri, 11/22/2013

"The trip is a difficult one. I will not be myself when I reach you."-When I Reach Me.

Joziah, one of our friends

Joziah, one of our friends says, "Oh, and that essay Joziah wrote on Plymouth Plantation was interesting. I liked it!" I will tell you who it is when I see you.

Lucy Anne | Fri, 11/22/2013

"It is not the length of life, but the depth of life." Ralph Waldo Emerson