I was born in Boston and grew up 20 minutes north of the historic city in Peabody. My school and summer camp field trips featured a revolutionary cycle of visiting the Boston Tea Party Museum, The Freedom Trail, Bunker Hill, Lexington & Concord, The U.S.S Constitution, Plymouth Rock, The Old Granary Burial Ground, Faneuil Hall, The Old State House, The Old North Church, The Old Meeting House and Boston Commons.
Visiting these sites added such a vivid backdrop to my elementary school history classes. I won’t say I took it all for granted, but it was just impossible to fully appreciate it as a child. I can easily recall the sites and sounds (and smells) of each location. I can even better recall the anecdotes my extremely talented history teachers would tell us about significant Colonial and Revolutionary War events and monuments in and around our Peabody neighborhoods. [In fact the land my house was built on, going a little further back in history to the Salem Witch trials, actually belonged to one of the prosecuted farmers of the trials, Giles Corey.]
Watching HBO Films ‘John Adams’ is blowing me away, refreshing my senses of all I took in as a fortunate child seeing all of these significant landmarks first hand. I can now fully appreciate the fact that on a Monday in 2nd Grade we would learn about the Boston Tea Party, and the very next day take a short field trip to Boston Harbor where the event took place a few hundred years earlier.
HBO is magically bringing so many characters to life in such a seemingly true and honest way; Ben Franklin, George Washington, John Adams, Abigail Adams, Sam Adams (yes, the namesake for the Boston brewery), Thomas Jefferson and John Hancock. These aren’t fictional characters in a book — these are true American Patriots. It’s so cool.
Seeing the spirit and patriotic drive of John Adams is resurrecting more than just valuable memories for me. I have a renewed sense of pride coming from the area of the country that produced the patriotic charge, putting John Adams in place to lead other delegates toward independence. I know the focus of the mini-series will shift more towards the united colonies, but 2 episodes in and Boston has been as equally an important character as anything. And I couldn’t be enjoying that more.
I think about my son growing up not in or around Boston and it just seems so weird. History is always around us, but not as genuine and cherished for me as that found in New England. 7 episodes to go and I am looking forward to seeing it all play out and remembering how great it was to grow up with it all around me.