Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Pirates and Pilgrims

We're leaving for Boston today for Justin's brother's wedding. (Congratulations to Jamie and Sondra!)

The wedding is in Plymouth, home of the famous rock. We'll get to see that and the Plymouth Plantation, where you see how Pilgrims lived.

People in Boston grew up going on field trips there and to Salem and to where Paul Revere made his famous ride, places we in the Midwest only read about. I'm excited to see it.

In high school, I learned about the Puritans for a semester at least in American History. But I was too busy feeling sorry for myself over my ongoing acne problem to pay much attention.

All Justin can say is, "You don't want to be a Puritan." It was all work and rules.


My ancestor William Elder Brewster was a puritan. He came to this country on the Mayflower. One of my female ancestors was named Submit. Isn't that a darling name?

Carrying on W.E.'s tradition, my great uncle R.R. was a Congregationalist and a Prohibitionist in Missouri. He ran for U.S. Senate. His campaign came to a screeching halt when a reporter caught him drinking a beverage on a train. An adult beverage. So what people believe in and what they do are not the same thing.

The Puritans get a bad rap, though. And for what? So they fined the women who cut their hair too short and burned "witches" at the stake based on hearsay evidence and hypocritically forced Hector Prynn to wear an "A" on her shirt and...okay maybe they deserve the bad rap.

Still, I can't wait to see the Plymouth Plantation and the other sights in Plymouth, not to mention the wedding. We are even going on a pirate ship.

Oh, yes, pirates haunted the coast of colonial America, the boys and I read in the encyclopedia yesterday. And we are going on a real pirate ship on Friday (I mean, the ship is real), searching for treasure. To prepare, Johnny packed a plastic sandbox strainer (to pan for gold,) a map of the world oil situation from National Geographic and the "b" junior encyclopedia britanica, which theoretically has an entry on "buried treasure." I told him the encyclopedia had to stay home, so he had me take notes and pack those instead.

He wished on a star two nights ago that he would find pirate treasure. Today, he found a piece of cardboard with writing on it. It said, "Seek and you shall find, in Boston, treasure old as time." That or else "72nd Terrace Wall." It was hard to make out.

Richie wanted to bring a wooden sword, but I could just picture him attacking the "pirates" on board with it and us getting sent back to shore on a lifeboat. So that has to stay at home. But his Nana has a special pirate outfit for him to wear.

We learned that pirates had their own strict code. No gambling on board, for instance. If they broke a big rule, by, say, stealing, they got marooned on a deserted island with only a jug of water.

So you see, pirates and puritans had a lot in common. Rules and...I guess that's it.

I'll tell you about the trip when we get back!


Anonymous mary said...

Hope the boys get a fun history
lesson. Have fun!

9:48 AM  
Anonymous Mom said...

Hope you have a ball and find lots of buried treasure. Congrats to Jamie - take lots of pics. William Elder Brewster was said to be a man of the cloth and also a ner do well and a thief! Maybe today, he would be a TV Evangelist!!!

11:30 AM  

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