I snapped the photo of the zinnia above while an adventure with Sara in Concord, Mass. last year. We had a nearly perfect, even ‘transcendent,’ day as we adventured all ’round the historical sites. Well, I’ve made my plans and I’m going back again in two weeks(!)*
But let me tell you a story before I spend a few moments reveling in the magic that will be my cross-country trip…
One of the joys of being a History PhD student is that I am now spending many of my days thumbing through the aged papers of fascinating people from long ago. My latest research subject is a woman who lived in Andover, MA in the 1860s-1880s. Today, as I read through her journals, I came across this entry (and can I just add that everyone around me in the rather stuffy reading room at the Huntington Library undoubtedly thought I was having far too much fun when I was grinning ear-to-ear as I happened upon this entry):
3 July 1875
“The day was lovely and Miss Carter and I took our long-talked-of trip to Concord. We were favored in finding a barge starting from the Concord station directed by a Mrs. Brooks, who had guided people about C. for a long time. We went to the library saw fine busts of Miss Alcott and Hawthorne, then drove out to points of historic and literary interest. We saw the spot where a peaceful purchase secured the site of the town from the Indians in 1636, the bullet-stricken houses and the battle-field, and the wonderful minute-men, with one hand on the plough and the other grasping a gun a perfectly life-like figure. We clambered about the hill back of Hawthorne’s and Alcott’s houses; there seemed just space cut out of the old woods for a comfortable breathing for two houses, and paths under the deep shade. We could only go into the Hawthorne where we climbed to his high study and stood at his standing desk: we climbed through the woods to his look-out but found the ladder so out of repair that we could not go up the tree. We saw the Old Manse and Emerson’s house, but could not go to them. I was much impressed by a street of houses over 200 years old: the thrifty farmers had kept them all along in such good repair that they did not look old. We were left to pass some extra hours in Sleepy Hollow we ate lunch. The rose-quartz on Emerson’s grave and the graves of Hawthorne and the Alcotts’ we reverently saw and the restfulness of the scene was a refreshment to us. We reached home about 7 after a successful day.”
BTW, I definitely want to meet you Bostonian blogfolk while I’m in town. Do drop me a line (phddillyATyahooDOTcom) if you’re game. Also, can anyone suggest a groovy cafe near a T stop for a meetup?
*The woman whose papers I am studying, when she’s being sarcastic, she adds an exclamation point in parentheses at the end of her sentences. Unbelievable. I thought only weirdo bloggers(!) like me did that.