This amazing future world of the 21st century is obviously quite fond of parades. I discovered this phenomenon last weekend, when I happened upon a centennial celebration in a place called Leominster, MA., which officially became a city a mere 100 years ago. (Compared to other towns I’ve known, like Boston and Philadelphia, Leominster is still a babe compared to its more long-lived cousins).
The parade down Main Street featured marchers, bands, a wide variety of siren-blaring emergency vehicles (it warms my heart to realize that I started the first volunteer fire department in Philadelphia in 1736, only 279 years ago), floats, mariachi musicians, candy-throwers, zumba dancers, clowns, political representatives, bagpipers, beauty contest winners, and my favorite, the colonial soldiers and fife and drum ensembles that looked just like they stepped right out of my own time, the 1700s. (Do you suppose they might be time travelers, too?)
A few of these colonials even favored the crowd with demonstrations of their primitive firepower, stopping the line of march every so often to fire off a round of gunpowder — to show how we did it in the real “good old days.”
One thing about this exhibition that was somewhat true-to-life was the order by the commanding officer to immediately reload upon firing their volley, that is, to refill their weapons as they marched, which is exactly what colonial militia were required to do when they were in the heat of battle. None of these 18th century soldiers had the luxury of relying on large magazine clips of bullets, or these inventions you call “semi-automatic weapons.”
If you’d like a sample of the area’s finest fife and drum performances, as exhibited in this Leominster centennial celebration, be sure to watch the Youtube video montage whose link is contained in this blog article. Just click here to see it.
Happy Birthday, Leominster, MA!
Your humble servant,
Just recently, one of my good friends presented me with a very special gift — a "bobblehead" especially designed to resemble yours truly, marten fur cap, bifocals, and all!
To celebrate the occasion, I had a little "conversation" (nowadays you 21st century people refer to this as an "interview") with my new bobblehead buddy. The subject was the American presidential race.
While my bobblehead doppelganger could not actually say much — he just nodded his head up and down, or left to right — he did have some opinions on the state of presidential politics.
To see what he had to say, you may view the entire interview on Youtube at
Your humble servant,
A great many years have passed (centuries, in fact!) since I first shared this story. Back in 1776 when Tom Jefferson had just submitted to Congress his first draft of the Declaration of Independence, things were not going so well. If I must say so myself, it was a superb, exceptional, and incredibly astute document, written with the pen of a master. And Tom Jefferson certainly thought so, as well....until it got into the hands of the Continental Congress.
This masterpiece of history did not immediately win approval from the delegates. Many of them felt they had to make corrections, alterations, improvements, and deletions to the Declaration before they felt satisfied enough to submit it to a vote.
As I sat with Tom Jefferson, hearing all of the suggestions and objections being tossed around, I could see that he was getting more and more upset. "They're mutilating it!" he muttered.
Being one who was rather gifted at both mediation and consolation (in all modesty!), I promptly decided to take Tom aside to try to cheer him up. To do so, I told him my story of the Hatmaker's Sign.
For those of you in this advanced 21st century who may not be familiar with this 300-year-old tale, I have created a retelling of the message on this new thing you call "Youtube." To view the video on your own picture device (computer, smartie phone, whatever), simply click on this link:
Hope you enjoy my little story!
Your humble servant,
Writer, diplomat, scientist, philanthropist, printer, inventor, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America...and a time traveler, too!