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Where I’ve been

As a Western-hyphen-American (bitterly clinging to the Pacific coast as I do), I never thought I’d see this storied place. But here I stood.

At first as I approached along the path I thought I’d cry for the wonder of being here where it all began.

Just as quickly I realized I might cry for the sorrow of being here in the days of its ending.

(We came to the statue under a blazing noonday sun. No angle allowed a good photograph until I surrendered to the understanding that I could get only a silhouette — and got this grand one.)

“By the rude bridge that arched the flood …”

This is actually the fifth rebuild of the Old North Bridge, but no less moving for that.

This inscription is on an 1836 obelisk erected where the British forces stood, directly across the Old North Bridge from the Minuteman statue, where the Americans faced off against their invaders. They don’t make politically incorrect inscriptions like that one any more.

And on a different geographically and culturally related subject …

Two weeks ago I had no idea that such a thing as a lobster roll existed. Now I must become a partisan in the Lobster-Roll Wars (between Maine-style (cold, with mayonnaise) and Connecticut-style (hot, with butter). Once having declared loyalty to my side, I must then choose between the “lots of other stuff” faction (lettuce, avocado slices, more celery) and the “I paid for lobster, just give me lobster” faction.

The rivalry may not be as hostile as between the Judean Peoples Front and the Peoples Front of Judea, but it’s close.


  1. Comrade X
    Comrade X June 29, 2021 3:06 pm

    I’s be very very jealous!!!!!

    When farmers give up their plows for rifles, tyranny better watch out!!!

    And I never met a lobster I didn’t like!

  2. Granny
    Granny June 29, 2021 4:08 pm

    I’m with ComradeX. I never met a lobster I didn’t like!
    How wonderful to travel and see such things! See them now before the Commies strike them all down. I’m a Pacific North-West girl too, but I have moved East and am out near the Appalachia mountains, home of my ancestors who arrived in the 1700’s. It’s incredibly green out here and the concept of a rifle behind every blade of grass seems possible now that I see the place. The grass and trees just grow and grow – nothing but green for miles and miles.

  3. Toirdhealbheach Beucail
    Toirdhealbheach Beucail June 29, 2021 4:27 pm

    What wonderful pictures Claire, and a wonderful adventure. Thank you for sharing!

    (I, too, was only recently made aware of the existence of Lobster Rolls. I have not had one, but will do so even more eagerly now. I suspect the competition is as it is with Clam Chowders, the New England and the Boston (New England, of course, is superior…).

  4. khperkins
    khperkins June 29, 2021 4:34 pm

    Maine lobster rolls all the way! They should be shot for putting celery and (probably) onions in that lobster roll though.

  5. brew
    brew June 29, 2021 5:33 pm

    Awesome…. Hallowed ground for sure…

  6. Simon Templar
    Simon Templar June 29, 2021 6:03 pm

    Another vote for All Lobster = Wonderful! Even the no-claw Spiny Lobsters, and the little freshwater lobster-like critters known as crawdads (among many other names). While they look similar, I don’t think any of those are actually very closely related, except in the flavor department. IMHO the New England cold water variety with claws tops the list.

    “Just as quickly I realized I might cry for the sorrow of being here in the days of its ending.”

    I often get that feeling just sitting at home reading news 🙁

  7. Bill T
    Bill T June 29, 2021 6:31 pm

    I had the opportunity to do this back in 1987, Uncle Sam sent me to a factory school in Framingham for 8 weeks. Every weekend 3 or 4 of us would head out early and get back late. From Boston Harbor to Concord and everything in between. I fell very fortunate to have been able see all of it before this modern reinterpretation we are living through presently.

    And we too, ate a lot of food and had more than one adult beverage along the way.

  8. larryarnold
    larryarnold June 29, 2021 8:06 pm

    My “tour of duty” in the Northeast was a decade earlier, 1977, stationed by the VA, in Lebanon Pennsylvania. We traveled around, seeing history, but I didn’t appreciate it the way I do now.

    George III knew his fabled Redcoats and ships of the line would easily disperse the colonials in the hinterlands. Then there was Emperor Shōwa, isolated in his palace, Kōkyo, who’s followers convinced him if he could just get rid of the Pacific Fleet the Pacific would be his for the taking. Now, once again, we have another mad and isolated king, whose followers sneer at the clingers in flyover country.

    Yes, those were different times, and definitely different people. But we shall see what we shall see.

    Sunday I’ll be in our local park with my family, eating hot dogs and listening to patriotic Americana (Robert Earl King) played louder than my old ears would like, waiting for the fireworks show sponsored by local MiniMarts. Lots of tall grass around these parts, as well.

  9. John Wilder
    John Wilder June 29, 2021 8:42 pm

    Good pictures. Really, great pictures.

    But now I’m hungry.

  10. Ron Johnson
    Ron Johnson June 30, 2021 12:40 am

    Jealous. My wife and I were scheduled to make a tour of the east coast and visit all of the great historic sites in 2020, and Lexington and Concord was one of them, but…well… you know what happened.

    With the new hysteria over the ‘variants’ sweeping the nation, I’m not optimistic that we’ll be going anywhere soon, except maybe Florida or Texas.

    BTW: spent a week in Maine a couple decades ago. After a full day of plane and car travel, the first thing we ate when we finally arrived in Castine was a lobster roll at an outdoor bistro. I’m not a foodie…I barely remember what I eat from one meal to the next…but I can still taste that fresh-from-the-sea lobster. Double jealous.

  11. Jolly
    Jolly June 30, 2021 7:01 am

    If you’re still here – I’m in New Hampshire and we can meet in Mass, VT, NH, or Maine if you want. I’ll treat to more food! Seriously!

  12. Bob
    Bob June 30, 2021 10:09 am

    Grew up a little North of there in the 50’s. Much different then. Nearly everyone along the coast was involved with fishing. Much different now – mostly tourists, and tour boats. Glad to hear the lobster is still good, but much more expensive. Went back a few years ago. Truly, you can’t go home again.

  13. Cube64
    Cube64 July 1, 2021 7:33 am

    Jolly, I was in NH last week too, and would have gladly driven several states for the chance to have a meal with Claire.

  14. Just Waiting
    Just Waiting July 1, 2021 3:42 pm

    For pure lobster enjoyment, you have to go Connecticut style. All that other crap just hides the flavor.

  15. Claire
    Claire July 2, 2021 4:34 am

    I am very touched by the invitations and wish I’d taken more forethought before boarding the plane from the PNW. Unfortunately, I’m not in New England now. So … raincheck?

  16. R R Schoettker
    R R Schoettker July 2, 2021 9:35 am

    Wow, a statue of a white man with a gun in his hand; it can’t be too long before that one is ‘cancelled’ and removed. Glad you got a chance to see it before it is gone.

  17. LibertyNews
    LibertyNews July 12, 2021 6:02 am

    Next time you’re out in Long Beach stop by Capt. Bob’s Chowder (right next to Marsh’s Free Museum) and try their crab roll!

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