J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Thursday, May 18, 2006

William Diamond Jrs step out

Early this month I attended the Lexington Fife & Drum Muster at the Museum of Our National Heritage, hosted by the William Diamond Junior Fife & Drum Corps and (let's be honest here) their hard-working adult helpers.

It was a fun event, and not just because I got to drag along a friend from New York City to show her some old-fashioned New England culture—that culture being to pretend we're even more old-fashioned than we already are.

I first saw the William Diamond Juniors three years ago at the Sudbury Muster, when I took this photo. As you can see, they were still working hard on keeping in step as they marched. This year at Lexington, in contrast, they unveiled a rather fancy formation with lines of musicians weaving in and out. I also admired the bass drum soloes.

And as long as I'm being honest, both at Sudbury and last week, the young kids performed with much more poise than I could have at their age.

Their next gig: with the Fyfes & Drumms of Olde Saratoga. (Hey, I don't spell 'em; I just report 'em.)

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