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, November 13, 2008

You Never Know Whom You Might Meet

Yesterday evening I stopped by the Watertown Public Library because I needed to return some books, and I needed a light supper, and that institution offers both opportunities. As I was walking across the parking lot, I spotted a gentleman putting on a scarlet coat over his crimson sash and gorget—the emblems of a British army officer of the eighteenth century. We greeted each other politely, but it took us both a while to recognize that we’d been on the same bill at the Paul Revere House last year.

It turned out the Historical Society of Watertown was meeting in the library that evening. The featured speaker was Michael Lepage, in the person of Gen. Thomas Gage. Through History Relived of Foxboro, Michael offers that and other first-person historic impressions, including Loyalist Judge Peter Oliver—the name under which I’d met him before. So I zipped through my chicken soup in time to enjoy the show.

While there, I also heard reminders of the New England History Festival at Hibernian Hall in Watertown this Saturday, and opening hours at Watertown’s Edmund Fowle House on Sunday.

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