Friday, April 19, 2013

Why Handmade: Why Boston?

by Lynn Mohney of Prunella's Workshop

My artistic muse has been feeling rather quiet this week. Believe me, I have tried very hard to find that voice that tells me what to create, whether it be with metal or with words, but the silence has been deafening. This blog column focuses on our being a group of artists and craftspeople, and why we do what we do, but today it seems more important that we are Boston Handmade.

On April 18, 1775, men such as Samuel Prescott, William Dawes, and Paul Revere, were dispatched to warn that the British were on their way to Concord, MA, to capture both our military stores and Samuel Adams and John Hancock. Every good student in Massachusetts recalls Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem in which he wrote “one if by land, and two if by sea,” describing the lanterns to be hung in the Old North Church in Boston, signifying just how the British would arrive, starting the Revolutionary War that led the United States to a country of freedom. On April 14, 2013, men dressed as these men started out on horseback to make the ride again, lanterns were hung and the battle was re-enacted the following day, as it has been every year that I can remember. Boston is at the very heart of the beginning of how we came to be the country we are today.  Indeed, many of the founding forefathers, were right here, deciding it was time to fight for their freedom.

Photo Courtesy of Minute Man National Historical Park
However, Boston is more than just that to me. It is my home. I have never lived directly in Boston, but it is a place I hold dear. I have memories of going in for the day with my mom, two of her close friends, and their daughters who were the same age as me. We went for a ride on the swan boats, and then headed to the Frog Pond where Meredith ended up soaked to the skin. We had ice cream. I remember yearly trips to Faneuil Hall to go Christmas shopping, my very best friend at my side. There were the awful (yes I said awful!) school field trips to the Museum of Fine Arts when I was just too young to understand the importance of what I was seeing. 

I have taken my son to Boston to share similar experiences. We like to go alone for a mother/son day. I am sure I will do so with my daughter when she is older. My husband is from “away” so we leave him home. Last year we went before the Frog Pond had opened for the season, though it was scorching dangerously hot. My son had me take him through the old cemetery where we could see the graves of so many of the patriots, and I told him some of the history as I had learned it, making him a Bostonian too.

Last year my son went to the Boston Marathon to see his uncle, my brother, run. He stood with my parents at the end, cheering him on. The Marathon is a special event for my family. When my brother was 17, he suffered from Ewing’s Sarcoma. A wonderful man volunteered to run the Marathon for Dana Farber, and sponsor my brother. They became great friends, and are so to this day. This man ran for Dana Farber for 10 years and then passed the torch on to my brother, who has since run two marathons, his wife, one. This year my brother decided to not run, but participated extensively with helping other runners train and he was at the marathon to cheer them on. As such, my son was home safe with me, instead of at the finish line. My brother, for whatever reason, did not stay at the finish line after the elite runners had passed, and later went home safe and sound. Who would expect any thing different?

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