Listen My Children…1775

‘Listen my children and you shall hear…of the midnight ride of Paul Revere…T’was the 18th of April, ’75…’ (H. W. Longfellow)

A little bit of US history as memorialized in Longfellow’ long poem, The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere.

My 5th grade teacher, Miss Meehan, wrote several stanzas on the blackboard (remember those?) and we had write them, ourselves, then memorize them.

I’ve never forgotten those stanzas and am reminded of the history and Miss Meehan every April 18th, today. It’s important to remember our history and important people in our lives. Miss Meehan was a good teacher and that period in US history was, well, what can I say.

It’s also important to understand our past, as a country and an individual, so we can learn and make in-course corrections as we continue to grow.

Paul Revere wasn’t the only rider that night and the British grabbed him before he got carried away with his warnings to the public. However, HWL chose to use him in his narrative and now his name is synonymous with revolution and liberty.

I hope you find the poem to read, yourself. And, as I like to do, read it aloud. It seems to resonate better with me when I do.

Remember history, and the teachers who made it come alive for you.

Steve

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srbottch

Retired in 2013 after 5 years as an elementary school teacher and 40 years as a sales representative to begin anew as a school crossing guard. SMy essays/stories are a way to communicate through the telling of personal experiences. One reader said about my blog stories, "...these are like a cold sip during a marathon run, simple, real life events". Another offered about my blog, “it brings some sense of normalcy not easily found in the modern world.”

26 thoughts on “Listen My Children…1775”

  1. Yes, I remember blackboards! The high school I attended was built in the 1890s. My dad read Longfellow”s poem to me when I was little, and I learned of the history it represented from him. In fact, until I went to college, I learned history from my dad and from my own reading, not from my teachers. That changed in college, I’m happy to say.

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    1. …and if the teacher scratched the chalk across the blackboard at an angle, it would make a screeching noise that sends down your spine. Well, maybe that’s an exaggeration (lots of my tales are), but it’s no exaggeration to say that some of the best lessons were taught by dads. Can I tell you one more tale? Thank you…

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    2. …and this really happened. I was driving along my merry way on the NY Thruway, heading home after a couple of nights on the road (my sales job). It was April 18 and I was reciting Longfellow’s poem, ‘…when he said to his friend, if the British march …’, when I noticed the flashing red lights in my rear view mirror. NY’s finest was stopping me to ticket me for speeding. I plead guilty and told the trooper that it was the anniversary of PR’s ride and said to the officer, ‘I bet Paul wasn’t going this fast’. ‘Here’s your ticket, sir, drive carefully’. That was a costly recital!

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      1. And it really happened that way. It almost made me happy to get the ticket because it gave me a great story to tell years later. Until I had to pay the fine 🥴

        Liked by 1 person

      1. And he didn’t hide his feelings, either. I wonder if it was jealousy. I think that feeling is always there among some, the resentment of the upper class, or wealthy.

        The narrator was excellent. Thanks for sharing, Robbie.

        Steve

        >

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