Sunday, March 19, 2017

Johnny Tremain Must Stand Up at the Space Needle in Seattle

(Yeah!  It's the Seattle Space Needle)

"There shall be no more tyranny.  A handful of men cannot seize power over thousands.  A man shall choose who it is shall rule over him... We give all we have, lives, property, safety, skills... we fight, we die, for a simple thing.  Only that a man can stand up." -Johnny Tremain, Esther Forbes

After the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, we plunged into the Boston classic coming of age story: Johnny Tremain
(Look at all this cool info)

"It is all another way of saying -God's way of saying- that pride goeth before a fall."  -Johnny Tremain, Esther Forbes

My fourth Grade teacher at Colton Elementary, Mrs. Kramer read this book to us... and I still remember it vividly.
(The entrance to the Space Needle is worth the price itself)

"'Friends!  Brethren! Countrymen! The worst of plagues, the detested tea shipped for this port by the East India Company, is now arrived in the harbour: the hour of destruction, of manly opposition to the machinations of tyranny, stares you in the face.'" -Johnny Tremain, Esther Forbes

It's the story of a young silversmith apprentice in Boston during the siege of the harbor by the British troops and follows his adventures through the Boston Tea Party, Lexington, and Concord.
(But of course, it's the view that stands out)

"'What chance-what shadow of a chance-had those poor, untrained, half-armed farmers at Concord? O God, be with us now.'" -Johnny Tremain, Esther Forbes

It's a boy's book... I know.  But I still remember sitting in class listening as Johnny's hand is burned in a terrible prank and feeling so sad for him.  I love how characters in books can make you feel the beautiful sadness of the world.
(Seattle on a ... sunny day)

"And in a way he had died in that room; at least something had happened and the bright little silversmith's apprentice was no more.  He stood there again at the threshold, but now he was somebody else." -Johnny Tremain, Esther Forbes

The first time I went to Boston was about fifteen years ago, before I had children, before ... anything.  I walked the Freedom Trail by myself and saw a copy of Johnny Tremain in the Old Corner Book Store and just had to buy it.  
(Big Sis Piggy Back)

"That flag-it stood for Magna Carta, the Bill of Rights, Charles the First's head upon a block, centuries of struggle for 'English Liberty.' But over here there had grown up a broader interpretation of the word 'Liberty': no man to be ruled or taxed except by men of his own choice."  -Johnny Tremain, Esther Forbes

It was this book that I saved on the shelf and read to my daughters a decade and a half later... finishing it on a sunny day in Seattle.
(Another Fridge Magnet...where will we put them all?)

"This was his land and these his people."  -Johnny Tremain, Esther Forbes

We've since walked the Freedom Trail together (See previous Blog Posts), and continually reference it as we stand on the opposite coast today.
(Seattle is Portland's Big Brother.... it's good to know you're watching out for us)

"This is the end.  The end of one thing-the beginning of something else.  They won't come back because there is going to be a war-civil war.  And we'll win.  First folk like them get routed out of Milton-then out of Boston.  And the cards are going to be reshuffled." -Johnny Tremain, Esther Forbes

We're heading north to the Canadian border... another book put down, thinking about liberty, freedom, memory, and the open road.

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