Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Slow as molasses

I must take a moment to segue from my motherhood in the Middle Ages theme and share an interesting piece of American history with you.

Since this past weekend was my final one in New England (for this summer, anyway), I packed it with several days of traveling.  On Friday I went to NYC again and on Saturday I spent the day relaxing by the pool and beach at the Waterford, CT home of one of my Chaucerians.  This relaxing day was followed by a marathon trip to Boston where I saw the entirety of The Freedom Trail and a game at Fenway.  While I could spend another week de-stressing on the beach, The Freedom Trail was so cool that I'm already planning a trip there next summer.  Given his fascination with American History, my son will love Boston.

Along The Freedom Trail one encounters all the elements of American history that are synonymous with being an American:  the route of Paul Revere's ride, the Old North Church, the USS Constitution, the site of the Boston Tea Party, and the Purity Distilling Company.  That's right, the Purity Distilling Company, home of the Boston Molasses Disaster.

Evidently, when molasses overheats, it is not slow at all.  In fact, it flows quickly enough to create a flood and kill people.  Don't believe me?  Check out this link:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boston_molasses_disaster.  (I don't normally encourage the use of Wikipedia for research purposes, but it will suffice as a starting point.  If you wish, you can investigate further from there.)  Although this disaster occurred almost 150 years after Revere's heroic ride, it is an interesting snippet of Boston's history.  On a warm day, that portion of The Freedom Trail still smells like molasses (and sacrifice).

I can't begin to catalog everything I've learned this summer.  From class to weekly trivia night to local travel, these six weeks have provided me with a wealth of knowledge.

Now if only I can retain it long enough to share it with others...

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