Interviewer: Michael N. Kline
Also Present: Carrie N. Kline
Place of Interview: Concord Free Public Library
Transcriptionist: Samuel Bollier
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Audio file is in .mp3 format.
Michael Kline: Well, it's a beautiful day today in Concord, and we're at the Concord Free Library in the —. What do you call this room, the Board Room?
Jayne Gordon: The Trustees' Room.
MK: The Trustees' Room.
JG: I believe.
MK: Where all the Concord authors are lodged. And maybe you'd start off and say, "My name is," and tell us your name?
JG: My name is Jayne Gordon.
MK: And we never ask people their ages, but perhaps you'd tell us your date of birth, so we —
MK: could put this all in the historical perspective.
JG: Sure. It's 1948.
MK: And —
JG: June 21st.
MK: June 21st. Okay. Maybe you'd start off by telling us about your people and where you were raised.
JG: I was raised far off, five miles from here in Lexington, Massachusetts. And much of my family has been in New England since the 1630s, and on one side, and on the other side they came from Germany and Scotland mostly in the 1880s, but you know, right to New England, so we've been here a while.
MK: Since the 1630s.
JG: Yeah. Yep. They came in to Connecticut and eventually ended up on Cape Cod in Eastham, and then after the Revolutionary War up to the Penobscot Valley of Maine, and then kind of down the Coast and ended up back in Massachusetts again. And have been here basically in the same area for generations.
MK: Why do you suppose they — they stayed?
JG: Either they were not risk takers [laughs], or they were able to scratch out a living in this area. They — variety of different professions, but you know, seem to have stayed very close to the base. Very close to the base. So yeah, nobody in my family seems to have ever gotten in a wagon and headed west. They headed a little bit north as far as up by around Bangor and Brewer, but never any further —farther a-field than that. And of course the district of Maine was part of Massachusetts 'til the 1820s, so it wasn't even moving to a different state.
MK: The state moved.
JG: The state moved [laughs], yeah.
MK: Before they did.
JG: That's true.
MK: Who's your favorite ancestor?
JG: Well, I think my favorite ancestor was probably —. It's kind of a choice between the minister in Eastham, who had been —. He'd graduated from Harvard in the 1690s, and he was the minister in Eastham on Cape Cod until 1717 when he died in a howling blizzard.
MK: His name was?
JG: His name was Samuel Treat. Reverend Samuel Treat, and if you go to the Fort Hill area of Cape Cod National Seashore, that was originally his property.
JG: Yeah, it was "Trot." It was "Trot" originally in England, and then was changed to "Treat." Was changed to "Treat" when he — when they came over here. And then I suppose another favorite would have been my —
MK: Well let's — let's —
JG: Okay, we'll keep with Samuel Treat-
MK: -stick with that one a minute. What was it about him that attracted your attention?
JG: I think a couple of things. He apparently was kind of a go-between between the people in his parish, in Eastham, and the Indian groups that were nearby. He seemed to have been the one who was always the kind of interpreter or translator. Apparently his sermons were well-constructed but not well-delivered; they said he had a very screechy voice. And I still don't know why or how he died in the howling blizzard, whether he died out in the blizzard, or whether he died of natural causes during a blizzard, but it seems intriguing a lot of questions that haven't been answered yet.
MK: And there was another one?
JG: There's another one, a great-grandfather who was a singer in a group called the Homestead Quartet, right here in Boston. And they were a group that was kind of like a light opera company, and they sang all over the western mining camps. They performed out in those mining camps. Once they had the basic infrastructure culture was the opera house. You know, that was the first cultural institution, and he was one of those groups that emanated from Boston, he and his other three people in the quartet. And they sang they were in Leadville and all the interesting places all through Colorado and California and other western states. Now he was pretty interesting person as well.
MK: And that was his lifelong profession?
JG: That was his lifelong profession. Yeah.
Carrie Kline: What did they sing?
JG: They sang a lot of songs that would have been sort of Gilbert and Sullivan-type songs, and also just a lot of compositions that would have been sort of popular songs of the day, and — and they composed some of their own songs as well. Nothing — nothing terribly heavy, you know, it wouldn't be what we think of today as classical music, but interesting. Interesting — popular music. You know, to entertain miners, so it couldn't be anything terribly heavy.
CK: And his name?
JG: His name was Gustav Kammerlee. It was German.
CK: Can you spell it?
JG: It's G-u-s-t-a-v, and then it was K-a-m-m-e-r-l-e-e. Kammerlee.
CK: He was from Germany?
JG: He was from Germany originally.
MK: Now tell us about your more immediate family then.
JG: Well, my more immediate family —. My parents both were from this area, from the South Shore, what they called the South Shore: Braintree and Milton. My father, who's still alive, was a — a director of music in the Lexington public schools where I grew up, and he also started the community town band in 1975, so a musician all his life, started out by working his way through college playing gigs on the piano and clarinet, and ended up after retirement playing gigs on the piano and clarinet. So, quite an interesting career of that. My mother died when I was about 10. My stepmother is also from this area, from Carlisle, the next town, and she was a high school history teacher her whole career. And I have a brother who lives in — actually in Loudoun County, Virginia, very close to the West Virginia line, and he has been a history teacher for 31 years. And he's now the Director of Education at the Mosby State Heritage Site, so he's interpreting the life of the Confederate guerilla fighter John Singleton Mosby, which is rather unusual for a Yankee from Lexington, Massachusetts. I have a daughter, Abby, who's 33, and she's a lawyer, and she lives in Paris. Has an apartment right on the Left Bank in Paris. I'm newly married, the second time, just this May, and my husband Don Bogart is retired. He's a great lover of all things Thoreauvian, and he works part-time at the shop at Walden Pond in retirement. We're —. It's very easy for us to walk there, because we live right in back of Walden Pond, so it's just a walk through the woods.
MK: Hmm. So what should we know about Concord? What did you come here to tell us?
JG: Well, just to tell you a little bit of my own background so you have a little bit of what —
JG: - my perspective is, I've been working in Concord at historic sites here since 1973 at Orchard House, the Alcott home. I was Director there for 16 years, at the Concord Museum where I was Director of Education for eight years, and then at various places where I was a consultant, including the Old Manse and Minuteman National Park. And then I spent about 16 years working in organizations associated with Henry Thoreau, and was the Director of Education for the Walden Woods Project, and then the Director of the Thoreau Society, which is the nationwide and worldwide organization, membership organization of people who are devoted to the life and legacy of Thoreau. So that's a little bit of my background. And I now work at the Massachusetts Historical Society, the State Historical Society as the Director of Education and Public Programs. So —
MK: Was your educational background then in history, or —?
JG: Yeah, I started off as a high school history teacher for the first few years and always have loved history. My first job in high school was being a guide on Lexington Green and working in these historic houses in Lexington, so I'm basically still doing the same thing I was doing 45 years ago. Just finished doing a workshop this morning up at Minuteman National Park on Lexington and Concord and the Revolution, so —
MK: What did you talk —
JG: - doing the exact same thing.
MK: What did you talk about this morning?
JG: This morning we were basically talking about how you use documents, and historic buildings, and historic landscapes and artifacts, and how they all fit together to give a better portrayal of historic events and historic issues. But we were concentrating on Lexington and Concord as an example of what happened here just before and during April of 1775. I guess the thing that interests me most about Concord, and what I'd want to tell you about Concord, has to do with the connections between the Revolution that's represented by the events in 1775, the political separation from the Old World, and the revolution that's represented by the writings of the — Emerson and Thoreau and the other Transcendentalists, and what kind of revolution that represented in terms of kind of a cultural separation, intellectual separation from the Old World, and the fact that it's no accident that they're both so much embedded in Concord, that the fact that these authors lived in the very same place where the Revolution had its beginnings, is no accident, and the fact that they drew on that legacy of revolution for inspiration is also no accident. And I think to me that's one of the most fascinating aspects about this town.
CK: Tell us some about that. That sounds fascinating, those connections.
JG: Well, I think one of the things that have always interested me is the whole question which gets asked again and again--. And I should also mention that I teach a course that — and I have for the last dozen years — that everybody takes to become a guide in Concord; it's a course offered through our community and adult education, and it's a six-week course that people take. And then they pass a test and go in front of our Selectmen, our Town government, to be licensed as guides, and inevitably the very first question that people will ask is, "Why is it that the events of 1775 and the events surrounding the authors all coming to live here all took place in Concord?" And I think it's all a very logical--. You know, things are very logical; there's nothing terribly mystical about any of it. Concord, because of its location, because of its proximity to Boston, but being far enough away from where the British Army was camped in 1775, became a very logical place for the Provincial Congress, the Colonial body that was frankly an outlaw body in British perspective, was meeting. And it became a logical place for supplies to be hidden, and therefore became the object of the military march to get those supplies that happened in 1775. So, I like to look for the logic in things.
I'm fascinated with grounding events in real places, in the geography of the place. And this was a logical place for all those things to happen. And it's at the center of a network of roads, it's a county seat, it's a place where you could--. You can kind of follow back all of those questions: Why did the British come here? Because the supplies were hidden here. Why were the supplies hidden here? Because it was a logical place for them to be, because you could get here from a lot of other places, but it was harder for the British Army to get here, and so on and so on.
So there's logic to why the Revolution had its beginnings here. But there's also a logic to why the authors settled here. Emerson is absolutely the center of, I think, the whole, what I think of as a literary colony. It's like an artists' colony, where you've got a group of very creative people who come together and in one place, and they're able to stimulate each other; they're able to support each other; they draw nourishment from each other. And Emerson is the person who makes that all happen; he's the agent. And he is every bit as revolutionary a personage as the people of 1775. And it's very interesting, because as a connecting rod you have the fact that it was Emerson's grandfather who's the key figure in 1775; he's the minister, the patriot minister in Concord. And Ralph Waldo Emerson is the key figure in this next revolution. And the first revolution's fought with guns, and the second revolution is really fought with pens. But they both result in this kind of independence from the Old World and traditions and result in a very fresh new way of looking at things and doing things. And it's Emerson who basically convinces Bronson Alcott to move here, who convinces Hawthorne to move here, and who takes Henry Thoreau, who's the next generation, under his wing and mentors him. So it really — Emerson's responsible, I think, for so much of what happened here.
MK: And who was his grandfather?
JG: William Emerson.
JG: Reverend William Emerson, who lived at the Old Manse, which is the parsonage right next to the North Bridge.
MK: Now tell us what his role in all of that was.
JG: Well, what — William?
JG: The grandfather? I think if you're the minister of a town, you had that power of the pulpit. You're one of the most influential people in the town. And particularly if you feel that you are being treated unfairly by Parliament and King, and you use your pulpit to make that clear, and you also have a very keen mind--. You're a Harvard graduate; you're very articulate; you're very powerful, you have a lot of influence over people. And he was the chaplain to the Minute Company; he eventually became the chaplain to the Continental Army. So very, very powerful person. I mean, not the mo — not the only powerful person, but one of the key figures. And Ralph Waldo Emerson never knew his grandfather, because his grandfather died during the Revolution, but Ralph Waldo Emerson was very much aware of the role that his grandfather had played, and very much aware of that legacy. So actually Ralph Waldo Emerson's first public — what would you say — lecture given in Concord was on the town's 200th birthday, 1835, where he's talking about the town history. And he's really looking at his own family's history, because not only was his grandfather the minister during the Revolution, but his direct ancestor Peter Bulkeley was the first minister in the town, the original Puritan minister who settled the town in 1635.
MK: His name again?
JG: Bulkeley. It's B-u-l-k-e-l-e-y. So he was one of the Puritan ministers from England, from Bedfordshire, who came over here.
MK: Did the texts of any of the sermons of these two survive at all?
JG: Yeah, sermons have survived. There's a middle person who is Ezra Ripley. His name is Ezra Ripley; he's Emerson's step-grandfather. In other words, Emerson's grandmother remarries the next minister who's minister for 63 years, and he, Ralph Waldo Emerson, knew him very well. And he's kind of--. This man Ripley, Reverend Ripley, is the link between that Revolutionary War generation and the generation of the — of what we think of as the Concord Authors. So yeah, Emerson knew him very well, and would have — and knew the history of what had happened at the Manse, which was his grandparents' house, but it was also the building standing closest to the North Bridge where the first direct firing on the British troops took place.
CK: Did he know his grandmother as well?
JG: He did know his grandmother. His grandmother lived much, much longer, so he knew his grandmother quite well.
CK: Is that how he knew the history of the Manse?
JG: He knew the history of the Manse because he was researching it for that speech for the town's 200th anniversary. But he would also give lots of other —. He would give lots of other talks where it was important for him to do that research and town history, very much so. And Emerson actually lived in the Manse. Ralph Waldo lived in the Manse for a little while when he first came to Concord, because it would be like going to your ancestral home, and it's — it was during a period of crisis in his life. He had just lost his wife. He had decided to resign from the ministry and trade it in for the — really, trade in the pulpit for the lecture platform. And so he actually came to the Manse at a time when he really needed to do a lot of fathoming out what he was going to do. And again, he's looking back over, as he said, "The fields of my fathers." And he could mean that literally, because he's looking at land that had belonged to his family. And what does he see when he looks out at the study window where he's working? He sees the site of where the North Bridge had been, and that beginning, opening of the American Revolution. So he's very well aware of those layers of history. And then Hawthorne will come along to the same place a little bit later and be aware that not only was the Revolution taking place in that same area, but that Ralph Waldo Emerson had lived there before him as well. So they're all, each group is aware of what's preceded, so they're very much aware of what that house as an eyewitness structure has seen.
MK: Now is that Manse still standing?
JG: Oh yeah. And it's open to the public. It's one of our beloved historic sites in Concord. Yep.
MK: Was —? Did it ever fall into ruin, or has it been continuously lived in, or —?
JG: Continuously lived in until it was given to an organization called the Trustees of Reservations, which started back in the 1890s, and it has been open ever since. I think it went over to the Trustees of Reservation in 1939. Yeah. And it's a fascinating structure, because it has so many layers of history. And Hawthorne actually uses — writes about that, and he talks about the house almost as a living organism. It's almost like an actor in events, and it has seen, again, it has seen so much. Yeah.
MK: Wonderful. And what else?
JG: And what else.
MK: So that's what you talked about this morning.
JG: No. [laughs] No, what we were talking about this morning had to do with again, the different kinds of resources and how they can be used. And at the Massachusetts Historical Society where I work, we're just rich with documents that have to do with the Revolution and other time periods. And reading those documents gives you a perspective into history that is just unparalleled because you're looking at the original writing, but you also need to be able to go to the actual places where things happened. And so the workshop we were doing this morning had to do with combining reading the documents with going to the actual places where things happened. And that's enormously important.
I think that one of the other things that to me is most important, though, is not only the connection of the two revolutions, but looking at these Concord authors, and looking at them not as sort of disembodied marble statues, or the pages in a textbook, or an anthology, but looking at them as real people, and plunking them down in a real time period with real issues that they were confronting, whether they were personal or regional or national, and seeing how they dealt with issues. And so one of the, I think, most interesting things for me is to look at these Concord authors in the context of what's obviously the —probably the most all-encompassing of the time, and the crucial issue of the time, which was the issue of slavery, and looking at how they reacted to the issue of slavery, each one of them. And you —by looking at how each of them responded to a particular thing, it's an interesting way to look at their values and also their personal ways of acting and reacting to given events.
So that, I think, is a very important aspect of Concord history. And this year, of course, we've been looking at the 150th anniversary of John Brown's raid at Harper's Ferry, which will — is about to come up, October 16th — 1859 was the original — and just looking at Emerson and Thoreau particularly, and Alcott, Bronson Alcott, and their response to John Brown, and how they saw him, and how they shaped the way that other Americans would see him, and the way that they viewed him as almost an old-time, sort of an Old Testament kind of prophet, a Biblical type of character who is dealing the death blow to slavery, which is the greatest evil, one human being owning another. And brings out a lot of questions about John Brown, whether he was an early 19th-century American terrorist, whether Emerson and Thoreau were, and Alcott were aware of the bloody violence that he had committed in Kansas, and if so, whether they were willing to just look beyond that, why they were able to welcome him to Concord, why they actually had a service for him when he was hanged in Charlestown, West Virginia, or Virginia then. And it's just a fascinating look at these people. It's fascinating to see how Thoreau deals with issues, taking direct action, going to jail, harboring fugitive slaves.
MK: Oh he did harbor—?
JG: He did. He was actually. — At least on one occasion we have evidence from his journal that harbored a fugitive slave in his house. And at other occasions he's actually responsible for bringing them by wagon to the train station where they would go on their journey west, and then north, through Vermont into Canada. So he was involved. The women in Concord, actually, were very actively involved in the anti-slavery movement, and one of the most actively involved was a woman Mary Merrick Brooks, who lived right where we're sitting, actually —.
CK: Mary —
JG: Merrick Brooks, whose house was right exactly here where we are, was moved to make —
CK: Mary —
JG: - room for the library.
CK: Spell it.
MK: M-e-r-r-i-c-k. And Brooks. With an ‘s', is her last name. B-r-o-o-k-s, yeah. And so the women in Concord were very active, but the men were also active. And Emerson wasn't a person who would take as much direct action, but he's such a mighty lecturer and writer, essayist, that when he turns his attention the issue of slavery, he's very powerful, as you might expect. And then you have someone like a Louisa May Alcott, who is the next generation, who is going to be very proud of her parents' active anti-slavery involvement, and when the Civil War breaks out, she is not going to be content to stay at home, as she said, "and knit like a pokey old woman." She's going to want to be directly involved in the War effort, and she is, as a nurse, an Army nurse. She responds to the first call for nurses, and she ends up serving at a hospital in Georgetown, Washington. So again, that gives you an idea of the kind of a person that she is. And then Hawthorne, who's in a very different place, he's not a radical abolitionist, he's not for slavery, but one of his best friends was the president, Franklin Pierce, who was charged with enforcing a lot of the statutes that protected slavery. And that put Hawthorne in a very difficult position, because he was a good friend with Franklin Pierce. They were college buddies, and that put him at odds with a lot of his other friends. So that's sets up a whole range of interesting issues by itself. But again, it's just the idea of seeing these authors in the context of their real times and the issues that they were dealing with, because we often, I think, tend to do them a disservice by treating them as though they were kind of like talking heads, or floating heads, and not anchored to time or place, and that's certainly not true.
MK: What were the circumstances of John Brown's visit to Concord?
JG: Well there were six men in the North who were direct supporters of Brown, who knew about his plans for the raid at Harper's Ferry, all of whom lived in the Boston area except one, who lived in North Elba, New York, near Lake Placid. But one of the six actually lived in Concord. He was a schoolteacher. His school is right across the street from the library here, and — though the library was not there then — and he had actually worked for the — John Brown in Kansas, the New England Emigrant Aid Society, and it was settling Free Soil settlers in Kansas during the summers. So he met John Brown, and he was responsible for having John Brown come here and speak at the Town Hall twice, in 1857 and 1859. He — John Brown actually dined at — with the Thoreau family, and met Emerson, went to a reception at Emerson's house. And he — John Brown didn't say, "I'm intending to raid the federal arsenal at Harper's Ferry and run the slaves off," but Bronson Alcott, for one, pretty much figured it out. He said that he assumed it was John Brown's plan to help as many slaves escape as possible and that he was the man to do it. And they gave him money without asking a lot of questions.
CK: Who gave him money?
JG: Alcott did, Thoreau did, Emerson did. Yeah. But the man who was this go this direct contact, is a man named Franklin Sanborn; he's the schoolteacher. And he was actually a young Harvard grad who had been brought to Concord to teach by Emerson. So he's the direct link. He's one of what they call the Secret Six, who knew about Brown's plans. [laughs]
So some interesting things that happened here in Concord. It's pretty dramatic. And we know enough of a few of the fugitive slaves who were brought here, and hidden here, and helped on towards Canada to know that it was pretty active. Obviously you're not going to keep terribly descriptive records if you're doing something that could fine you up to $1,000 or imprison you, so you're going to keep most of your activities fairly secret. But we do know of incidents. And then Frank Sanborn himself, when Brown was arrested and waiting execution in the jail in Charlestown, there were papers that he had left in a farmhouse where he had been hiding out in Maryland, the Kennedy farmhouse in Maryland, across the Potomac. And when those were found, there were letters back and forth to Frank Sanborn, so Federal marshals came out here to Concord to arrest him, because he was subpoenaed to testify in front of the Senate, and he —. This is a very dramatic episode in Concord, in April of 1860, which got written up in Harper's Weekly. And basically Sanborn resisted arrest; the entire neighborhood came to his support; they were beating the Federal marshals off with broomsticks, and they were making it impossible for the marshals to get Sanborn into the wagon. And eventually, a local judge issued a writ of habeas corpus and prevented him from being dragged away. But this great heroic struggle right in the middle of Concord. Just literally up the street from where we are, so, interesting times.
MK: And what —
JG: Interesting times.
MK: - eventually became of him?
JG: Actually, he went on to become the Editor of the Springfield Republican newspaper, which is still going on. He became the Superintendent of Public Charities in Massachusetts. And he became actually one of the founders of an organization called the American Social Science Association, which promoted the teaching of social studies in the public schools as a way to global understanding. But he was a very curmudgeonly person, so he remained curmudgeonly the rest of his life. And very proud of all the work that he did, outlived all the other authors, so kind of got to shape the narrative. [laughs] He who lives last gets to have the last word, I guess would be the way of saying it.
MK: And you say he had been to Kansas in his youth?
JG: He had been to Kansas during the summers when he was teaching, so it would have been probably in his early twenties. Yeah.
MK: So he had some idea of what was going on.
JG: He had some idea. The big question has always been, "How much did the authors here know of what had been going on in Kansas?" Did they know of the massacres at Pottawatomie Creek. And it seems that the information was available, but so these authors are basically supporting a person who is known for his violent tactics, but at the point that they were supporting him, I think that says a lot about what they thought about slavery, that they would be willing to support violence to destroy slavery.
MK: Umm hmm.
CK: Was that in conflict with their other views? Were they known to be anti-violent? Pacifist?
JG: No. And I think that's one of the interesting things, particularly with Thoreau, who you associate with civil disobedience. And I think we associate civil disobedience with Gandhi, and King, and non-violence, but when you read Thoreau's essays, I mean, civil disobedience is written —. Well, it's basically written about an experience that takes place in 1846; it's written in '48 and published in '49. And that's a lot different times than by the ten years later when John Brown comes on the horizon. So Thoreau, I think, moves very much. He's moving to a more and more radical position. Sort of in the middle of that, 1854, he writes this speech called, "Slavery in Massachusetts," that he delivers at a anti-slavery festival in Framingham, and that's the same festival where William Lloyd Garrison burns a copy of the Constitution and he calls it "a covenant with death" and "an agreement with hell." And Thoreau delivers a speech, "Slavery in Massachusetts," where he talks about his thoughts being "murder to the state." So his position is changing, because the events outside in the world are changing. And one of the main things that has changed is that as part of the Compromise of 1850 to keep the Union together, Congress has passed the Fugitive Slave Law, which makes it mandatory for people in the North to participate in returning slaves to their homes. So people up here in the North can no longer be content to say that slavery is a problem that's limited to one geographical area. And that changes things a lot for people here. They consider it an outrage. Emerson calls it "a filthy enactment" that he will not obey. And it really radicalizes people. Very definitely.
CK: And you said there were some stories about fugitives too?
JG: There were. There's a man named Shadrach, who was arrested in February of 1851, and he was actually brought to a house directly across the street from us, the Bigelow House. And he was actually sheltered for a night and then brought to the train station where he was put on the train and made his way to Canada safely, to the Montreal area. And then the man that Thoreau talks about is a man named Henry Williams, who was sheltered — the same year, 1851, in October — at the Thoreau house, which is just up the street from here. A lot happened right around this block. [laughs]. But again, Thoreau's house is very close to the train station, so he could go check out the train station, make sure no marshals were hanging around. If it looked like somebody suspicious was hanging around the train depot, as was the case the night of Henry Williams staying over, then Thoreau took Henry Williams to the next train depot further west and got him on the train there, so that he could -
CK: How —
JG: - make his way.
CK: How would he have done that?
JG: He would have taken him in a carriage, probably under blankets, and brought him to the train station. At that point, I mean, there was a large population of free blacks here, so it wouldn't have been unusual for a black man to be riding the train.
CK: Yeah, I was wondering —
CK: - about that. Can you talk about that?
JG: Well, I mean, that's a question I had wondered too: You know, how did it actually work. You know, did Thoreau buy him the ticket? Did he buy his own ticket? Did Thoreau just kind of watch to make sure that everything was all right? I don't know, and even the people who've done the most studying of this aren't exactly sure the tiny, tiny technical details of it. But it seemed to be that the Fitchburg Line, which is the railroad that goes from Boston to Fitchburg and then connects with the railroad line that goes up through Burlington, Vermont to Canada, where you're finally have escaped from this law, that was the way; that was a very convenient line to be able to use. And how many people actually went that way I don't think anyone's sure. You know it could be a very small number of people, but that's part of it. One of the Harper's Ferry raiders, too, actually ended up coming to Concord almost in a half-crazed position, one of the men who had escaped, and Thoreau had to put him on the train and get him out of here, because nobody wanted this person ranting in the middle of the town about how much they supported John Brown. And this town by no means was all for John Brown. He was a very controversial figure, and obviously the use of violence was the most controversial part of it.
CK: It would be fun to hear about free blacks here —
CK: - before 1850, and it was — were people â€¦?
JG: Sure. There were both free blacks and slaves here until the 1780s. Slavery was —. Basically, the Massachusetts Constitution, which was written in 1780, mostly by John Adams, and it's the oldest written constitution still in operation in the world, which is pretty neat that basically talks about all men having natural-born rights to be free. But that was tested out with two court cases in Massachusetts: the Mum Bett case and the Quock Walker case. So basically about 1783 slavery is no more in this state. But there had always been slaves, and there had been free blacks, and I know in the 18 — I can't remember the figure anymore, I think in the 1860 census in Concord, I think there were maybe 22 free blacks living in town, and a population, I think, of about two thousand then. So not a huge number. Not a huge number. But not an insignificant number either.
CK: But before the Fugitive Slave Act, was that radically different?
JG: No. I don't think that changed that much. But what you see before the Fugitive Slave Act, too, was that Bronson Alcott--. And the Fugitive Slave Act is 1850. 1847, Bronson Alcott has a man in his front yard who is an escaped slave, who has escaped across the Mason-Dixon line, who is able to sit in his front yard, help Bronson Alcott chop wood and tell stories to Louisa and her sisters, right on the main road in Concord. After 1850, Bronson Alcott would not have had this man right out in the main road, because officials in the North were supposed to be cooperating with the returning of the fugitive slaves to their owners. So you would see a radical change there, for sure. Yeah.
CK: And dramatic events, where people would come collect them — bounty hunters?
JG: There were. I don't know any cases of bounty hunters coming right into Concord. Certainly a lot of cases like that in Boston. Concord was so well-known as kind of a hotbed of anti-slavery I think bounty hunters would have been a little reluctant to come here. But one of things that I also wanted to mention, I think another dramatic thing that kind of gets overlooked in Concord. And there's nothing unusual about Concord in this circumstance, but it's a wonderful thing to look at, is just the railroad coming here, and how such, you know, one new invention will change people's concepts about space, and distance, and time, and everything else. And the railroad came through here in 1844 and made a world of difference. It connected —. You could get to Boston in an hour, instead of four. It meant that people like Emerson could live here, and Thoreau could live here and have all the joys of, as Emerson said, "all the joys of city and country life." You could be out here and poke around in your garden, and take walks in the woods and the fields, and then if you wanted to go to a museum, or the theater, or your Saturday club, or the great reading library, the Athenaeum, you could just be whisked into Boston in less than an hour. So that was huge. And it meant that people —. Concord had a very active lyceum series, which would have been a whole speaker series of great people coming in to give talks on every subject imaginable. The train made that possible; it made it possible for Emerson to travel all over the country lecturing. And lecturing was a brand new profession. He was a professional lecturer; that's how he made his money. And the train made that possible.
But the railroad is also used as the Underground Railroad in this case. The real railroad becomes the Underground Railroad vehicle, just because of the way the line, geographically the way that line went west and then north. So the railroad coming is really kind of a fascinating thing, and one of the aspects of Concord history that's always interested me the most is to take one particular thing like the railroad and just look at the way that, again, that these different authors respond to it. And again, I think that shows you a lot about them. So Emerson really —. I use in my Concord history course something Emerson writes, where he talks about why he lives in Concord. And again, it has all the advantages of city and country because of the railroads. And when I give it to my students, they think it's somebody wrote it a week ago, because it says exactly what people today say about Concord: You can live in the country, but the railroad allows you to get right into Boston whenever you want.
And for Thoreau, the railroad is — appeals to him because he's a scientist; he loves any new kind of invention. He's fascinated with the railroad. He's fascinated with the telegraph, which comes at the same time. But at the same time, he's never going to accept something without really questioning all the implications of it, so he'll say, "Well, what good does it do to be able to go faster if we don't know where we're going?" Or, "What good does it do that Maine can now talk to Texas on the telegraph if they have nothing to say to each other?" And he has these wonderful little things like "We don't ride on the railroad, it rides on us." In order to have the money to buy the ticket, and have the time to take the train, and all of the sudden you're sacrificing other things. And he has some wonderful passages in Walden in the "Sounds" chapter about the railroad cutting through Walden Woods. And you've got this tranquil path through the woods that intersects with this railroad line that's transporting things from all over the world, from one place to another, and you think about the implications of that kind of an intersection, it's absolutely fascinating. So Thoreau has —. It's sort of a mixed bag. It would be —. If you think about the way we think about cell phones today, they have great advantages, but they're also some negative things about being constantly sort of chained to your cell phone and sort of on a leash, where people always know where you are and how to get hold of you. So it would be that same kind of thing that Thoreau would look at with the railroad, think about all the implications for your personal life. And then for somebody like Louisa Alcott, the railroad represents an opportunity to get out of what she calls "this gray old town" and get to somewhere a little more exciting like Boston, or like off to the War front. So —
MK: This gray old town, she called it?
JG: Yeah, she called it "gray old town." What we think of as — what would have been an idyllic place with all these authors floating around, for a young woman in her twenties it's probably not the most exciting place in the world. She said the last — yeah, she said the last hue of color in this town was when the Redcoats left. So yeah! [laughs].
MK: Oh, this is fabulous.
MK: So, what are some of the major misconceptions about Concord, that the general public labors under, that —?
JG: Well, let me think. I think one of the earliest ones is that the town looked exactly like the way it does now in Colonial times, and that all the buildings were painted, and they had perfect shutters, and perfect manicured lawns, and white-picket fences, and beautiful tree-shaded roads, and that what we think of as a Colonial town really didn't start to look like that until the early part of the 19th century when they started having village improvement associations and people started really thinking about physical improvements, and moral improvements, and social improvements, and improving every aspect life, so that sort of, I think our New England Hallmark Christmas card vision of the Colonial town starts to emerge at that time. You know, the white church with the steeple. The church didn't have a steeple in Colonial times; it looked like a big barn, a big unpainted barn. It was a meetinghouse, and it had very different look than it does today. So that's one misconception.
MK: Is that because there was already a — a tourism trade at —? People were already —
JG: No —
MK: -coming to Concord to see North Bridge, or —?
JG: They weren't really starting to come to Concord to see North —. Well, first of all, there was no North Bridge from 1792 until they constructed it in 1875; it was taken down, because it was constantly flooding, and a new one wasn't built until the Centennial in 1875. But people were coming to start to see the areas around the North Bridge area, but not in great numbers until after the Civil War. The Emerson village, coming to see Emerson and this town, particularly because Emerson was so well-known, was starting to be something that was drawing a lot of people. And then the railroad actually started promoting excursions to Walden, to Walden Pond, right after the Civil War. They actually built what today would be almost like an amusement — well not an amusement park, but kind of a picnic grounds and recreational grounds, and they — to promote riding on the railroad at times when commuter traffic wouldn't be so heavy. So they had often thousands of people out there a day at Walden. And then towards the late part of the 19th century bicycle tours start coming out here, lot of people bringing their bicycles; and more and more of Concord becomes very much of a tourist town.
And then particularly by, I would say like the 1930s, the look of the town even becomes more and more Colonialized: The library's redone on the outside so it looks more like a Colonial building, and everything starts to take on more of a Colonial look. But, I mean, it's — there's very good aspects to that too, because very early on the town started to preserve the historic sites and there wasn't a period of decline or a period where things got rapidly redone in new styles, so that it lost its appearance. We were very lucky. And if you plunked Emerson or Thoreau down in the middle of the Concord Center they'd know exactly where they were, because the layout of the town really hasn't changed very much and a lot of the buildings are the same ones, so — yeah. We'd be very much recognizable. When you look at the pictures taken in the 1860s it really hasn't changed.
MK: Well, what are some of the other sites you've worked on that suggest other chapters in Concord's life and history?
JG: Well, I think —. I'm trying to think, because most of the sites I've worked on are either associated with one of those two other periods of Concord history. I mean, I think one of the very interesting things that I think about not so much working professionally but just as a resident of Concord is just getting out in a canoe, because I'm an avid canoer, and just looking at a very different perspective of the town from the rivers. And you see how much of the land is undeveloped and how important that is to have those wild places, as Thoreau says. But you know, almost all my work has been in either the period of the Revolution, or the period when the authors are living here, going up to about the 1880s, but not really too much beyond that.
The interesting question becomes whether Concord —. Is there anything unusual about Concord today that makes it different from other towns, and how much we're aware of that legacy. I mean, one of the legacies is sitting behind me here with this shelves of books of the — all the books written by Concord authors to this day. And there are a number of authors living here in town. But the question that I think sort of haunts people is whether Concord would ever have another period where it became sort of a focal point and unique the way it has been in the past. And the way it has developed has been a very compatible mix of residences and tourism. And partly the tourism, because you want to preserve the landscape the way it's looked, has helped to keep the town from being overdeveloped.
I think one of the most interesting things that has happened, say, in the last ten or fifteen years, is the Minuteman National Park has realized that its greatest resources is the landscape, and that if you really want to understand the events that happened in 1775, it's far easier to understand the events if the landscape looks the way it did back then. So a lot of the trees have been taken down; the fields have been restored, the orchards, the stone walls, the original roads. And that allows people to get out in that landscape and to really see it and understand how much it was an open-field landscape, much more like the English landscapes that we would see today. So that has been, I think, a significant development. There are always developments around preserving important buildings or important sites: the effort to preserve Thoreau's birthplace, the Thoreau Farm, has been extremely important, and that will be opening to the public probably within the next half a year. So that's extremely important. There's a group that has been doing a great deal of work on the black history of Concord and developing a Black Heritage Trail. That's an important thing. So the efforts are constant to preserve things. Preserving the farm of James Barrett, who is responsible for hiding the supplies in 1775 and getting that rehabilitated to a point where it will eventually become part of Minuteman National Park, that's really important. And Concord has a very lively cultural scene which made it so attractive, I think, to the authors in the 19th century. They have a — I think one of the most wonderful things is they have a Concord Authors' Festival in the fall that brings in key authors from all over the country. And what more appropriate place to have it than a place that's so associated with authors?
MK: When did that start?
JG: That started, I want to say maybe about ten years ago? Yeah. Ten years or less. And I think because Concord is so much associated with Thoreau and the environmental movement, all of the different challenges of preserving land, and preserving quality of water and quality of air, Concord's very conscious of that, very ahead in the green movement. There are a lot of environmental organizations in this town, or local chapters of national environmental organizations. So that aspect of Concord is extremely important as well.
MK: Umm hmm.
JG: And I think it has—. Concord has managed to resist pretty well being — having just chain stores and being sort of homogenized. I mean, it has tried to keep its unique character, and that's always a challenge. It doesn't have the kind of stores that it used to have that allowed you to pretty much buy anything you want right down Concord Center; you can't really do that anymore. I mean you can see it's really geared towards tourism. But you know, to keep that vital center, that vital physical center is extremely important as a place where people can walk and congregate and meet each other. And the Chamber of Commerce has done a really excellent job of trying to keep that alive and vital, and that's not an easy task. [pause] Well that's —.
CK: This is great.
JG: . . . anything else. [laughs] — You've been scribbling down a mile a minute here. Yeah, I don't —. I'm trying to think, because you've talked to so many other people that they'll fill in so many parts of the puzzle for you.
CK: What sorts of changes? What are the invisible —
JG: Yeah, yeah —
CK: - changes?
JG: I've lived here now for 35 years. But as I said, I grew up like five miles away. I think that the--. In some ways Concord is not as colorful as it was before in the sense of having sort of the eccentric characters who used to sit at the Woolworth's lunch counter, and there's no more Woolworth's, and there's no more those kinds of people. The danger would be in it becoming a little too cute, and a little too precious, so keeping that sort of unique and slightly raw character to it I think is really important. We've lost a lot of the farms; we've lost a lot of the local stores, we've lost a lot —. I mean, it's no different than any other place, but there are more stores in here now that are boutiques rather than sort of regular stores that people would shop at because they needed something that they really needed for their daily lives. So that has been a change. It seems — does not seem, it's not as economically diverse as it once was. It's very hard for people's children to live here. Most people would not be able to afford — couldn't possibly afford today to buy, if they had to buy the house they live in today, would never be able to afford it. So those kinds of things are changes.
There's been land that has been developed but there has also been an awful lot of land that has been conserved by local land trusts, and that's a good thing. And those land trusts have not only conserved land but opened it up for people to be able to enjoy for recreational purposes, so that's a good thing. There's a lot of cooperation among the historic sites. We have a national park; we have the state park, Walden. We have lots of historical organizations, including places like this library which work with the historic sites. And they have an excellent spirit of cooperation. And that has been true for at least now, I would say, about 20 years, 20, 25 years, because I've been there through all of that, and it's excellent. Before that, there wasn't as much of a spirit of cooperation; it was everybody kind of operated more in a vacuum.
MK: But you say it's a hard place for children to grow up?
JG: No, I don't think it's a hard place for children to grow up. It's a pretty — it's kind of a — it's a pretty easy, nice place for children to grow up. It's just that a lot of children wouldn't be able to afford to then live here themselves. No, I think it's a pretty easy place. And I think most parents who have children here — and I was one of them — are very well aware that you're growing up in a place that could be like living in a bubble, so you want to make sure your kids are exposed to a little bit more of the wider world [laughs] than Concord. But it's a very nice place for kids to grow up.
CK: What do you mean a bubble?
JG: Well, I mean, you're living in a town that's not particularly ethnically diverse. It's not particularly economically diverse. It's — you're not — you're in a pretty privileged world when you're living here, so if you want your children to think that that's the whole world, then I think they have another thing coming, so. But that's not a horrible problem to have, at the same time. It's just being aware of that. But we do —. I mean I think when you live in New England, you're — we're in a lucky part of the country, because we're such a tiny geographical area that you can get to great cities, you can get to the ocean, you can get to mountains, all within a very short distance. And we have the Red Sox. So it's a good place to be.
MK: You say the library has provided a lot of leadership in terms of —?
JG: It has. And the library has also —. It really is a community gathering place. I mean, if there's one place —. They did a study, I can't remember, maybe a decade ago, and they were trying to figure out where people go in this community when they want to just be with other people, meet other people, not in a dating sense, but just if you were home all day and you just wanted to go to one place where you knew you'd just be with other people and feel comfortable, and the library came out on top of that. And the library does a lot of cultural events; they've been an excellent partner with other organizations. At Mass. Historical we just did a whole lecture and exhibit series with the library, and it's the Concord Library, the Massachusetts Historical Society, and Minuteman National Park, and that was—. We're in the process of celebrating the 50th anniversary of the national park this year. So the library has always been marvelous about that. And it's an absolutely, I think, key community resource. And this particular library has world-status collections and draws scholars from all over the world. But at the same time they're the community library serving all the residents of the community. And they do a really good job of both. Yeah.
CK: So the Minuteman Park was not a park until recently?
JG: Until '59. And it was created in '59. And a very interesting thing is it's created in the middle of the Cold War to commemorate people standing on principle and preserving the Free World. So it has sort of been an interesting thing to look at, the context of the creation of the park, and the meaning that was attributed to the park and what happened in 1775 then, and what meanings can we attribute to it today. What is the enduring meaning of this particular park in this place? And it's very interesting, because you can look at it as symbolic of people who stand up against an oppressive government for principle, or you can look at it as people who are ready to defend their way of life at any cost, or you can look at it in a lot of different ways. So that has been a very interesting thing. It has been an interesting commemoration. And it's a park that was largely created by returning a lot of area to back a couple hundred years, including removing houses, and ripping out telephone poles, and unpaving roads. So there were some removals. It wasn't as significant as in some of the places like Shenandoah or in Blue Ridge Parkway areas, but —
MK: Scraping away the present?
JG: Yes, scraping away the present. But that has been —. The park has finally kind of —. The park's an excellent partner as well. That's what's very interesting. And they finally kind of settled into understanding what they can really do. And the park has now become a place that has become a real resource for the people locally. It used to be that the only people that came to the park were people from away. So now, because they've got trails through the landscape, you're getting local people out there using the park and becoming stewards of the park, helping to protect the park, and that's what you want.
CK: So it was the building of trails that transitioned that?
JG: It was the, I think the recognition that you were never going to be able to return like major commuter roads back into dirt roads, so that the only way that you were going to get people out into that landscape was by getting them off the road and onto the trails, and then developing those actual trails, yeah. It was sort of a thought process that took a long time to achieve.
CK: So biking —
JG: Biking, hiking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, yeah. I mean it's not huge. It's like a five-and-a-half mile trail that goes through the park; it's not huge, but —
CK: It just seems like —
JG: - it's good, yeah.
CK: - and with that whole park question and situated where you are with your background and history, you're in such a perfect position to either redefine or define patriotism.
JG: Oh yeah. And that's one of the things that is exactly what's happening now. And in other words, not being afraid to touch that —
CK: Can you —
JG: - word, and not saying, "Well, it's a word that's used by right-wing people only, and we don't even want to talk about it."
CK: What word? Can you—? Start at the beginning.
JG: Yeah. Look at the word "patriotism." Yeah. And using the 50th anniversary of the Park to really look at what that means, that patriotism can mean standing up for principle and supporting a cause but not being blindly obedient to it, not being afraid to ask questions at the same time. I mean, that's one definition in 2009. But the definitions of that word have continued to evolve over time, and they would be different if you asked ten different people; they'd have ten different versions. But it is very interesting to just go stand by the North Bridge and listen to people down there talking about — to their children or to each other — just about what that Bridge stands for and what those first shots at that Bridge meant to this country. And I wouldn't presume to define it for other people. But it's very interesting. It has always been that, I guess that dialogue going on. And you look at the pictures of what was going on here in 1975, when Ford was President, and they had commemorative ceremonies, and they had the People's Bicentennial with hippies camping out all over the hillsides. It was a very different time than it is now, and certainly very different time than it was in 1875; and it'll continue to be different. So that's — I mean, that's one of the most interesting things about it, I think, is if you look at just the different meanings that people have drawn out of that place over time, constantly changing.
CK: What about you?
JG: You know, I'm still—. I'm enough of a Sixties relic to be always skeptical [laughs] of governmental action. Permanently scarred by the sixties. But I think —. But I'm also —. My sense is that —. And I used to have great arguments with a right-wing friend about this, who would say, "Well you're always ‘dissing' the government, and you're always saying negative things about America." Not anymore. "But you're always saying negative things about America." And I said, "I love this country, and I probably do more to help other people love this country than most people you know, because I love the history and I'm not afraid to explore it, and I have this great passion for it." So I think I really am doing my service to this country. So, it's an interesting discussion that keeps going on.
MK: Some people talk about freedom, and other people talk about liberty.
JG: Well, I just actually was co-director of a five-day workshop last week, when — and our entire workshop was on the changing definitions of American freedom. And one of the sub-discussions was, is freedom and liberty — are they the same word, or are they interchangeable or not, and it's very interesting, because we worked with four prominent historians, half of whom thought — said, "Oh they're interchangeable," and the other ones said, "No they're not; they're two totally different words." So. I have to say that I hadn't really thought about it until we did that workshop. I mean, I was fascinated with the changing definitions of who's in, who's out, who determines who's in, who's out, who gets to be free, who doesn't get to be free, and the way we think about freedom. But I hadn't really thought about the differences between freedom and liberty.
MK: And what did this panel think the differences were?
JG: Well, I think that —. One of the historians basically said, "Well, the word ‘freedom' just wasn't used until we get very close to the Revolutionary War." Freedom just wasn't a—. Individual freedom wasn't a concept that was really a relevant concept to anything. Liberty had to do with legal rights, but there was much more of a sense of community obligation, and community covenant, was the key thing. Freedom was just an irrelevant word, really, until we get closer to the Revolution. And one of them just said, "Ah, they're the same. I just use them the same." And the other two just kind of skirted it a little bit more, but I don't know. I haven't really done as— very much thinking about that, about whether I think there are substantive differences. But now what I would like to do is go back to a lot of the documents that we use and look at which ones are using the word "freedom" and which ones are using "liberty," and how they're being used differently. So that will be a project that I'll want to embark on now. It's sort of an eye-opener for me as well. But we were taking documents from four different time periods and really looking at how those definitions were changing over time, and it was quite fascinating.
MK: Well, you have painted a picture of a staggering effort that's being made in every direction and everywhere. What's, what are the things that remain to be done, or how do you see —?
JG: I'm not sure that it's to be done as much as it's just a continuing effort. And sometimes it's —. I mean, there are master plans for what still needs to be preserved and making sure that the fabric of the physical landscape is preserved. But I think a lot of it is just vigilance and not allowing a structure or a landscape that could be lost — a historical landscape to be lost, to fall in — to fall either into ruin or to developers. And so it's a constantly — constant process of just being aware of what's there. Right now there's a home that had belonged to one of the freed slaves that is in danger of being demolished. It's in private hands. It's a possibility it can be moved to another part of town where it originally had been built and saved, but it costs, that costs money. So there are constant efforts in town to save parcels of land, to save buildings, and those —. I hope, I mean those will be ongoing. I think the important point is that you can't rest on your laurels and say, "We've done it," because it's never going to be done. Maybe that's the most important lesson.
MK: It's like you —. Everybody has to be, has to operate with that sort of Minuteman or Minutewoman spirit —
JG: Yeah. Yeah, be ready at a moment's -
MK: - of vigilance.
JG: - notice. Yeah, not kind of sit back and say, "It's done; we've accomplished it." I think that's absolutely, I believe that. And people before me have said that as well. I mean, Louisa Alcott said that, that when she was a great proponent of women's suffrage. She said that we can't rest on our laurels and congratulate ourselves on having won the Revolution, and won freedom for the slaves, and say that it's all done. I mean, she said it in more eloquent words, but that there's — much work remains to be done. Otherwise, she said we'd just degenerate into a museum. And that was her fear, that we would— Concord would become sort of museum for — she said for celebrity-seekers or relic-hunters, that it would become so much aware of its past that it would cease to live in the present and the future, and it would become like a museum. So I think what makes this town alive for people is the fact that it is a real town where people really live, and it is not — it isn't just an exhibit of the past. And it shows that people can live with the past all around them, and they can honor it, respect it, but they can still have — live in the present, and look towards the future. So maybe Concord can be — is just a great model for that.
MK: Do you ever speak at high school graduations?
JG: I haven't, no. [laughs]
MK: You should.
JG: I speak in lots of other places.
MK: You should. You should. Graduating seniors —
JG: Graduating seniors. [laughs]
MK: - need to hear this.
JG: Right! It's true.
CK: What about the — the stark physical changes and some of the ultra-modern homes that you see around now?
JG: Yeah, I mean, part of that is trying to separate personal taste from, I suppose, professional outlook, right? I mean, to me it isn't so much the modernism, it's the size. It's the overblown size. I think one of the things that I love about New England, and I love about old England as well, and France — I spend a lot of time in Europe — is the harmony of the buildings and the landscape. They fit together; they blend together. There's that wonderful nestling of buildings into the landscape; they're almost inseparable. When you have a house that's huge and overblown and just kind of stands out raw against the landscape, it's somebody's showpiece, that offends my sense of harmony on a personal level. I don't know what you do about it. But it's everywhere. I look at the differences in Loudoun County, Virginia, where you look at the older parts of the county that were developed in the 19th century and 18th century, and you see where the farmhouses are located there, nestled into the little valleys. They blend in perfectly with the landscape. You look at the newer houses, and they're right on top of every hill, so people can say, "Here I am. I've arrived, and I have a lot of money, and I want it in your face." And that's a difference. That's a huge difference. So I —. It's scale. It's more scale than it is type of architecture. Because I don't think we'd ever want to be sort of confined to a place where there was nothing new, that we always wanted to follow the old forms of architecture and there was never that possibility that there could be that creative genius that would come up with something new. I mean, I live in a very modern house, but it's not a big house. It's no bigger than it needs to be. [laughs] And so it's more, as I said, it's the size, it's the scale that bothers me.
CK: Can you teach that sort of sensitivity to harmony?
JG: Yeah, that's a darn good question. I don't know. I mean, I would suppose there must be a way to do it, but —. And I wonder, again. Now I feel like I'm getting too old, but I grew up in a house where we had one bathroom. It was like the idea of every person having their own bathroom just wasn't something we'd even conceive of. Kids today grow up where they couldn't even conceive of not having their own bathroom, so how you begin to change that, I mean, that's the world that they've grown up in. I don't know. It's a very good question. I just really don't know the answer to it.
CK: How do you pass on a sense of what you love about Concord to— when new people arrive on the scene?
JG: Yeah, that's interesting, because I do have that opportunity to do that, since a lot of new people take the Concord history course not to become guides, but because they want to learn about the history of their new home. And I think part of it is just not being afraid to show your own love of it, and passion for it, and just be yourself. And I think that's — it becomes infectious. You can't help that. And I think that's the most important thing. It's not so much what you're saying as the way that you're saying it. And that enthusiasm just comes through. So that would be, I guess my strongest suit. [laughs] If you can't be articulate, at least froth at the mouth. But I mean, so that's really important. And you know, this may not be a town that's for everybody ultimately. My daughter grew up in this town and went to live for a year in Madrid and has never come back from Europe. She loves big cities, and she loves the Old World. And that, to her — she thrives. So it's not going to be something that's always going to be, touch everybody. But it's—. For the people —. I think there are so many people who love it that it means it's in very good hands. And those people love it because of what it has been, but also what it is now and what it can be. And that's enormously important.
MK: That's a beautiful conclusion to this discussion. Thank you very much.
JG: Thank you.
MK: Unless you have another burning question.