Re-creating Revere’s ride

(Geoff Edgers)
By Geoff Edgers
Globe Staff / November 20, 2010

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WHO: Globe reporter Geoff Edgers; his wife, Carlene; their children, Lila, 8, and Calvin, 6 months; and family friends Sophie, 10, and Olivia, 6

WHAT: Rambling down Battle Road

WHERE: Lexington

“Who wants to be Paul Revere?’’ Lila asked as we walked down the hard, dirt path known as Battle Road.

“I’ll be Paul Revere,’’ my wife, Carlene, said, before being cut off.

“No, Olivia will be Paul Revere, and I’ll be his horse,’’ Lila said. “Sophie and my mom will be the guards.’’

With that, our living history skit was in place.

We had come out to Battle Road, site of the famous skirmishes of 1775, on one of the last reasonable weather days of the season. Carlene knows this road well. She runs it most of the year and last winter, with little Calvin growing inside her, brought me out for a cross-country ski.

This time we were with our kids and our family friends Sophie and Olivia. We jogged a bit down the dirt path as Carlene pointed out a vernal pool and Lila, at every stop, climbed the nearest tree. Then we reached the visitors center at Minute Man National Historical Park.

Inside, there’s a presentation with some nice, multimedia features — a replica of the Old North Church, illuminated maps — and a park ranger always ready to point out hot spots and share interesting tidbits. The kids, I could tell, weren’t particularly into a guided tour. They seemed unimpressed to learn that during Revere’s day, Arlington used to be known as Menotomy.

The kids wanted to get outside.

So we did. We scrambled down the road, searching for Revere’s house, which we didn’t find. But we did get to the historical marker detailing where his Midnight Ride came to an end.

That’s when the kids decided to try their skit.

Carlene hid behind a tree and Sophie behind a stone wall. They were the British. Lila, with little Olivia, er Paul Revere, on her back, galloped toward the marker. Then, the British pounced.

The quick capture led to an important question: What happened to Revere’s horse?

“Do you think they killed the horse?’’ Carlene asked.

“No, they took it and kept it,’’ said Sophie.

This line of questioning couldn’t possibly continue. Carlene looked over at the woods and the leaves and said, “Hey, let’s lift a couple of these logs.’’

“Salamanders,’’ Lila shouted and, within seconds, we were back in the 21st century, searching for slender, shiny amphibians.

Geoff Edgers can be reached at

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