The previous day Kathryn and I were at Fenway Park watching the Red Sox battle the Rays. Dustin Pedroia came up to bat and I overheard a man saying something about how no second baseman ever hit as well as Pedroia. I leaned in and mentioned Ryne Sandberg. Clearly I had taken the Bostonians by surprise simply by mentioning a National League player. The discussion stalled because nobody in Boston knows anything about 28 of the 30 major league teams. Slowly rotating on the wobbly axis of RedSox/Yankee lore one man finally ventured a departure, "What about that Bobby Thompson? He hit the 'shot heard 'round the world.'"
That's when another fellow chimed in. He hadn't heard what we were discussing and totally hijacked the conversation putting it on course towards the birthplace of the American Revolution. "It stawted in Con-cud." Then a different fan yelled back "What are you crazy?! The first shots weh fy-yud in Lexington." "Bullshit friend! Con-cud!"
That's when a mysterious message came onto the scoreboard. It said "Moonlight Graham will not be a part of this story. Sleep tight, mates." I thought I was the only one that had seen it, but later that evening when I wheeled around the street on my bike Kathryn was standing there, in front of me and directly in the beam of light cast by my solo headlight. She said, "Moonlight Graham." I hopped off the bike and accosted her for not previously mentioning that she had seen the message too. I asked her if she had heard the voice also. She said, "'Go to sleep?' That voice?" I asked her what that meant. She said, "It means were going to bed."
We made it to Kathryn's parents house in Lexington. On the way I asked her about the Lexington/Concord rivalry and where the first shots of the American Revolution were fired. Growing up in Lexington she had a clear bias, but she dismissed it long enough to tell me that there is significant dispute between both towns of where the official "shot heard 'round the world" occurred. She showed me to my quarters in the guest room and I relaxed, revelling in the comforts of a nice bed after a long day. Soon I was asleep dreaming of MacQueens apple pies and penpal romance.
Just as soon as I had drifted off I was shocked back to consciousness by the guitar riffs of Eddie Van Halen. A being was standing over me. He demanded that I do one of two things or he'd melt my brain. The first option was to try and discover where the "shot heard 'round the world" happened. The second was to take Lorraine to the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance. I was already in Lexington, and because I don't know how to play "Johnny B. Goode" on guitar, I chose the first.
So there we were, jamming to Huey and the News and meeting with Doc and Marty. I kneeled down to pet Einstein and inspect the flux capacitor to make sure it was fluxing. Doc leaned over my shoulder and talked to me about his machine going on and on about plutonium and gigawatts. At one point I turned to him and said, "You know, I bet if this baby hits 88 mph you get to see some serious shit." He wasn't amused, but Marty was and out of pure gesticulation slapped the top of the driver's side door.
We cranked the time circuits to April 19, 1775 and took off.
Kathryn and I canoed up the Concord River to the North Bridge where David Brown's farm was. We saw the Lexington Green where Capt. John Parker and the colonists made their first armed resistance to the British soldiers. And we saw many places in between, like where Paul Revere was finally captured. Where was the "shot heard 'round the world" fired? Here's the deal:
The British were on their way to Concord. That is where the colonists stashed all of thier arms and ammo. The Redcoats were intent on getting those weapons to prevent colonists from shooting them. To get to Concord the Brisitsh had to go through Lexington. That's where the first altercation occurred. Captain John Parker and the men of town stood, fully armed, in the path of the Redcoats. A skirmish ensued and nobody knows who fired the first shot. Eight colonists were killed and ten were wounded. The British suffered one injury and no casualties. The rebels retreated. The British marched on to Concord and found more armed colonists at the Concord River. About 400 minutemen stood in the field on the western side of the north bridge to meet the British force of 96. Another shot rang out and more fighting took place: "The British attempted to cross the bridge. They were not shooting rubber bullets, this was war." This time the rebels were more successful and it was the Redcoats that retreated.
So there were two "first" shots fired. One in Lexington and another in Concord. The skirmish in Lexington happened first, but the shot in Concord began the first successful colonial resistance. Either way I'm betting it was the patriots that fired first.
Here's some pictures:
|Kathryn and I at Fenway|
|The Concord Minuteman|
|The Lexington Minuteman (w/ a helper)|
|The old Brown Farm with the North Bridge in the distance|
|It's 1775. Do you seen woman in the Bonnet?|
|KT yelling to me about the Libyans that were in hot pursuit|
|The North Bridge|