Saturday, August 28, 2010

He's a New World Man

In 1632 (144 years before the Declaration of Independence and one year after William Seavey arrived in the New World and built Plymouth’s first church), the Tuttle family began farming on the New Hampshire/Maine border, a region whence hail several of my favorite people.  Now, 378 years later, the Tuttle family is considering selling the family farm.  Think of the dusty knickknacks they must have in the back room.

Then again, what Americans consider “old” is laughable to inhabitants of the Old World.  Plymouth, England, for instance, traces its founding not to 1620 (or 1607 like Jamestown, lest we neglect it) but to the Bronze Age.  America just got here yesterday, really, and we’re still getting our footing.  I still recall pointing out Manhattan’s oldest church to my British friend Sangeeta Sahi and getting a “So what?  Oxford has been around for over a thousand years, Cambridge for two thousand” as a compassionate response.  Of course, Sangeeta is also the sort of softy who once declared a teddy bear’s facial expression that of “a gormless idiot.”

But enough about the English — tomorrow a look at those thuggish, brooding latecomers to the New World, the Germans (who, like the English, have been known to display imperialist tendencies).

1 comment:

Christopher said...

Well, Plymouth, MA has been around for a lot longer than 2000 years, it just had different inhabitants and a different name.