Another of Mr. Bell's readers encouraged me to contact Gary Gregory, the Executive Director and Master Printer of Edes & Gill. Throughout August and September, I toyed with the idea. On the one hand, visiting the site seemed natural to me, given my love for Boston's role in the American Revolution and the fact that I studied journalism in college. But on the other hand, the North End is so hostile to wheelchairs, and the last time I was in the vicinity was...shall we say...less than pleasant (see "Puritans, Tea And Why Grade School Field Trips Don't Thrill Me"), so I kept putting off the email.
Late Wednesday afternoon, however, I finally convinced myself to email Mr. Gregory. I couldn't come up with any other ideas for spending my birthday. Sulking, maybe? Well, yeah...doing that would really honor God, right? Okay, so it wouldn't. And I didn't have anything to lose by contacting him. So I opened my email program and typed:
As a follower of J.L. Bell's Boston 1775 Blog, I heard about The Printing Office of Edes & Gill. I love 18th Century American History, and I studied journalism back in college, so your office greatly intrigues me. This coming Friday is my birthday, and I'd dearly love to spend it visiting Clough House.
The problem, however, is that my husband and I are both wheelchair users, depending on power wheelchairs for mobility. I know we cannot get inside the building. But is there any possibility that someone could meet us outside the building about 1:00 (maybe a bit earlier, depending on the T) to tell us about the Boston Gazette and its role in the Revolutionary War? If so, I would greatly appreciate the time. I can receive email until 6:00 pm tomorrow evening. Thank you for reading this inquiry.
Joyfully in Christ,
After showering Friday morning, however, I asked John to check my email, on the off chance that a reply from Mr. Gregory would be in my inbox. To my surprise, an email indeed was waiting!
We can certainly meet you at the door of Clough House and I have had a wheel chair in the house b4 so maybe there is a chance. See you Friday
Your most Humble servant
Lessons on Liberty Inc.
A 501 c (3) Non-Profit Corporation
Yahoo! On that note, John and I rushed to get the bus to Ashmont, the Red Line to Downtown Crossing and the Orange Line to Haymarket. We followed Hanover Street all the way to Paul Revere Mall, avoiding the narrow streets around Paul Revere's house that had caused us such angst on previous excursions to that part of the North End. The terrible cracks we'd struggled with on Hanover Street last April were, to our delight and amazement, no longer there, making the trip easy! North End, easy? Who would have thought? Giddy with our newfound mastery of the North End, we decided I needed my picture taken with Paul Revere!
Convinced that we couldn't enter the building, Mr. Gregory kindly photographed the press for us. (He hopes to make a way for us to get inside next summer.)
Mr. Gregory left me wondering if the Crown was actually as tyrannical as we Americans have always been taught, or if the Boston Gazette, like today's media, molded 18th Century American ideology. Interesting stuff to occupy my mind, to be sure. I look forward to visiting Edes & Gill again, as well as to the next adventure that J.L. Bell's blog will most likely inspire.