Last Saturday evening I took my thirteen year old granddaughter and two of her best friends to the Theater On The Road’s cemetery tour at the Old Dutch Church, Wall and Fair Streets, Kingston, New York.
It was freezing, dark and we arrived early so we parked and spent an hour walking around colonial uptown Kingston and looking on its old houses. Few of which however date earlier than 1777 because in October that year the British army burned the place down, destroying three hundred fifty homes the residents of which had to flee into the woods. All of whom it should also be noted were old men and women, mothers and children because any man older than fifteen and under the age of sixty-five was in the Ulster county Militia fighting further south along the Hudson River.
In any event my granddaughter, her friends and I wandered about and found a open and bright candy store which sold tall and rich hot chocolates. Too much sugar for me so I skipped any but my granddaughter’s was candy caramel apple hot chocolate with little chunks of apple and caramel in the huge cone of whipped cream on top. Wow! Warmed her right up.
Then onto to the show in the church cemetery. It wasn’t spooky as much as it was fascinating. At eight gravesites the person buried there, in one case a married couple, came alive in beautiful period costumes in the dark and peering around a flickering lantern told you about their lives in the days prior and after the British burning of the town.
The evening fled and despite the fact that we were bone chilled and shivering the thoroughly entranced girls refused to abandon the tour until it finished. Then we piled back into the truck, turned the heat on blasting and drove to a local diner for a hot meal at 9:30 PM.
I had a great time. The girls were wonderful and fun to listen to chatting among themselves, they’re really very nice kids and warming my heart, later rhapsodized to their parents about the experience. And what they learned. An object lesson. Children enjoy learning about other things and having fun in other ways then from lessons structured to be “relevant” to their lives today like tales about rock stars. And of course there is nothing like live theater. Pictured to the right and above are some of the actors from the event.