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Dear Sarah Phillips, James Hiller, and Henri LeFevbre,
You guys don’t know this about me, but I used to absolutely hate history! I loved learning, I loved being in school – a mad thought, I’m sure, but it was simpler times and all that – but history, particularly American history, was a subject that typically bored me to tears. Dates, events, historical figures all always seemed to swirl and slide together in my mind until they were unrecognizable and I couldn’t make heads or tails of anything. My brain rejected facts and statistics like a bad kidney transplant. I just wanted nothing to do with any of it.
But then, oh, then, you three and all your friends came into my life. You three, a tory turned patriot, a true blue patriot, and a trouble-making Frenchman, who lived during the American Revolution. Your stories, your backgrounds, were all tragic and intriguing. But what’s more, your present was history, but it was also worth watching. For a history lesson aimed at children, it was quite mature. It wasn’t patronizing, it wasn’t condescending, it was informative, it was educational, it was… Entertaining. But most of all, it was history.
You three are all so complex, so brave and relatable; it was really a joy to get to know each of you. You all were so, so, amazing in your own way, with your different flaws strengths, interests and opinions… Something about each of you just made you stick out from other characters I was introduced to around the same time:
Sarah, you were the teenager I wanted to grow up to be. You defied social boundaries, you stood up for what was right and just, and you didn’t let an injustice go ignored. You were a tory at first, sure, loyal to your own country and noble in a subtle sort of way, but even through your loyalty, you were able to see what was right. Not to mention you were a great writer, something that’s so important to me personally. You were many things a girl back then wasn’t supposed to be, but that’s what made you so amazing. And you taught me the power of words, how using the right word at just the right time is so vital and important and really more of an art than anything else. As one writer to another, I thank you for that; it was a good lesson for a young writer like me to learn.
James, I’m not going to lie, you were a bit of a jerk-wad at the beginning. But you were young, and you had your beliefs, and your reasons for nearly everything you did and believed. And you cared so much about your friends, your country, and getting the truth out there at any cost to yourself personally. You introduced me to the wonders of Benjamin Franklin and George Washington before he was President and the events and battles that shaped our history. Besides that, you defied social norms yourself: you were friends with a former slave, you respected him and a girl, you let Sarah positively influence you, and you showed me that it doesn’t matter who your friends are so long as they’re your friends. People are worth more than society will lead you to believe, and you knew this before I even grasped what society was trying to tell me what people were worth. You were a great person, James, still just a dumb boy sometimes, but one that I didn’t hate, one that taught me even dumb boys aren’t always dumb boys.
And Henri. Oh, Henri! You were just a boy, but you were also funny. A trouble-maker, sure, always wandering off and finding trouble, but those quick legs of yours always were the first to run for help when your friends needed it. You were my first taste of the exotic, and a reminder that kids can do great things, can be helpful, too. We can be troublemakers and keep our friends safe all in the same day. You also made me want to learn French, if only to be more like you and to understand what you say in your native tongue. Granted, I’m not entirely there yet, but I’ll get there one of these days, And when I do, when I’m fluent, I’ll feel even closer to you. I’ll feel as though I’ve made you proud. I know you grew into a great man, Henri, I only wish I could have seen that man in action.
Bottom-line: you three were there for me, teaching me a love of history that has stuck, and so much more than I can even begin to put into words. Thank you guys for putting a smile on my face during some of my darkest moments.
An Open-Minded Patriot.
P.S. I miss you, Henri, and I’m sad that you went back to France. But if you had to go, I’m glad it was with someone like Lafayette, one of my favorite historical figures. And Sarah and James? Don’t even pretend you’re not into each other. Don’t. Even.
Serious question, Tumblr-pals
All of this Sarah Phillips bullshit over at Deadspin is because she’s a woman, right?
I feel like hackery plays out all. the. time in all occupations, but because it was a girl who was doing it to sports it is MAJOR NEWS and VERY IMPORTANT to the sports blogs.
Just seems like another typical shit story from Gawker. Am I wrong?