by Scott Heald
The Dedham Times
[Editor’s Note: Even though Massachusetts has long been known as the Cradle of Liberty due to its central role in the Revolutionary War, it is all too easy to forget the events of that era. But a Dedham man, Tom “Tricorn” Moor, joins with Scott “The Big Minuteman” DiNitto and several different guests each week to produce a podcast at www.themidnightridecast.com with a call-in number of 617-606-3356 to keep the memory of Paul Revere and all the colonial Americans who fought against the British alive and well in the Information Age. Recently The Dedham Times interviewed Moor by email. Below are major excerpts of his responses.]
Torn Moor: We podcast out of the North End, about two blocks from Paul Revere’s house. We won an award for best new contribution to New England History at the New England History Festival in Watertown in 2009.
Sons of the American Revolution holds annual luncheon on Patriots Day weekend. On Sunday, April 17 the Massachusetts Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution (S.A.R.) held its annual luncheon at The Colonial Inn in Concord. Dozens of guests including several individuals with Dedham connections attended to celebrate the 236th anniversary of the beginning of the Revolutionary War. After the presentation of colors by an honor guard, introductory remarks by Massachusetts S.A.R. State President Michael Fishbein and an invocation by Pastor Garrett Lear, attendees enjoyed a buffet luncheon. Shown here, left to right: Pastor Garrett Lear who is known as “The Patriot Pastor”, Thomas “Trdicorn Tom” Moor of Dedham who is a member of the S.A.R., Elaine Mellen of Dedham who is the wife of Christopher MelIen, and Christopher Mellen of Dedham who is a National Trustee of the S.A.R.
Photo by Scott Heald
Most school children think my hat is a pirate hat and have very little knowledge of Massachusetts as the Cradle of Liberty. Teaching of this patriotic local history has already been almost entirely phased out.
Our current and upcoming projects include a trip to the new $50 million dollar American Wing of the MFA – which is truly fantastic in how they displayed the fine art, furniture, and even Paul Revere’s silver craft from the colonial era – and discussion of the portrait artist Gilbert Stuart, coverage of re-enactments along the Battle Road between Lexington and Concord, and an interview with the all-black Massachusetts 54th Regiment featured in the movie Glory.
Some other features of our show include:
We usually yell “Huzzah” which is a Revolutionary war-whoop, meaning “Hurrah!”. This cry was more associated with the Navy than the army, as in the War of 1812, the crew of the USS Constitution, after watching cannonballs bounce off her hull, cried, “Huzzah! Her sides are made of Iron!!!” (Hence the nickname “Old Ironsides”). So “Huzzah!!!” is the trademark of our show and sometimes we have our guests give a “Huzzah” salute.
Both Scott and I try to bring history alive and up-to-date with humor. But every now and then we have a guest that is a lot funnier than we are, for example, Mike Lowe, the JFK reinactor who did our JFK Historian show. He was taking pot shots at us left and right, in the person of JFK, and we left most of them in the content. For example, when he spoke of the War of 1812, he reminded Scott, “By the way, that war was fought in 1812, Scott…”
Creative and Changing formats – Some shows we get great scholars to call in. Other shows:
We go out on location, as we did for our Salem Halloween show. The latter format is interesting because we never know where it will lead. For example in the Salem show, we actually de-bunk a haunting at the Hawthorne Hotel, on Halloween day. (Some doors were opening mysteriously by themselves on the second floor and frightening the wits out of the guests. As it turns out, it was the wind coming in through opened windows that was pushing the doors open.)
An underlying Constitutionalist theme. Scott and I are both proud of our country’s history, its founders, and the American Constitution. Each and every show we talk about the founding documents, how they came into existence, and how they have been tested over time.
We are proud of our New England history, and by podcast and the world-wide web are making it available to the country and indeed the world, with many overseas listeners, Scott grew up in Lexington and I am a Son of The American Revolution, and a member of The Dedham Historical Society.
Original theme music & bumpers. In the intro you hear actual tape of Paul Revere (Patriots Day reenactment) galloping up and yelling “The Regulars are out!” and then a song. I wrote this song and did guitar and vocals on it, Scott did the excellent drums. Some other friends did keyboards etc. Both Scott and I have, played in local rock bands, so wanted to do an original theme song, plus original musical “bumpers” that separate different parts of the show.
We also have an upcoming interview with Jim Cook, founder of Sam Adams Brewery, at his very own beer festival. So lots of fun and history happening ‘at www.themidnightridecast.com.