Rejoice evermore!

Thanks to the generosity at Kasa Kurko, Don and I were able to view the entire HBO Series, "John Adams" which completed last night.

Wow. I have always held a huge fascination and kinship with the history of our country and with the Founding Fathers (and Mothers). I have taught that I felt Adams, Jefferson and Franklin were our early American mystics and visionaries. In my book, Abigail Adams was our first suffragette and feminist; equal to her male counterparts, if not, superior to many.

When David McCullogh's book first came out, I resisted buying the hefty tome as I knew realistically, I would likely not make my way through it. Besides, I am already a "fan" would there be that much more to learn? Indeed there was and is.

Production values for this mini-series were high. Laura Linney is wonderful. Sarah Polley does a very nice turn as daughter Abigail (does anyone remember Sarah from the "Ramona" series? Not to mention, she is not only all grown up but an Academy Award nominee for screenwriting!) I shall admit that I was not at all enamored of Paul Giamatti's performance as John Adams until the final episode where he won me over.

Having Tom Hanks as one of the Executive Producers certainly helped because his attention to historical detail is well-respected. And it was encouraging to hear author McCullough speak so highly of this production during the added feature, "The Making of John Adams." He said he felt that not only will people learn from this series but they will feel what it was like to live during that time.

So many tidbits that I learned (and felt) that somehow got dropped or was not taught to me. My inner-Pollyanna was surprised to learn how much conspiracy, intrigue and well, politics took place during the very first presidential election! The fact that John Adams while Vice-President sitting in the Senate read the election results for his very own entreƩ as the second President. No hoopla or paparazzi for sure. Some of the historical pieces about the Adams family were surprising, too. The juvenille delinquent son who died early from alcohol abuse and inner demons; the daughter Abigail who had breast cancer and had one breast removed before dying from the disease later on. And it never occurred to me that the first White House was built by slaves! Some of our history is not proud.

My favorite bit of historical and mystical trivia revolves around the karmic relationship John Adams had with Thomas Jefferson. Right down to their dying on the same day--July 4th, fifty years to the day of the signing of the Declaration of Independence! That alone should be enough to intrigue you to buy the book or watch the mini-series.

When the series ended, I didn't want to leave. I wanted to know even more. I began to indulge in one of my favorite postulation practices, that of wondering how and what some person from the past would think or feel about certain aspects of modern day life. For example, I might ruminate on what Ben Franklin would think of the internet or cell phones. This election year, I ponder if Adams would be as proud of the Bush father-son legacy; how Jefferson would feel about Barack Obama running for president; and how Abigail would feel about Hillary Clinton finally being the first female to run for this office (with a retroactive nod to Geraldine Ferraro).

In one of the closing scenes as an aged Adams walks in the field with his son, he has such a unique purview of life and he hollers our, "Rejoice evermore!" (Thessalonians, 5:16)

I humbly agree.


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