The sharp crack of a trio of muskets pierced the air one fine July morning in Thomaston, Maine. I watched a small group of Revolutionary War reenactors as they approached, packing gunpowder into the muzzles, signaling that something of consequence was about to occur.

Thomaston is one of many small towns in Maine with 2,700 residents. During the summer, the town swells with summer visitors and their appetite for blueberries…and its traditional Fourth of July parade.

Read this and the bonus essay, Georgia On My Mind, in the latest issue of my Substack newsletter, out today: