The Early Years: Jim Was In A Play Once

Many, many years ago, I came across a casting advertisement for a play that was going to be put on at the outdoor stage in Hanna Park, a local park created by (I think) and named after (definitely) Ed Hanna, a colorful and notorious* former mayor of Utica, NY. The play was The Children’s Crusade, which, as you might imagine, was billed as some sort of heavy drama about—you guessed it!—the Children’s Crusade. According to the linked Wikipedia article, “The traditional narrative is likely conflated from some factual and mythical events which include the visions by a French boy and a German boy, an intention to peacefully convert Muslims in the Holy Land to Christianity, bands of children marching to Italy, and children being sold into slavery. Many children were tricked by merchants and sailed over to what they thought were the holy lands but, in reality, were slave markets.” Sounds cheerful, doesn’t it?

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