I was feeling pretty tired, but very pleased with myself. You see, I had handcrafted a period correct 18th century crutch to use over the weekend. It looked GOOD and as a friend use to say, it was "achingly authentic" . I thought that it would add a sorta nice "Long John Silver" to my sailor impression. However, I measured the damned thing incorrectly so it was too short to use effectively. I need to add about 6 inches or so to it. Walking with it made me look like Igor in Young Frankenstein, not a very good look for me. I forgot the old adage, measure twice, cut once, so back to the drawing board.
I did a good bit of knotwork. I decided to make a demonstration piece of my knots. I have a reproduction 18th century cane so I stripped the finish off and started tying knots to cover the surface totally. I so far have done two types of coxcombing and a style of french knot, next there will be needle pointing and any other method I can figure out to cover the surface. Once it's totally covered, then I will put several Turk's head knots on it here and there to tie it all together.
Again, not only did I have a good time with the knots and talking to the public I spent a great deal of time visiting with my friends in the reenacting world. We solved all the worlds problems, discussed topics that would have most people running for cover, told jokes, and generally acted like a extended family. There were four or five seperate groups that threw in together and I knew most of the folks there. There was my buddy John, Andrew and Chris from the living history guild, Jerry, Tammy and their folks from the Johnson Co. militia and others. We also did the required musket and cannon demonstrations for the public.
One of the better things that we do is cooking period correct food in the field as a interpretative tool for the public. My good friend Miss Tammy is expert at this and is well known for the quality of the food she fixes. She does however have a tradition at Moore's creek that she makes a low country boil that while it may not be totally period correct, it's damned good.
For those of you who haven't had it, a low country boil starts out with a BIG pot. (Tammy has a 35 gallon black cast iron kettle she uses) Water, old bay seasoning, potatoes cut in 1/4, onions, and corn on the cob. Cook until tender, then add smoked sausage/kielbasa cut into manageable chunks. Let it cook a wee bit more then add as much shrimp as you can afford. Once the shrimp get done, get your bottle of Tabasco sauce, cover the table with newspaper and have at it. Of course, if you are at home or not at a historic site, beer is real good with this.
Saturday night, the site fed us as a thank you for our work, it was the traditional bar-be-que pork and chicken dinner. It was mighty tasty but the best part of the night was a dramatic presentation by a park employee in "first person" telling the story of a slave who buys her freedom. She did a wonderful job on the portrayal, but there was a moment that made me laugh so hard, I almost fell on the floor.
They have a employee at the park a fellow named Tim. Tim is a prince of a fellow, do anything in the world for you, but sometimes, he can't buy a break. He is one of those folks that as a friend of mine put it, "It rains, no matter where he goes." So here we were, listening to this lady, and she had a dramatic pause, when poor Tim's telephone went off. Tim's ring tone is "This Magic Moment" Somehow, it just didn't seem to go with the presentation. Tim tries to cut the phone off, I am laughing, Tim is turning various shades of red, the lady giving the presentation starts giggling and the rest of the audience seems to like it also.
So for the rest of the weekend, Tim is serenaded by people in 18th century clothing singing This Magic Moment. Something tells me that his ring tone will be changed.......
Sunday was more of the same until around 4:00 P.M. when we dropped the tents and headed home.
Not a bad start for the year.