On Sep 16, 2011, at 10:31 PM, Sue Felshin wrote:
> To introduce myself, I'm Sue, I've been reenacting for about fifteen years,
That was a really lame introduction, so let me say a little more. What brought me into reenacting was my friend Colleen, who was correct in thinking that I would be very attracted by the thought of standing in an open field all day long chopping onions. I've learned to love many things about reenacting and living history -- not just being outdoors, cooking over an open fire, and sewing snazzy clothing. I like the hands-on activity as a counterpoint to my sit-in-front-of-a-computer-all-day job. I like "experimental archaeology": learning why some crazy-seeming historical action isn't crazy at all and is actually very sensible and practical in context (like women using pins instead of buttons). I love the way learning about history gives me a better understanding of the present, and of "how people work". (And oh, do I sneer at the news these days when some reporter or pundit says "this is unheard of! it hasn't happened for 20 years!" Twenty years, hah!) Even after I encounter it again and again, I'm continually amazed at how pretty much every way we think people in history were so different, they were just like us, and pretty much every way we think they were just like us, they were really different. I sure didn't expect that when I got into living history! Anyway, enough philosophical blathering.
In addition to being broadly interested in costume, foodways, and material and social culture in general, I'm working on in-depth research into 18th century lace (http://people.csail.mit.edu/sfelshin/revwar/lace/lace.html)
and a few other topics. For the last couple of years, I've mostly participated in civilian events and as a member of "The Hive" (http://thehiveonline.org/)
. I'm still interested in going to the big reenactments, but I feel like I'm in some sort of transition about how I want to fit in at a military reenactment. "Cook for the men" isn't very historically accurate, at least not for the unit I'm with. I know there are other options, but I have to work it out for myself.
> and I'm looking forward to a nice day in Minuteman National Historic Park (in Concord and Lincoln, MA) tomorrow -- they're opening up all the historic houses, and reenactors are staffing them and giving demos of various crafts. If a miracle occurs, I'll finish the gown I've been not getting around to working on for months.
Of course the gown didn't get finished, but I did at least get the robings finished and the skirts pin-pleated to the bodice and ready to try on and check. And we got a decent number of interested visitors, so I call the day a success.
Your affectionate servant,