A few weeks ago I got to take a wonderful class on sewing 18th century breeches with the Colonial Williamsburg tailors. At the last minute my husband consented to coming down too. Since I didn't need to be in class until early afternoon, I got to walk around the historic area for a bit and enjoy some of the lovely 4mph atmosphere. As we walked throughout the town, my husband and son took autumn pictures while I desperately tried to stay warm. My husband had us pose for this one and told us exactly where to stand. I had no idea what his perspective was until I saw this picture. Is he trying to make a statement?
While we were on the back streets, behind Raleigh Tavern, we heard an extremely loud and boisterous n-e-i-g-h. Turning around the horseman said, "He's saying hello to you. You all know Luke, right?" It was funny thinking about how the horses possibly now recognize us! The horseman stopped to talk and let us pet Luke. He was telling us that Luke was protesting his exercise time, since he preferred the lazy life. While I petted the horse and wondered how anyone could tell that a horse was overweight, I noticed his breadth. Even I could tell he is much broader across than any of the other horses I'm usually around. I spoke up and commented, "Oh yes, I can tell from looking across his front that he's put on excess weight. Well, Luke did *not* like that one bit and shook his head. The more I talked about how he needed to exercise, the more he shook his head. Even though my husband was trying to get a picture of him, Luke was ready to leave. I wish I had told him he was still a handsome horse. I wonder how he would have reacted to that?
And thus ended my fun at wonderful Colonial Williamsburg. While giving the CW interpreters a break from me, the CW tailors were stuck with me instead...all weekend! They were wonderful and I learned lots of fascinating things and stitched my little heart out. Whenever we go to CW there are two places (of many)where I definitely want to go...I always want to see our favorite actor and I always want to stop by to see the tailors. They patiently endure my persistent questions and give us the best stories and experiences. I learn the most from them because of the time they are willing to invest in me if and when they have the time. All of the interpreters have my greatest respect so I usually hold back, even fading into the background, trying not to infringe on anyone's valuable time. To take a sewing class with the tailors (for an entire weekend, not just grabbing a few minutes between guests in the tradeshop) is a dream come true, since I am mostly a self-taught seamstress with many gaps in my repertoire. As I was accumulating laughs and fun stories and experiences (and learning) at the workshop to share with my family at dinner, they too were stocking up on tales galore to share with me. Can you believe that for all the times I've been to CW, for all the programs I've seen, for all the people I've talked to (because I do enjoy talking to all of them but have to be careful not to drive them too crazy with my questions) my family saw and did things I have never gotten to do? =( So all that to say that as much as I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of my sewing workshop, I simultaneously and equally yearned for time at Colonial Williamsburg. Thankfully my family took a few pictures (although I told them to take lots). The main pictures they took Friday were of the Veteran's Day ceremony which ended at the Courthouse.
They got to watch some fencing with the fencing master! Wow! I've never seen that except during a Revolutionary City scene in the midst of a huge crowd! My son's eyes shone with excitement as he told me everything. As he told me about finding them I interjected..."and they let you fence too!" No.
BTW that is not my son fencing. It's one of the interpreters with the same color coat as he has.
There was a question and answer session and as he told me about it, I said, "and they let you fence too." No.
He told me he got to ask all about the type of sword they use and I said, "and they let you fence too." No.
He told me that he got to ask questions comparing their sword with the type the musketeers, as in The Three Musketeers, had. I exclaimed, "and they let you fence too." No.
He got to ask questions about manuevers and I stated, "and you got to fence too." No.
You see, my son researched fencing when he portrayed D'Artagnan of The Three Musketeers for one of our history presentations 4 years ago. Then last year we were gifted a Colonial Williamsburg production, A Day in the Life, where we got to see a fencing scene with his favorite actor. If my son could ask for one thing to do at CW, it would be to get a fencing lesson from his favorite actor. However these guys know my son too and I had a feeling at some point they would at least let him touch the sword. My son was so thrilled just having been this close to the fencing, that after each little bit of the story, I'd interject, "and you got to fence too," because I just knew they'd at least let him touch it. No.
Finally, somewhere, somehow, someway, in that entire story, which probably lasted an hour of intricate detail of action and question and answer, I interjected, "and they let you hold the sword." Yes! But no one got a picture of that. I would have!
Then they went to the Tucker House and got to see George Wythe. The kids and I met him last March on his very first visit to the Tucker House but my husband hadn't met him yet. Turns out Mr. Wythe has really embellished his interpretation with lots of fascinating details. But I won't go into detail on that. I'd rather tease everyone into
Then they saw the latest of the construction of the Armoury project. One of the carpenters remembered them from our visit in September. They got to talking about paints of the colonial era, which somehow led to discussing paints of the Medieval Ages and illuminated manuscripts. The information was fascinating so we decided to incorporate it into our Medieval Feast. More on that later.
Then they did Revolutionary City...
Sunday morning all I know is that they met with Generals Washington and Lafayette who were asked lots of questions about medical matters. Really? I wonder why since they aren't doctors. Then they went to the Tucker House where they met Alexander Purdie. I will tell one funny story about this. Apparently all weekend, whoever my family saw complained and complained about Patrick Henry. (Patrick Henry is another favorite of mine. I might listen to the complaining but I never complain about him myself.) Well, while Mr. Purdie was
Sunday afternoon I arrived in town at the same time as General Washington! While I waited for the next scene at the Raleigh Tavern, for the official arrival of General Washington, I saw Robert Carter! I tried to get a picture of him but he kept moving around too fast. I had read all about him in The First Emancipator. I wonder if I can ask him questions sometime, but I knew I had to let him prepare for the next scene. Got to be careful not to overwhelming anyone with my presence, so I held back and savored the final scene of the day in brisk autumnal weather.
Despite missing some great stuff, at least I got to take a great workshop sandwiched in between a few delightful moments in the historic area.