Wednesday, March 18, 2015

On the Revealing of Names

I have been asked before why I do not specifically state the names of the interpreters at Colonial Williamsburg. In the beginning I didn't share names, because I didn't know anyone. Then we kept going and going, every month and sometimes several times a month after we first moved here in 2009. Many of the interpreters started recognizing us and called us "friends." Then they seemed to become like family because they were so warm and friendly.  They are such wonderful people who know their history and who engage the guests in such fun and pleasing manners.

By then I felt it was wrong to specifically state names on my blog because I thought that was too personal, so I've tried to create an aura for others to draw them into the historical experience. I didn't want my readers to think of Colonial Williamsburg as a modern location with modern people acting like people of the past. Instead my goal was to transport my readers to the 18th century through our meetings with first person interpreters. When we've met with third person interpreters, I tried to stay on topic with our 18th century theme all with the goal to draw them in to the dream to visit Colonial Williamsburg for themselves.
Shortly after we moved here I was contacted by one of the higher-ups at Colonial Williamsburg who had heard about me and my blog. She enthusiastically wanted to meet me and we became friends. She loved my blog since I was always sharing about our visits to Colonial Williamsburg, so she was always recommending it to others to read who wanted to learn more about the Colonial Williamsburg experience.
However, my friend told me to keep on doing as I had been doing, to NOT share anyone's names specifically. The reason for her and the foundation was to protect their privacy, which I totally got. When we first moved here I told my children that if we ever saw the interpreters off duty, we were to politely acknowledge them but we were not to take up their time. They need time away from us, the guests, so they can just enjoy being with their family, their friends, and just being themselves. Now that I've been to Colonial Williamsburg with my kids while wearing historic clothing, I get this even more.  As much fun it has been to be mistaken for a Colonial Williamsburg employee (we always state that we are simply guests), as happy as we are to pose for pictures (because guests are geeked out to actually see a family on the streets and we totally get that) at the end of the day we are exhausted and ready to hang up our 18th century personas and be non-entities and sort of zone out.  =) I'm sure the employees can often magnify that feeling by 10! =)  Then we are usually ready to start afresh the next day journeying about the 18th century in period clothing as I'm sure the interpreters are as well! =)
Along the way, I have become facebook friends with some of the employees. Because I care about their space so much, I don't send out friend requests.  Well, actually I did send one then retracted it later in great guilt because I didn't know if they really wanted that or not. =) However I have always merrily and cheerfully obliged any CW friend requests that have come my way and I totally geeked out and told the family...guess who????? Yep, totally geeked out about that, but even on facebook I try not to take up their time. I save my many questions for when they are on duty and in the appropriate setting. =) I'm always full of questions and I also simply enjoy listening to their dialogues and their answers to many  other great questions. I really enjoy being around them and so does the rest of my family.  No vacation is complete without being around their greatness.
We don't get to attend as often as we used to, which makes  me quite sad. We are in a very busy season of life now that my kids are in college.  However every once in a while we are able to pop in and enjoy a few programs and trades where we  meet these incredible interpreters who bring the past to life. Huzzah to them!

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