After the thwarted attempt at Fort Knott’s a few weeks ago, my friends and I have really been eager to visit the past. Auntie, Melody and I went to an event at Saint Catherine’s Military Academy in Anaheim just this past weekend. It’s a small event and one of the few that is truly focused on education. Being a military academy, the students participate in research of key events during the Civil War, they present large scale diagrams of military maneuvers, and march around in their uniforms. The student body is provided with interactive questionaires that require them to speak (actually speak!) to the reenactors to learn about events and attitudes during the 1860s. We went just to go and took Melody with us. It was unusually hot that day and Saint Catherine’s has a very large open field and a very small tree-shaded green. We opted to leave the viewing area and return to the tree-shaded green. It was nice to visit with Mrs. Akerman of the Temperance Society and a war correspondent for the newspaper, acquaintences from previous events and new friends. And, I was able to barter (remember that long unfashionable aspect of trade?) Melody’s old shoes for a new dress, paid a few more dollars and wound up with two new outfits for her for less than $20. I could not make the clothes for $20 let alone buy the materials, and the lady is someone I remember from the German days out at Renaissance Faire, so it felt a bit like old home week. :-)
That brings us to the next visit to the past, this time with our full entourage and parlor! We will be at the Prado Regional Park Civil War Reenactment on April 4-5. Although this is technically in Los Angeles County, and right on the border between LA and OC, it is so accessible to Orange County folks, there really isn’t a good excuse to flake out miss it! Prado Regional Park is located just off the 71 west of the 91 – you know, behind the 1776 dam. It’s the first right after you exit the freeway and is a lush and beautiful park. There is plenty of play equipment, grass and ponds, paved roads into the reenactment for easier walking, has a huge campground, and the battlefield designated is spacious, hilly and offers expansive views of the action. In addition to that, last year there were a number of civilian camps offering an idea of what refugees, camp followers, and people like us – the ladies left at home – would experience, including a group that unofficially called themselves the Cranky Ladies, each using a vintage hand-cranked sewing machine to turn out dresses, shirts and other garments. Hopefully they will be there again this year. We will have our parlor set up with mending & sewing services for soldiers, games and other home activities. Last year, we had a number of visitors stop to watch us mend a rug. Seriously, mend a rug. Seems that hand sewing really is becoming a thing of the past, as is repairing and reusing those resources around us.
Anyway, please visit the SCCWA website for a video/slideshow, pricing and more information. The event is an annual fundraiser for the Chino Boy Scouts Eagle Scout program. Admission isn’t free, but it is a very busy event with lots of action. Oh, and there will be an 1860’s rules base ball game on Saturday April 4. This could be fun for the little ones who may not even realize base ball is that old. It was frequently played by prisoners of war and between units as a way to pass the time. Hope you will will put aside some time and come out to see us!