June 2, 201
We went on a “day trip” to Fort Scott Kansas with Phil’s cousin Bob and sweet wife, Billie Kerns (he was Phil’s best man at our wedding) to see the festival days yesterday. They are a little younger than we are. Bob, a retired tax professional is a military history buff and Billie a retired second grade school teacher. It was about a 3 hour drive one-way. It was such fun. The fort has been restored beautifully and to original specks as much as possible.
There where folks milling around in time period dress (Indian, settlers, dragoons (elite Calvary) and I especially liked the prairie doctor with his chemical concoctions and tooth extractors. The segregated barracks were properly furnished and information on the daily life activities well documented. The quarter master’s facility had an attic for storing hay and a limestone basement for the wine.
The stables were spotless and breezy. Since we had been to Carthage not long ago, we were aware that Fort Scott was one of the refugee sites used during the civil war. That added some continuity to our studies. The fort was bought and sold several times and used in various commercial activities over the years. It was never attacked. It is nice to see it as a national historic site and well-kept.
The prairie doctor was aware of my eyeing him up and down; checking the buttons on his trousers and sleeves; I was trying to discern the material used, and if his shoes were appropriate for the time. After his presentation, he allowed me to check out the costume a little closer. I may have made him uncomfortable during his presentation; staring at the different parts of the outfit. The vest and trousers used wooden buttons and the cotton shirt used ‘mother of pearl’ buttons. The corners were rounded and the seams were well done.
He concentrated on the 1840 time period and my treadle machine is an 1839 model and still does good sewing like that outfit had! I hope that he decided that I am not really a dirty old lady! I will be more discreet next time I am at a presentation. There was a quilt exhibit, an Indian dance demo with teepee exhibits (Lakota Tribe, from South Dakota) with period dressed Indians giving tours and narratives. It was very child friendly, although we didn’t have any children with us this time.
I remember my Aunt Evelyn saying that we had some undocumented Indian blood from a small tribe in the Dakota’s, under the Sioux umbrella. I remember Grandma Gertie saying “NOT SIOUX”, and then denying any Indian blood. The narrator said that the term Sioux was used by the European’s, and the Indians considered it a derogatory reference. Interesting…..
They had “Dock Dog” competitions which we had never seen before. That is competitions held with dogs (mainly labs) chasing a Frisbee, rope toy or other items and retrieving it from a water feature, some well below the surface of the water. The dogs loved it and some were quite good at it. Occasionally a new pup would look at their handler and refuse to dive into the pool. It was hilarious, but serious business for those involved.
Vendors of all sorts were present; home-made sarsaparilla and root beer, home-made ice cream all made as you wait, crafts and such. There were also several book signings going on with authors who write novels based on that time period. I wish now that I had bought one of the books. Prices were really quite reasonable.
We stopped for “Annie’s Fried Chicken” served home-style in Pittsburg, Kansas on the way home.
I found it nice that there was no admission or parking charges anywhere.
I think that I am getting into this retirement life easier than I thought that I would!
Love to all