Monday, May 28, 2012

the stars at night ARE big and bright

...deep in the heart of Texas.  ;-)

It's been a busy four days.  I'm happy to say that Spenser didn't bite anybody this time, too.  He's fascinated by the horses -- he seems to be thinking, "those are the biggest dogs i've ever seen, and they don't smell quite right...."

But it's been HOT.  When i'm at a living-history event where i talk with spectators, i explain that mid-to-late Victorian attire isn't as oppressive as it LOOKS; however, it's significant to note that during the last half of the nineteenth century, there was a "mini ice age" going on.  Not only is it warmer than it was 150 years ago here, there's more paving and less green, and therefore it seems even warmer than it really is.

When portraying a "decent" woman of the era, i wear a chemise and drawers, stockings and shoes/boots, a corset (made of heavy cotton), petticoat, dress, and often an apron, too.  Whenever one goes out in public one is supposed to be wearing a hat or bonnet.  When the daytime temperature is in the 90s (as it was during this weekend), the humidity high, and the sun shining brightly, ANY activity will make one miserably hot.  The men in their long-sleeved shirts, vests and hats weren't too much better off.

That's why it's very convenient to have a disreputable character to play in hot weather: while sitting on our own porch, we wore nothing but our chemises (over modern underthings, so that we wouldn't look x-rated), and went barefoot, with our hair up off our necks.  Our porch is of the "dogtrot" variety -- a sort of tunnel between the two halves of our cabin -- and if there's ANY air moving, it'll funnel through, so it's a very comfortable place to sit.  When visiting other parts of town, we put on a loose cotton skirt and footwear (there are fire-ants...).

A disreputable character is also essential in the evenings, at any time of year.  Bearing in mind that we "bend the social rules" so that everybody can have a good time, there's no way a LADY can be respectable and still hang around in the saloon at night!  :-)  Most of the women in town play roles which make it reasonable for them to have a drink, gamble, entertain and/or socialize as they like; if one doesn't want to portray a soiled dove, one can work (tending bar, cleaning or doing errands, entertaining musically), run games like faro or roulette, invent a character who reads palms or cards ... whatever ingenuity can suggest!

But after days of driving, working at maintenance, "playing the game," staying up late talking with friends i see too seldom, cooking and doing laundry, setting up and preparing things for storage again, ... i'm beat!  I hope i'll have something intelligent to say when i'm rested up again!  ;-)


  1. "reminds me of
    the one I love"


  2. :-D that's the song! i live in a city where i don't see many stars, so when i'm at a rural event, i look at the sky a lot....