Monday, October 8, 2012

A Walk Back in Time

The weather was just perfect last weekend for our family (Schnickelfritz, the Toolman and I were joined by my parents, Papa & Dida) to travel to Mexico,  not the country but the small town in central Missouri.  This wouldn't be a trip of geography but back in time as the event is named.  Most re-enactments deal with a specific event or era.  We've done several Lewis & Clark expeditions and Civil War battles.  A Walk Back in Time allows you to wander the grounds of the Audrain County Historical Museum and visit many eras in American history from Colonial times to Vietnam.  I've said it before and I'll say it again--the best people to teach you are the ones who have a passion for the subject.  These men and women gave up their weekend (and took vacation from work to teach school kids on Friday) to dress up and share what they've researched about their period of history.

We decided to start at the beginning and work our way forward through history.

The Toolman trying out a quill pen
These re-enactors are only human and occasionally break character, like this colonial ship owner/merchant with a digital camera in his hand.  He was taking a picture of a portable table & benches set.  When I told him why I was giggling at him he did said his wife had chastised him that morning about wearing his blue tooth in his ear.

Here's the table (which I also found fascinating).  The Bible says there's nothing new under the son.  Here I think we're lucky to have portable gear for camping, but this whole set disassembles and fits in the box that makes up the table surface.  I was told a vendor sold them at last year's event, but I'll have to try and find my own plans on the Internet.

Moving forward to the age of the trappers and mountain men we're ran into this shaggy character.  He told us about the mutual benefits of mountain men taking Indian wives.  They had the protection of family while hunting and trapping, the family gained access to guns and ammunition.

In the Wild West, Schnickelfritz found a whip in the General store.  We had recently let him see Raiders of the Lost Ark and he "needed" one of his own.  The vendor knocked the price down from $10 to $4--I guess it pays to be cute.

A couple of real desperadoes in the Wild West Jail

Fritz would have been a good candidate to be a Pony Express rider (assuming his Mama would let him).  This was one of several booths that offered free Bibles--which a real Express rider would have been issued as well.

After lunch, we headed to the more modern warfare side of the museum--if you can call the Civil War modern.  Papa & the Toolman were certainly more interested in the weapons of war on display.  And it was interesting that not all the re-enactors were "Americans."  There were German and Russian troops in the World War II areas.  I saw this girl playing with her puppy (who needed to work off some pent up energy). 

From a distance I thought the dog was carrying some sort of radio equipment.  Imagine my horror to learn the Russians had trained dogs to walk under tanks.  The wooden stick poking up was a detonation device that would destroy the tank when the dog passed under.  It was a short lived program because dogs couldn't distinguish the friendly tanks from the foes.   Of course,  not all of us have grown more civilized today when I think of women and children being trained to be human bombs.

The entire family had a good day.  There were also exhibits by the World Bird Sanctuary, period music and lectures on Tarleton (from the American Revolution),  the War of 1812, etc.  I wish that there was authentic food, but the re-enactors were only providing for themselves and we had to go to the modern food tents.  Fortunately for us there was an Amish family making ice cream.  Yum!!!

And you can't have a history event in Missouri without an appearance by one of its most famous sons.  Here's Schnickelfritz with Mark Twain.


Mary said...

What a great opportunity!! I love the Mark Twain.

Jennifer aGlimpseOfOurLife said...

What a fascinating way to learn history. That is a cool table. I hope you share if you make one.

Stefanie said...

What an awesome field trip!!!

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