Rumors of My Demise

Well, to get the obvious Monty Python reference out of the way, I’m not quite dead yet.

Two days of shooting video outside in the July heat was brutal. Spending those two days standing was less that salubrious, bum leg wise, and two days later I’m still using my cane.

I was at the Fort Bend Museum in Richmond, the county seat, covering their Summer hands-on history classes. School-age kids learning how things were done in the pre-Civil War days, when the white man started moving into Texas. The disjoint was often amusing, as when on the “Chore Day” section of the workshop, kids were washing clothes with scrub boards and a hand-driven wringer, then hanging the laundry on a clothesline. One stated simply that he would “hire a girl” to do this.

The lesson from the prior day Frontier Survival, hadn’t sunk in, ie, there is no girl to hire. You are miles away from anyone else, and it is on you to do this, and do it right. Carrying water from the well didn’t go over well, either. Half of it was spilled, necessitating more trips. Starting a fire with flint and steel was equally mystifying.  “Why don’t you just use matches? My father would use lighter fluid.”

Well, hopefully the kids learned something that can be put to good use, later in life. Like when the dryer breaks down, or something. Or to keep an eye on the kid who kept asking during Chore Day when they were going to slaughter an animal.

Me, I learned to schedule inside stories in the Summer.

Speaking of history: I had heard an interview with Daniel Okent on NPR about his book, Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition, and immediately put a request for it into my local library. Picked it up Wednesday (part of an epic 10 books my library had processed for me- damn, my library rocks) and am thoroughly enjoying it. This is the kind of history book I love, examining the inter-connectedness of events that at first glance would seen unconnected, but which give rise to unexpected developments and consequences.  James Burke’s appropriately-named Connections first turned me on to this view of history, and it changed the way I looked at events forever. Here, have a taste:

The series seems to have a strong presence on YouTube, and definitely deserves to be checked out. (well, actually no it doesn’t, and appears to be scrubbed out completely)

No show for me this weekend; the loss of revenue hurts, but my body will appreciate the chance to heal. Have a good one, folks.

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