|Courtesy of Colonial Williamsburg Foundation|
My daughter's 4th grade teacher has been running an Oregon Trail simulation in her classroom. From making the mistake of buying a snake oil remedy to the wise decision to avoid highly touted shortcuts, the kids are learning the challenges and the unknowns of life on the trail. Today they are rafting down the Columbia on the final stretch of their journey. I hope they make it. They've already lost one student to cholera!
I recently joined a Facebook group that will be doing a virtual Titanic cruise in honor of the 100th anniversary of that fatal trip. (It's a closed group, but you can request to be included--she hasn't turned anyone down yet). I've already picked out my virtual evening gown and I'm looking forward to be discussing the culture, fashion and history of 1912 with other history fanatics. Another group, The Commonwealth Vintage Dancers in Salem, Massachusetts, is offering dances, teas and concerts in period dress. What fun!
My daughter and I dream of going to Colonial Williamsburg, a 301 acre community dedicated to living history. My son (who likes war-time history) would prefer Gettysburg or Pearl Harbor.
I have friends that participate in Civil War, Renaissance, and WWII reenactments. People joke about adults playing dress-up--but it's so much more than that. It's a way to explore our past and make history come to life. While researching my novel, First Impressions, I discovered the Art Deco Society of Los Angeles that hosts Gatsby picnics and Preservation Balls with people attending in 1920s fashions. I've got to confess to drooling over my computer keyboard as I scanned through the pages of gorgeous photographs.
I have little doubt that with the hysteria surrounding the Masterpiece Theater sensation, Downton Abbey, the trend toward re-enactment will continue and even further diversify. Besides, why should the kids have all the fun of playing dress-up?
So, if you could choose any time period, which one would you like to re-enact?