Friday, May 27, 2011

Daze of the week

Daze of the Week!

"Some of you may have noticed that in each Genealogy Blogging Beat we now feature national holidays and some of the more offbeat holidays. Here are some dates next week to look out for so you can plan your blog posts for next week:
  • May 27Cellophane Tape Day"

Nell Borgreen
This made me laugh and served as a prompt for today's post. Grandma Nell (Ellen Johnstone Borgreen) was the queen of scotch tape. In the living room of her little yellow house, there sat a large buffet. No one was ever allowed to touch it. EVER. In fact, after Grandma died, my mom got the buffet and I'm not too sure she's ever screwed up the nerve to open a drawer and look inside.
But I digress. In the middle drawer of the buffet was a large collection of scotch tape dispensers. Grandma would buy a roll of tape, use a little bit and immediately lose the end. She'd buy another roll and the process would repeat itself. Each roll would be deposited in the middle drawer of the buffet. Whenever I'd come to visit, Grandma would take the rolls out of the drawer and I'd spend our time together chatting and picking at the ends of all those dispensers. Oddly, I enjoyed this activity and the time with Grandma. 

Another scotch tape story goes like this, when we were little, my sister and brother and I would often get a card in the mail from Grandma. The envelope would be very heavy and the front covered in stamps. Inside we would find quarters taped to the card. There was usually several dollars worth of quarters and we were always thrilled at the gift. Because of the heft and bulk of the card, the flap of the envelope had to be taped down. Grandma was very generous with the tape and we'd joke that we should really buy stock in the Scotch tape company. Of course, gift wrapped boxes received the same treatment. Grandma must have used miles of tape in her life. 

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Living History

You've seen them. Those characters dressed up in period costumes, telling the tales of yore. They're everywhere. Ghost towns, historically preserved mansions, tourist hotspots like Colonial Williamsburg or Old Sturbridge Village. Some of you like them, some of you are annoyed by them, some of you are completely ambivalant about them. Well, I'm one of them. We are re-enactors and we absolutely love what we do. This is the start of re-enacting season for me. Right now I'm co-coordinating a group of re-enactors for the big Daly Mansion shindig in July. We will fill the mansion with costumed volunteers. Some will portray wealthy guest and some will be servants or grounds keepers. All will have equal pay in the fun and frivolity department.
Daly Days Cast
On flag day, in June, I'll portray a widow a the local military post cemetery, telling a mysterious tale of the transfer of remains from one fort to another and the possibility that the job may not have been done up to muster. Some or all of the bodies may be missing! I also share the stories of two soldiers buried at the post cemetery.
Fort Missoula Stories and Stones
In October, I'll be telling the sorrowful tale of the deaths of 6 young children belonging to the Frank Woody family. Mr. and Mrs. Woody were founding members of our community and quite influential in the establishment of the town. I've portrayed Mrs. Woody for several years now and each year I tell a different snippet of her life story. As a young girl she crossed the plains by covered wagon, fell into a camp fire and was horribly burned. As a young woman, she became a teacher and was our town's second teacher. As a married woman, she bore 9 children, buried 6 and continued to influence all those around her with her generous spirit. These stories would be lost to time, if not for the dedicated volunteers who spend countless hours researching and compiling the information.
My research time and energies will be spent on these projects until fall. I may find tidbits of my own family history along the way, and I'll post those discoveries as they come. But I'll be back, full force when these projects are completed.

"Frank H. and Sarah Woody" Montana Pioneers