Today I attended Hillsboro, New Hampshire's Living History Event. I found out about it because it comes up toward the top in a Google search of "living history." I did not know about it because I live less than an hour away, nor because I am connected to the local LH community. The truth is, I am not connected to the local community. My LH community consist of those folks I've met through the Connecticut Renaissance Faire or Reenactorfest, and to confound that I don't do wars or typical American history. It just has not turned out that way. But there are local folks doing this history thing and in a time period a little more accessible than the 15th century. So I went to Hillsboro hoping to pick up something for my kit, learn local history, and possibly make some connections.
I sabotaged myself by arriving late and not having exact directions so I was anxious and self conscious by the time I arrived. The woman who sold me the ticket assured me that the reenactors at their encampment would stick around after 3 pm and I chose to believe her rather than trust my own experience which said that they all had to go to work on Monday and would pack up early. I stopped by the encampment, drove over to the Franklin Pierce Homestead for a quick tour, found my way to the lovely original town center, then trotted back to the encampment to discover the site covered in cars and half the tents already down by 3:30. In the little time I had I did get something out of the trip.
I went in intending to chat up the Rev War folks, in their encampment but the first person who acknowledged my existence was wearing Nike sandals with her colonial skirt and short gown. The next group had a good looking set up, but the cheese on their plate was still in its Stop & Shop wrapper, and their fruit was covered in stickers. I try not to be judgemental, I know we all do it for different reasons, but really, can't you at least remove the plastic? I did get up the gumption to ask one person where they were based, I think the guy was disappointed that I did not ask him a question about history, I'm just not that interested in warfare. He did answer me, it turns out he is from one town away from where I live. Why did I not ask any follow-up questions? I don't know, I just did not feel right.
I did manage to add to my kit. There is a pewterer (pewter smith?) in Hilsboro who had awesome spoons at reasonable prices. After 3 years, the Reischachs will finally have decent spoons! I saw a lovely local town that I had driven through many times but not actually seen, and at the very end I got to chat with someone who will hopefully be of great help in the chicken project.
So in the end I had a good day, but please people, remove the stickers from your apples.
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