Colonial and Cherokee Thanksgiving(Check out Retha’s wonderful pictures of the Thanksgiving Muster in Webshots)
It is therefore recommended . . . for solemn thanksgiving and praise, that with one heart and one voice the good people may express the grateful feelings of their hearts and consecrate themselves to the service of their divine benefactor . . . .” – November 1, 1777 (adopted by the 13 states as the first official Thanksgiving Proclamation) – Samuel Adams
The best muster of the year, in my opinion, is the Thanksgiving Muster. This year it took place on November 20-21 and was better attended than the May Seige.
What is it about this particular time of the year? I think it’s the relaxed feeling of comaradie, the laughter, the stories told and of course the tables groaning with the bounty and goodness of many hands joining.
The weekend was beautiful and on Saturday, after colors, there was nonstop activity all over the fort. Kim was smoking the brain tanned deer he started in September at the Fort. Molly, Amy Aprile, Norma and Jennifer were washing (multiple times) the wool fleece Amy and Molly got from The Doan’s sheep. Ronnie (sometimes assisted by Scot and sometimes by Sterl and Adam) made a mountain of rope. Chad demonstrated colonial food preservation and Earl was doing his famous Earl hawk throw.
Most of all on Saturday, members were scrambling to cook the food which was served at 1 PM. The underlying sound of pots and ovens clanking, fires crackling and the smells of meats cooking perfumed the air. Tables were put out and there was 31 feet of non-stop food! It was a cornacopia of colonial meats including bear, vegetables and desserts, fit for the best tables in the Colonies. The public and militia ate until they couldn’t.
There was a bit of excitement towards the end of the dinner when Col. McCroskey, our beloved militia leader, was downed by a piece of meat stuck in his throat while laughing after listening to a joke. Some quick work by several members saved Bob from almost certain death and fortunately he only had a broken rib instead of a much worse fate. It was at that time, I think, that Thanksgiving was made real to many members. It’s not often one sees another in such distress and the prayers in each person’s mind and heart was palpable.
Bob after his ordeal “…andI didn’t even get to eat any savory pie!!!”
Seeing a member downed and saved reminded everyone of all that is to be thankful for, good friends and each and every life that day.
Saturday evening closed with Bob coming back to reassure the members that he was ok. It was movie time in the Visitor’s Center (John Adams) and all was well under the full moon.
Sunday was a beautiful day with activities going on every hour:Colors at 10 AM, Service at 11. Chad gave a wonderful sermon as we all gave thanks for our many blessings. At 11, Chad reprised his food preservation demo, Ronnie made more rope and at 1 PM, the Christmas tree was decorated inside the Visitor’s Center. Bob was back with us and even danced the stays fandango with Molly (“Bob, unlace these stays so I can shimmy out them”; “I never helped a lady out of her stays before”, quoth he.) The day passed too fast and then it was done; God bless us all.