It was a near miss this past weekend, April 16-17, and frankly, I don’t think there was a Regiment member who didn’t think we were in for it. On Friday when George, Bob, Chad, Mike and I assembled for the Watauga Association Muster, all we talked about was how we were going to get slammed by the weather and how we were ready to just hunker down and do the best we could. It was George holding down the Tavern, Mike and I in the Hilbilly Hilton on Friday night and I kept wondering if we would wake up to see Col. Mc Croskey’s batwing-fly blown to bits but nothing happened. The Fife and Drum set up in Cabin 5 and it was great to see them inside the walls and we got to listen to them practice throughout the day which was a great background to all the activities throughout the day on Saturday.
It drizzled through Friday night while the whole South East was blown away but, suprisingly, the weather cleared up over Fort Watauga for Saturday. In the morning, colors were raised and there was all kinds of activity. Doug Ledbetter taught a tin punching class up at the visitor’s center. Rachael and I were glad to have the opportunity to see how that was done. While we were up there, we saw two lovely ladies and their children from Boone, NC , who came for the day and were a wonderful addition to the group. Zack Glouser came to be with the Regiment in full 18th century kit and it was a terrific first event for him as a participant. The Regiment drilled to get ready for May Seige and with a light attendance from the public, it was a day just to share each others’ company without the pressure of doing demos. The most activity was in the hawk and knife throwing area. The kids kept Mike and his new, lovely assistant Marina VERY busy teaching and supervising and it’s looking like this may be the most popular activity at the fort on muster weekends. The big event came at 2 PM when all the male members got together to reenact the formation of the Watauga Association. It was absolutely wonderful how each member stood in for one who was an original signer and “said their heart on the matter”. This was repeated on Sunday and frankly, I liked the Sunday version because there was extensive argument, for and against the charter which made it more exciting. I can’t help but think that version 2 was by far closer to what probably happened originally.
The nicest part of the weekend was what happened after hours when everyone brogut a covered dish and came together .It was blowing rather hard and we were a bit skittish of having dinner outside; Lisa and Rachael did so much to make the Talbot House hospitable. I bet there were twenty people crammed in there with tables loaded with some of the best food we had since Thanksgiving. It was DEMOLISHED and Life was sweet!
Sunday was a repititon of Saturday but the weather was glorious. Chad held church service under the trees and again the day was lightly attended probably because it was Palm Sunday. There were ten people who drilled (I being one because if I don’t use it, I’ll lose it) and we learned the fine art of wheeling. The biggest surprise was when Dave and Jane Doan brought two mama sheep and five new born lambs. What a treat for kids and adults alike! The moms were tied up under the board walk near the far palisade and the babies didn’t stray far at all. It was a pleasure to see the delight of the children as they got to touch the sheep, this being a new experience for many of them.
Of all the musters we’ve had so far, even the January one, I think this may have been the quietest as of yet. That’s ok; May Seige will more than amply make up for it.