I guess you must be wondering why Molly has been so mute these last few months.Being an indentured servant in real life (high school teacher and don’t tell me we’re not indentured LOL) does take its toll on one’s time and energy, especially this year. I’ve got some catch up time, though, to tell you about the February 17th Market Day muster. Why do I call it market DAY? Because on that Saturday, it was a faux Spring. People came out by the drones and there was more activity what with weaving, dying, cooking and general to-do’s than a person has a right to have in one day. It was a pure festival and everyone was filled with the joy of an impending spring. All hell broke loose that Sunday, though. The deluge was coming fast and thick. One would think that the second coming of Noah and the Flood was upon us. Major Bogart, with the permission from on high, maybe even from God himself, gave the orders to disband very early- in modern parlance- skedaddle and so we all did, except Colonel McCroskey who ended up with a boat load (pun intended on his formal Naval rank) of wet canvas.
I’m going to save March and Guilford Courthouse Round Two for another time as the continuing saga of a certain lowly (in stature and rank) private and a passel of dragoons nearly got into it again …”two against a thousand….” This will take time and it’s a good story.
Remember your last vacation after a particularly trying time at work? You know, the one where the weather was all you could dream of and you sat virtually in one spot and soaked in the sun? The one where you enjoyed people watching and shared the days with family, laughed a lot, napped a little? The muster at Carter Mansion April 14-15 was just such a weekend. The weather was cool in the evening, the sun was warm on the skin and the air was sweet. The muster was held on the grounds of the gracious mansion, shady and Irish green. It was a small showing both days both in reenactors and public but it was totally fun, totally relaxing. The big event was burning out a five year old maple stump- sounds about as exciting as watching grass grow, doesn’t it? Thing is, it made for a tremendous bonfire each night, all night from Friday though Sunday morning. Each night, after the park closed, we sat around this thing, watched the stars , told stories, played music and the laughter echoed. Saturday was a terrific day. There were multiple tours of the Mansion, 18th century living skills were demonstrated like the fine art of sitting, gun drills and indoctrination, natural dying of yarn, flint knapping , sewing and inkle weaving. We also made a new friend; Janice Fischer from near Silva, NC, came. I’ve seen her at the Southeastern Primitive and at Martin’s Station. She portrays the Cherokee culture and makes exquisite corn husk dolls and other authentic native accoutrements. Her camp is a teaching moment and she is sweet and funny. I hope she comes to our events often. In the morning after colors, the militia mustered to honor the Carter Family with music , fresh flowers laid , a military salute and ten gun salvo. At 2 PM or so, Mr. Carter and the Tories got into it, a lot of nose-to- nose before it got really heated and there was a shoot-em-up for the deeds before Carter took off with them to New Bern. The drama was intense but later,everyone was so relaxed, instead of going out to eat, we pooled our food and made a meal fit for kings. Chad brought an herbed rabbit and root vegetables stewed in Maderia wine that was unreal. Beans and Irish bangers, cheeses , bread, and fruit rounded it out and we all sat round the fire, eating until we couldn’t . On Sunday, as it was the closest to Easter we’d seen in a while, we had a “sunrise” service. Because everyone stayed up so late (past 1 AM), sunrise came at 9 AM. There was some talk of having an old fashioned dunk-em/soak-em baptism in the river involving a certain mouthy indentured who had set up a bordello in her master’s absence but the consensus was that there was no preacher who wanted to get soaked that morning. At 11 Am, Major Bogart had a real service and it was one of the best yet. As the day progressed, Carter again had to fight his way out of trouble to get the deeds out of the Watauga area but the skirmish ended up well and the worst of it all was that the vacation, this jewel of a muster, had to close.