February 16 and 17 marked the February Trade Muster, and it was not for the weak! It was cold enough to hang meat, temps in the twenties, and snowed the whole day yet there was a terrific showing on the part of the members and , from what I understand, the public. I wasn’t there on Saturday; too much for me with the head cold I was nursing but showed up on Sunday in civies. Bucky Clabaugh, Ken and Reetha Reece , Doug Walsh , whose pictures tell it all, Kim , all made it over the mountains. Doug Ledbetter came from Greeneville, the Bennets and Suzanna Kulakowski kept the Talbot House as warm as possible by cooking up a fabulous feast that the members shared after hours. I couldn’t believe it when I heard Earl and Jacob Slage, Doug , Kim and Chris Taylor were under the trees in the primitive area.One would think everyone would run for a roof, but then on the other hand, maybe it was actually warmer there with the pines breaking the wind and snow. I know that I didn’t name a fraction of the members that showed up; all I can say is that this bunch is POSTAL!
“It is said that as many days as there are in the whole journey, so many are the men and horses that stand along the road, each horse and man at the interval of a day’s journey; and these are stayed neither by snow nor rain nor heat nor darkness from accomplishing their appointed course with all speed.”
—Herodotus, Histories (8.98) (trans. A.D. Godley, 1924)
Almost sounds like us, rather than the Persian empire Postal Service.
There was so much going on at the fort all day long. Colors were at 10 AM, as usual and the fife and Drum played. I wonder if their lips stuck to the metal fifes like when some stupid kid sticks his tongue out and attaches it to a light pole in sub freezing weather? I think the men looked datrned good as they saluted.Kim was smoking a bear ham. The ladies were cooking, and God knows what Chris was showing the public!
The biggie was Bucky and Matt Simmerly making salt and Maple syrup. They had tapped their trees earlier and boiled down the eighty gallons of sap they collected down to about half. They worked all day getting it pancake ready. From what he said, though, that night he went to pour the syrup into the two gallon jars he had and maybe a half gallon spilled over the table in the Tavern. I bet the ants will LOVE THAT STUFF when the weather gets warm.
Chad said that in spite of the extreme weather there was quite a crowd. that had to be gratifying to those who not only sacrificed their time but also their comfort this past weekend. After hours, Chad gave the intrepid a tour of the Museum. It’s almost done except for a few minor adjustments and I have to say, it’s SPECTACULAR!
Sunday was frigid after the temps took a dive to 13 degrees. When I got there, it was Colors and you could tell most were uncomfortable. Most of the members huddled around fires in the cabins and the public was conspicuous by their absence, except for one elderly lady who showed up for church service and a small family later on.Ronnie Lail conducted the service and spoke as though he wouldn’t be back until Easter as traveling preachers would have done on their circuits in the day, He did a wonderful job!
Altogether, this is one muster where the members really suffered and it wasn’t for the weak to be sure. I was so proud to hear that , in spite of all they endured, the public got to see how things were done including coping with inclement weather back in the 18th century.