Monday, August 23, 2010

Highlights of the Heritage Fest

1. Seeing people fascinated with the Tinderbox Man's presentation of how to start a fire with char cloth. This is a very effective and practical method, as opposed to the exhausting and ineffectual bow-and-drill method familiar to Boy Scout veterans. In fact, the guy on Survivorman packed char cloth in one unaccompanied trip to the Arctic.

2. Seeing polite and inquisitive kids interested in the mystery artifacts. A few times, when kids were looking and new folks came up, I did this: told the kids, "Wow, you guys are good at this. Would you like to tell the new people what these things are?" And they invariably did, with a combination of gravity and pride that would have melted my heart were I not a crabby curmudgeon.

3. Seeing the bouncy castle display of no fewer than 6 castles deflating at 6 p.m. on Sunday into little puddles of garishness. Poof goes the giant shark.

4. Successfully avoiding all carny food purveyors and packing a picnic of cheese, bread, fruit, and water for nummies.

5. Gazing reflectively from my chair, rug on lap, at the passing parade of humanity on the path 200 yards away as most of it walked slowly/dazedly past our presentation area in a quest for...what? Something other than authenticity and a hands-on encounter with history. But why? Must mull.

6. Seeing the emo teen roll her heavily kohl-rimmed eyes and toss her stripey hair with fashionable impatience as her adorable young sister geeked out over the artifacts. Oh, I know you're too cool to take interest, but I count it as a failure on my part to engage you on your terms. I know I can't interest everyone but I will remember you and try to think of a way to make my presentation relevant to you for next year so that you can also have fun with it.

7. Hangin' with Mike the Beermaker.

8. Just being there in a beautiful park on a sunny day with my sweetie and doing fun stuff with interested participants. A BLAST.

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