Friday, June 15, 2007

We Step Back in Time

A week ago we went to Live History Day in Jerome. I'm finally getting the pictures up. The Jerome County Historical Society has amassed quite a collection of buildings from 100 years ago when settlers first started taming the Magic Valley. We enjoyed exploring them, taking a ride in a covered wagon and visiting the booths of demonstrations of what life was like then.

One of the booths was actually a portrayal of life in Civil War times, but since technology changed so slowly then, much of it was accurate for early 20th century as well.

My favorite was perusing the old primers (way too hard for today's students) and etiquette manuals. There was such a code of behaviour then--on the way home after an evening out, the woman was to find and converse on all the good parts of the entertainment and ignore any disappointments and not give any sign if she felt tired or ill. After she had been escorted home, there were all sorts of signals to give, depending on how late it was, as to whether the gentleman was being encouraged to stay and visit (such as whether she laid her shawl and hat aside) or not.

Katya enjoyed playing with the simple wooden toys they had out--it's interesting how most of them were games to develop eye-hand coordination. I guess much of life back then involved working with your hands and maybe greater hand skill helped ensure greater success and survival. Katya's favorite was the dropping clothespins into a glass bottle game, though of course, she didn't drop them, she pushed as many as would fit through the bottle opening. Brent and I enjoyed the game of "Graces"--two people hold wooden sticks crossed like an x, then place a hoop over the x. As you draw the sticks apart, the hoop goes flying through the air and the other person catches the hoop on her sticks. When you get good at the game, each player has a hoop and you fling them to each other at the same time. The hoops were decorated with ribbons and Katya loved watching them fly through the air. They also had the old fashioned hoop and stick where children would run along, keeping the hoop rolling by hitting it with the stick. I tried that, too, and it was hard. It looks so easy in the movies.

Here is the requisite Old West picture:

and Katya saying hello to the miniature horses.

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