|This picture slideshow created by Ann Dixon with Smilebox|
Saturday morning arrived with superior weather. There were ladies from Kansas, New Mexico, Louisiana and our beloved Texas. All ladies were in great spirits and gathered together to learn about frontier gardens, how 19th century machines were invented by women to make their lives somewhat easier, Victorian knitting (crazy squares) presented by Arnie, a great overview of needlepoint as well as a hands-on project graciously presented by Joan Garrett.
Our honored guests, Marla Matin and Rusty Gardner, from Kansas were both a special treat. Marla presented a session whereby we learned the intricate ins and outs of interpretation. Indeed, we learned about first, second, and third wall interpretation. Marla does a first person interpretation of Libbie Custer, the widow of the famous Calvary Officer, General George Custer! Marla has been invited all over the country to perform her interpretation of Libbie. In fact, she did have the honor to perform before West Point graduates! Plans are underway to bring Libbie back to Texas for our Fort Griffin event in October.
Mrs Ann Dixon, as Mrs. Dr. Notson, organized a style show whereby some of the historical ladies of Fort Concho and San Angelo were introduced in a skit about a imaginary tea held at Ft. Concho. Sara Reeves played a recent Irish immigrant servant, Mrs. Notson’s maid. The tea’s hostess, Mrs. Notson, the wife of Ft. Concho’s physician, was played by Ann Dixon, Sandy Morgan entered playing Many Horses, a wife of an Indian Scout working for the Army, nearly scaring the unsuspecting servant to death! Next to arrive was Helen Baird as a post laundress delivering table clothes and napkins. Carolina Angela de la Garza DeWitte was the next to knock bearing supplies for the tea from the store across the river. (San Angelo was named for Angela DeWitte, the wife of a store keeper across the river from Ft. Concho. She arrived with her friend Emma Del Frate and a Mexican servant played by a young lady named Paige. The next visitors were the invited ladies of the tea. First was Mrs. Edith Grierson (Kathleen P.) and her daughter, Edith (Carolyn). Mrs. Grierson was the wife of post commander, Col. Benjamin Grierson and Edith was the young lady who died of typhoid in Officer’s Quarter’s #1 when she was only 13. Then came honored guests of the tea were Libbie Custer and her traveling companion, Rusty visiting from Fort Larned, Kansas. Finally arriving were two ladies, Kellie Knight and Ann Johnson, in a flurry of fancy dress. These ladies came to remind the others that the post “hop” or dance was soon to start. No one wanted to be late for the dance. After all left for the post hop, the hostess breathed a sigh of relief. Some things never change.
Breakfast was of fresh strawberries, apples, donuts, hard-boiled eggs, orange juice, and grapefruit juice. Snickerdoodle coffee and cinnamon hot tea graced our breakfast tables. Lunch was homemade Tomato Bisque soup and cold-cut meat and cheese sandwiches. An informal tea was served late afternoon, which consisted of brownie bites, orange cream mini-cup cakes, almond-raspberry butter cookies, cucumber sandwiches, pimento cheese on toast points and tea.
Many fine wares were purchased by the ladies from Chez Crochet and Frontier Lady Fashions. All the ladies left with bundles and packages of finery and excellent reading material. Another special treat was the opportunity to see a wonderful display of Ft. Concho artifacts which highlight children's clothes and toys.
On Sunday afternoon we ate one more luncheon together before the ladies loaded up on various wagons and coaches heading to all points north, south, east and west. Promises were made of a return visit to Fort Concho on the second weekend in March of 2011.
...Submitted by Sharon Baird