Skins & Sales


At Rendezvous, you can see all kinds of skins.  As in animal skins.  As in dead things.  My kids love this.  I do not.

I’m the type of girl who avoids the coat department in stores.  I don’t want anything made of fur to touch me.  I don’t even like stuffed animals if they feel too real.  The idea of wearing or touching a dead thing just grosses me out.  Now, for those of you who are about to point out that my leather shoes are a dead thing, please don’t.  I know they are, but I don’t have the urge to pet my shoes.  However, if a coat is soft and furry, it shouldn’t be wrapped around me.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not a vegetarian or a vegan or anything that involves “veg.”  I eat meat.  I eat eggs and cheese and hamburgers; quite often, in fact.  I wear leather.  I can’t think too much about the meat I eat, or I might become a vegetarian; however, I’m not one.

All around the commune (Colony?  Settlement?), you can see dead things waving in the wind.  There are skins and hides.  There are skulls and bones.  There are purses made of turtle shells.  (The ultimate gross-out in my book.)  I even saw a purse made of a frog yesterday.  I’m not kidding.  You put your money in the frog’s mouth, and it drops into the belly.  I should have taken a picture, but I was too busy being disgusted.  I’m such a girl.

The Beetle has a badger face hanging on his wall at home.  The Goose bought it for him last year, because his name means “Badger.”  Talk about cursing myself with the name of my child.  Little did I know that naming a child “Badger” would mean that he would fight like a wild animal when he was cornered!  Oh, sorry.  Back to the 1840’s.

Skins drying is a pretty common sight in the field (Village?  ‘Hood?).  There is a guy who tans hides using the brains of animals.  I don’t even want to know.

Another common sight, especially on the public days, is blanket sales.  This is the 1840’s version of a yard sale.  People put their stuff out on blankets by their tents.  As you walk by, you can stop and look to see what you want to buy.  This is a great way for the historically clueless, like me, to find items to wear and use at Rendezvous. 

I must say, I love the blanket sales.  I love a good bargain.  I will shop through the clearance rack all day long, even if it means sifting through junk to find a treasure.  I love the hunt for a good deal, so the blanket sales appeal to me.  I can not walk by a blanket full of stuff without stopping to see what they have to offer.

I love the sense of community that these blanket sales create.  I love the fact that people can leave their treasures out in the open and no one steals them.  I love the fact that if you stop to look, the owner does not rush over and stand over you like you are going to take something.  That is one enchanting thing about Rendezvous.  People are honest and trusting.  It's a great feeling.

That's one part of returning to the past that I do like.  I like that I can send my kids off to play or work or hang out with friends at Rendezvous and not have to worry about where they are.  I like that the Goose can leave her shoes out in the open, and they are there when she comes back.   I like the sense of community and friendship and comradery .  I guess when you're standing around in a field wearing old clothes, you have to trust the people around you.  They are obviously as crazy as you are, so they must be good people.  As much as I can make fun of their crazy outfits and strange ways, I actually enjoy being around the Rendezvous nuts.  It's a fun time of friends, family and possibly some fungal infections.  I can say I do it for my kids, but the truth is, I enjoy it too.  All in all, it was a good week.  I enjoyed returning to the past, and I will look forward to doing it again next year.  (Just don't tell anyone.)  -Al



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