9th anniversary edition  --  09/26/05

jimsjournal -- on the Web since September 26, 1996!
Nine years ago tonight I sat down at wrote my first entry.

Back then... Gillian was 14 years old and just starting her freshman year of high school and Jeremy was 11 and in 6th grade. (And, per their request, I called them "Jennifer" and "Sean" in my entries for the first several years -- until they asked me why I did that and I told them that had been their choice and they professed to having no memory of that.)

That first entry -- as have many entries since -- focused on life here in this semi-rural semi-suburban small town in Rhode Island. I wrote about watching a lunar eclipse and getting kids to do their homework. In following entries I'd talk about mosquitos and coaching youth soccer teams and New Year celebrations and running and life with teenagers...

So, on this 9th anniversary entry, I thought I'd just continue along those lines, talking about this weekend here in South County. [Technically, this is Washington County, RI -- but it is on the southern coast of Rhode Island and everone calls it South County -- even the exit sign on I-95 calls it South County.]

Saturday was a "Victorian Autumn Faire" at the South County Museum (a museum which is mostly dedicated to depicting everyday life in the second half of the 19th century, so I do not know why they used pseudo-medieval spelling on the name of the event).
An interesting collection of carriages and wagons and such (including a milkman's wagon, a mail delivery wagon, even a hearse). Another building is devoted to spinning and weaving, including demonstrations of turning wool into yarn and turning flax into linen, etc.
"Gibson Girl" era outfits (This summer South County Museum had events that coordinated with events at Narragansett Towers and Kinney Bungalow. A replica of a 19th century classroom. Note the writing slates on the desks and the "lunch bucket." That is a McGuffy Reader on the desk on the left.
In addition to the main building (which is where the fashion and classroom and kitchen pictures were taken), and the carriage barn and the spinning and weaving building, there is a building that is a blacksmith's shop and one that is a 19th century printing shop and another that is a carpenter's workshop. Jill and I had a very interesting conversation with the guy running that exhibit, all about how this 19th century world really was a very advanced high tech era, it was just not an electric age, no electronics, nothing digital -- but building upon generations of inventiveness and improvement, they were able to achieve a lifestyle far removed from the mud hut levels of most of human history. (Just consider the technology that went into building -- and sailing -- a clipper ship!)
A late 19th century kitchen.
There was a team of Percherons pulling a wagon around the museum grounds. (That white sign toward the back of the wagon shows a Web address.) Naturally, Jill and I couldn't resist taking a ride.

There was also a Civil War re-enactor's encampment there and we had an interesting chat with them and then watched a rifle and artillery demonstration.

On Sunday, Nancy and I were getting ready to go for a bike ride when Jill called us with her cell phone -- she was at work and she really needed some coffee. So, instead of riding west on the bike path, we rode into town, all the way to the new Starbucks (which shares a parking lot with the supermarket where Jill works) and brought her a coffee. We were glad that she had called because on the way into town we noticed units lining up for the annual Fireman's Parade. A quick stop at Brickley's Ice Cream (Main St., Wakefield, right next to The Glass Station, a former service station that was converted a few years ago into a glass blower's workshop and gallery/shop.)
The parade is hosted by the South Kingstown Union Fire District (our town fire department) and seems to feature just about every vehicle in the department's inventory -- pumpers, ladder trucks, hazmat units, ocean rescue units, fire/rescue, etc. There were also trucks from other fire departments around the state, plus the Narragansett High School marching band, a bag-pipe band from Mystic, Connecticut, a Navy Band, an Army Band, a calliope mounted on a truck (with a gadget that was blowing clouds of bubbles), Shriners in clown costumes riding go-carts (and a flatbed float with a Shriner "oriental" band), unicyclists, a truck-mounted jazz band, and the Artillery Company of Newport (founded in 1741, they fought in the French and Indian War, the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Civil War, etc.)

So that's life in my world on the first weekend of autumn... nine years after I began this Web journal.

Other September 26th entries since that first one have been
  • Visiting Norway, Part 1 2000 (I was in Oslo at the time, so this is actually covering Sept. 23rd thru Sept. 26th)
  • Five Years -- 2001
  • Six Years -- 2002
  • Seven Years -- 2003
  • Mrs Hanan's Village Ball -- 2004
I hope to still be babbling away here next September.

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