I hadn’t planned on learning anything much Saturday. I had thought about another run to the Renaissance Festival, or for a bit it looked as if I might wind up at Wings over Houston. No real budget for that, though. I spent half an hour checking schedules for the Book Festival in Austin, but that would have had to be an overnighter, and there’s certainly nothing in the budget for that. Eventually, as it sometimes does, reality set in; I settled on housecleaning and catching up on a bunch of reading. Both of those were in desperate need of doing and neither involved actually buying a ticket.
And then my morning “Social Media Check” popped up that Barrington Farm (one of my favorite Texas History places) had a Demonstration Day-type program titled “Labor of Thine Hands” – basically “how things were made in the 1850s.” Blacksmithing, pottery, cobbling, brickmaking, and so on. Okay, that’s just TOO much “The Other Texas” not to go for it, and it wouldn’t involve ticket-buying either. (I have an annual Texas State Parks pass. It pays off. Usually by about February. I highly recommend these, not only for the savings but because the annual pass sales tell the politicians that we the people want our State Parks funded. Not that they seem to care much.)
So… cameras, notebook, pens, gas, GO.
When I arrived most of the action seemed to be at the bottom of the house garden and in the working areas of the yard. A group of blacksmiths from the Houston Area Blacksmiths Association were set up under the barn overhang, banging on bits of metal, making a fair bit of noise along with all sorts of useful implements for the well-appointed 1850s squire’s household. Wall hooks, window furnishings, kitchen implements, spoons, flowers, trivets, a snake… No, really. Look.
Martin Miles was busily engaged in replacing the bail handle on a kettle while grumbling good-naturedly that every time he went to the main house to deliver work, they had something ELSE for him to fix….
Which is probably good. Strange things happen when blacksmiths get bored.