Friday, October 25, 2013


10/20/1984 – This was a crisp autumn day – a wonderful day for an outing to Van Cortland Manor, up in Westchester County, New York. It was the day for Autumn Crafts and Tasks and there were lots and lots of kids there – school groups, scout groups, and kids along with their families.  I’m going through my old photo scrap books and making a log of what happened each year, and scanning in the best of those pre-digital photos. There’s a great bunch from that October day.

Here’s a list of the crafts people we saw:
Herbalist, Soap maker, Dyer and Weaver, Carpenter, Miller (kids helped grind the corn), the Sausage Maker, Candle Maker, Pillow Lace Maker, a crabby Cooper (for some reason we regularly came upon crabby old coopers in our historical travels), the people who do the retting and spinning of flax, and, of course, the Butcher, the Baker (there had to have been one there but I didn’t take any pictures of him- or her!), and the Blacksmith
(he’s the Candlestick Maker.)


Hog butcher. He didn’t kill the hog there: it would be a bit much for many sensibilities. Even so, look at the expressions on some of the faces.

Preparing flax – "get your hackles up", "flaxen-haired beauty", tow head":
all phrases we get from the preparation of flax


Spinning flax


A true and excellent teacher, she was wonderful with questions
from the young city dwellers

And on the way out to the parking lot was an artfully arranged sales area with pumpkins and gourds and wonderful fall decorations – and the very best cider and donuts that have ever passed my lips. To this day whenever we have cider we remember the cider we had that day and all the others pale by comparison.

Have a happy fall weekend everyone.

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