Our Destiny in Life
By Sue Crase alias Ma Boone
Happy New Year! Wow, was 2016 one whirlwind of a year. Personally, I spent the first couple of months in the hospital, having life saving surgeries. Happy that worked. The next 11 months were doctor appointments and pills. Yuk! Times like this makes me appreciate the simple way of life we portray at rendezvous. Daily stress was my downfall, rendezvous is my stress reliever. But our hobby is more than stress relief or a mini vacation.
We are Historians and our Destiny in Life is to teach others about our history and ancestry. I have been out of the school and kids programs for a year and I miss it. For those of you who have not gotten to Bloody Lake Rendezvous, I have a Dead Animal Petting Zoo. This is my teaching venue where adults and kids identify and learn about animals and why they were trapped. My collection includes a summer bear hide, a smelly skunk and Roadkill, the squirrel. Visitors learn how furs were used as money and how to tell the difference between water animal and land animal foot prints. While I was recuperating this year, my daughter-in-law and granddaughter took over The Zoo and now that 5 year old can tell you about water animals. This is the important part; Elders need to teach the younger people about animals, hunting, trapping, bow making, and all the other skills our ancestors used to survive. This is why we have rendezvous, to pass on these skills and knowledge.
When we started our rendezvous adventures, I have to admit, it was the muzzle loader shooting that hooked me. Since then, my inquiring mind started wandering, backwards, ...how did my ancestors survive? I found a Family Tree of shoemakers, log house builders and brick makers. I love history; it can be so personal. I would love to see candle dipping presentations, snare setting, cooking, reading a compass; any skill or story that might spark an interest in history. You hear the coolest stories as the Presenter. That means you sparked that interest.
We welcome Historians of primitive skills and knowledge to help educate the visitors who come thru our gates. We have had presentations on the History of Money, How to Tan a Hide, Guns of the Era, Spinning, History of Flags, Outdoor Cooking, and the list goes on. If you have a primitive skill you would like to share, we have an organized School Day on Friday for 6th Graders from area schools. Presentations run about 15 minutes so each group has the chance to view all of them. Our club provides flag posts to display in front of your presentation spot. You can get more information by calling our Booshway or inquiring at the cabin during rendezvous.
Attend one of the many events held in the area. The Gathering at Macktown at Rockton, IL is usually the last weekend of April. The Bloody Lake Rendezvous near Woodford, WI is always the first weekend of May. No need to travel to “get away” for Memorial Day Weekend, Fort Koshkonong Rendezvous will take you back in time 180 years near Fort Atkinson, WI and it won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Over the Labor Day weekend, the drive to Baraboo WI is beautiful and the Baraboo River Rendezvous is definitely worth the trip. There are lots of historical events in the State of Wisconsin each year. Search for them on the Internet, pick up tourism pamphlets or inquire at your local history museum. I invite you to ask questions, get pumped, and try your hand at becoming a Living Historian, too. You’ll be glad you did. For more information contact me at [email protected]. See you at the Rendezvous!