Friday, August 6, 2010
Embracing my Dorkitude
OK, that probably isn't major news to anyone.
I love history, marching bands, bagpipes, reenactments, living history farms, roadside markers, civil war novels, period costumes, trivia, guided walking tours, consignment shops, the 4H entries at the county fair, ghost stories, Stephen Ambrose, David McCullough, museums, etc. I usually find myself at events frequented by Senior Citizens.
Found my soul mate through my pick for book club: Sarah Vowell. I chose her book "Assassination Vacation" and loved every single minute of it. In fact loved it so much I ran down to the library to get her collection of essays "The Partly Cloudy Patriot".
"Assassination Vacation" is a self-deprecating history dork's examination of Lincoln's, Garfield's, and McKinley's Presidential murders. The author also often finds herself amid the elderly while feeding her lust for the minutiae of history. Funny and entertaining and like smokehouse almonds for me: just can't get enough.
Our book club met last night and I was astounded to learn not everyone shared my quivery tingly feelings about President Garfield's love of books, and my hope we could rename our club the President Garfield Memorial Book Club.
Then today, to seal the dork deal, my folding chair and I went to downtown Northfield and the Vintage Band Festival. Among what seemed like 349 retirees, I tapped my toe to Newberry's Victorian Coronet Band. Tonight we went back for Tschecharanka from Austria, followed by Kenny Carr and the Tigers who really got those white Minnesotans revved up.
But what really trips my trigger is the Civil War era music, and of course costuming. Below is a clip from an earlier Vintage Band Fest. They are dueling across the Cannon River in lovely downtown Northfield. Why the Civil War especially? Maybe it's because one of my ancestor's fought for the Union. More likely it's because Civil War buffs are dorks of the highest caliber.
Mind you you'll NEVER find me at a Renaissance Fest. Those people bug the living bejeebus out of me. And I've never knowingly come within 100 yards of a D&D game. I'm not THAT kind of a dork.
Now that I think of it, scores of volunteers are involved in this Festival, so I must not be alone in my dorkitude. I'll be volunteering next year - I want to walk around town wearing a beat-up tuba - that is how they are collecting donations. Folks through their coins and bills in the tuba! Perhaps I'll get my hands on a 1860's style dress and go in character. I get giddy thinking about it.