In 1989 I wrote a weekly column for the local paper. I know, that whole sentence that reeks of nostalgic and ancient terms: 1980, newspaper, column. Think of it as an early blog. Only with more readers. For Throwback Thursday I thought you’d enjoy a taste of the past. I don’t know how much I enjoy reading over my old material. But it’s interesting to learn how little things really change. Comment if you agree or disagree, then dig out your Scrunchie and welcome to the 80s.
Did this work? Did dragging the boys to the Renaissance Faire accomplish anything at all? Yes, it did. The oldest has at least a small knowledge of Shakespeare thanks to short presentations like Shakespeare: the Bloody Bits (truly great, nothing but fight scenes, how clever was that?). Both boys have an appreciation for blacksmith work. Neither have, to my knowledge, voluntarily paid money to see a Shakespeare play in full.
After reading this column what struck me was not that my husband and I were so wonderful in exposing our children to living history in general and Shakespeare in particular. The take away was that we took advantage of the Renaissance Fair when we could.
That fair was held at Blackpoint in Marin County. It was considered one of the very best of it’s kind. The venue was hilly, and shaded by ancient oak trees. It was a mere 25-minute drive from our house. Yet every summer, the only conscious decision we made about the fair was to avoid traveling in that direction. Traffic was always backed up and annoying. For years we passed the signs, glanced at the articles, thought – yeah, at some point we should check this out.
We finally did. It was great, and we returned with the same boys three times. We loved everything, but worked to make sure they were engaged (they were not required to love anything actually, but the loved those swords. I should ask if they remember the Renaissance Fair, I’m too busy asking them if they like their work, if they still have work, if their housing situation is still stable so they won’t be thinking of moving back in with us. So selfish.
Anyway, the take away isn’t to drag your children to a Renaissance Fair because it will make them better people. The take away is don’t ignore the interesting activities, spaces, events that are close by, don’t pass them by, turn. Explore.
That beautiful, perfect spot to hold a Renaissance Fair? It is now a golf course ringed by million dollar homes. No more mead, no more turkey legs, no more Shakespeare, no more swords.