Skip to main content

Frontier Day

The weather is warming up and outdoor events and festivals are mushrooming. We moseyed on up to the Stockyards to find out what Frontier Day was all about and plunged into a melee of Civil War soldiers, Indian dancers and longhorn cattle.


I was somewhat puzzled by the preponderance of Civil War re-enactors, and at first just put it down to the fact that this is a very popular period to recreate. In my head the frontier movement west across America happened way before the Civil War. Then, thinking about it later, I realised there wasn't so much of a time gap after all. The original army stockade at Fort Worth wasn't built till 1849, and the Civil War started a mere 12 years later in 1861. Recorded history is compressed into a pretty short space around here.

That still didn't explain why most of the soldiers were dressed in Union blue, here in this most southern of states. Probably the northerners just had better uniforms. One guy kindly lent me his cap and gun.


An army doctor gave us a detailed explanation of how to amputate a leg back in the day, complete with appropriately mutilated model. As he talked about making flaps of skin and flourished a hacksaw to cut through the bone, one of the audience hurried off, groaning loudly and looking somewhat green. At least chloroform had been discovered by then.


Graham says when a car has all the options you can get, it's known as "fully loaded". This pioneer wagon was certainly fully loaded! Axe holders and water-barrel extensions were the modifications of the day, though I'm sure they would have appreciated air con and surround sound.

Just in case you haven't seen them yet, here's the obligatory photos of longhorns and cowboys.

The ones living here have a cushy life, they only have to walk along the street twice a day. Their predecessors of not so long ago trekked for miles across the open plains, through heat, storms and prickly plants. Our lives are also much softer than those of the people who settled this place, and it's good to be reminded of that too.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Dove Valley Walk: Going round the bend

Somewhere between Marchington and Uttoxeter, the wiggles of the River Dove stop wiggling west to east, and start wiggling north to south. If it went in straight lines, it would make a right-angled bend. As I'm following the river upstream, this was my last section walking west. After this it's north to the Peak District and Dovedale. here the Dove swings north The main walk of this section was all on the south side of the river. But I also did a separate, shorter walk, to explore the village of Doveridge, and the old Dove Bridge which is tantalisingly glimpsed from the A50. Walk 1: Marchington to Uttoxeter I liked Marchington even more as I arrived there for the second time. I parked opposite the village shop - noting the "ice cream" sign outside for later - and near the brick-built St Peter's Church, with a war memorial built in above the door.  A few streets took me to the other side of the village, where I found a path alongside a stream, then across some hay m

San Antonio

San Antonio is towards the south of Texas and feels very much more Mexican than American. The balmy evenings, the colourful Mexican market, the architecture of the buildings, and the number of people speaking Spanish around us all added to the impression. The city, in fact, grew out of a Spanish mission and presidio (fort), built in 1718 as part of Spain's attempt to colonize and secure what was then the northern frontier of the colony of Mexico. Texas was then a buffer zone between Mexico and the French-held Louisiana, and Spain was keen to cement her hold on the area by introducing settlers and converting the natives to Catholicism and loyalty to the Spanish government. The missions in general had no great effect, but the San Antonio area was the exception to the rule, growing into an important city with five missions strung out along the San Antonio river. The first of these, San Antonio de Valero, later became well-known as the Alamo, where 182 Texans died in 1836

Lots of cooking

This week, I have mostly been creating enormous piles of washing up. I thought you'd prefer to see the clean stuff. Occasionally something edible escaped from the mounds of mess and made it to the table. I don't know why it turned into such a cooking week; we haven't been entertaining, and I didn't think I'd added too many new dishes to my weekly menu.  The main problem was that I made several things in advance, which spread out the cooking - and hence the washing up - across a much greater time and area. The star of the menu was undoubtedly the barbeque ribs.  I don't believe I've ever cooked ribs before, but I followed the recipe from Jamie Oliver's Save with Jamie , and they turned out - well, just like ribs should!  Soft and tender, and coated generously with a sweet and tangy glaze.  It's not in any way a difficult recipe - but like I said, it kind of spreeeaaads, until you feel like you've been dealing with these ribs for a very