A kind of introduction

Carla poses with soldiers from the War of 1812, Ft. McHenry, Baltimore MD, August 2010.

Carla poses with soldiers from the War of 1812, Ft. McHenry, Baltimore, August 2010.

History is a kind of introduction to more interesting people than we can possibly meet in our restricted lives; let us not neglect the opportunity.”Dexter Perkins

It’s not surprising that the people who tend to show up in history books are interesting types.  But as I’ve often said here, I think everybody is interesting, when you look closely enough.  Many everyday people who lived in generations past would be fascinating to talk with today.

I appreciate the way historical parks and museums have become so much more interactive.  Costumed docents and interpretive staff members lend a touch of drama and an air of authenticity that helps us feel we have stepped back in time.  Some of these people are amazing in their ability to stay in character for the time they represent.  I imagine that many of them have some degree of theatrical training in addition to their knowledge of the era.

Often there are look-alike actors playing famous individuals from history, but most of these costumed staff are playing the roles of ordinary people: shopkeepers, soldiers, farmers, school children.  It’s fun to talk with them and pose for (anachronistic) photos with them.  I’ve “met” Thomas Jefferson, Queen Elizabeth I, Charles Dickens and Lewis Carroll, among many others, but some of the most engaging people I’ve met are typical citizens whose names are not often found in the history books.

We have so many opportunities, in reading books or visiting historical sites, to be introduced to unforgettable characters from other worlds.  I hope you will not pass up the chance to get acquainted with some of those who helped shape our past.

One year ago today:

Stories to tell

This post was first published seven years ago today. The original post, comments and photo are linked, along with two other related posts, below. These links to related posts, and their thumbnail photos, do not appear in the blog feed; they are only visible when viewing the individual posts by clicking on each one. I have no idea why, nor do I know how they choose the related posts. That’s just the way WordPress does things


  1. Good morning, Julia!
    I love this photo of Carla! She is just beaming. But how could she not, being surrounded by handsome men in uniform? Hee hee
    Thomas Jefferson was certainly the most memorable historical character I’ve met. Weren’t we at Mount Vernon then? I’ve been getting the magazine from Colonial Williamsburg, too, since becoming a member on our visit there.

    • Susan, that was at Colonial Williamsburg. Mount Vernon is George Washington’s home, and as you may know, Washington and Jefferson were not exactly chums in the political realm (though they did have respect for each other and both worked for an independent nation). Yes, Carla was having fun with those courtly gentlemen, who (true to their assumed identity as 19th century soldiers) were much more deferential and gallant than men– or ANYBODY– in today’s world. Don’t ever let anyone convince you that “progress” is always progress in the true sense of the word. Though much has been gained, much has been lost.

Thanks for encouraging others by sharing your thoughts:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: