Oct 21, 2011

a step back in time.

'tis {Saturday} October 15th and perhaps you {a visitor to this area} hear of the parade in town and decide to join the festivities. a few boys in odd-looking apparel pass by, asking you to purchase a paper for --- what's that??? --- two cents! it must be a joke, but you shove your hand into your pocket searching for two pennies anyways. ruefully you shake your head. the boy replies, "That's alright, but be sure to visit "Tent City" later to-day. G'day, Mr." 

perplexed, by the boy's mannerisms you make a mental note to visit this "tent city," later that afternoon. three girls pass arm-in-arm giggling in what looks to be Victorian clothing. they bob their dainty heads and wish you good morning. even more intrigued, you slip away from the crowd and enter a little nook across the park.

white canvas tents line the straw-covered lane. young girls wear long, lacy dresses and ribbons in their hair. boys in plaid caps rush by with newspapers in hand...
and then it hits you: you have entered a world of the past.
 welcome to atascadero. autumn 1916.  

freshly pressed apple cider. ribbons and lace. straw hats. chalk and slates. old-fashion sodas in sparkling glass bottles. pie-eating contests. laundry lazily hanging out to dry. cheerful greetings. music with country roots floating above the "hum" of the crowd. an atmosphere filled with gay festivities and complete happiness, as though nothing in their simple routines of life would ever change... 

there is one day in the year where people, young and old, may don early 20th century apparel and go about a simpler lifestyle. welcome to tent city. 1916. 

october 15th. one of my favorite days of the year. for the third time in a row, I had the opportunity of joining the Colony Day actors in an early 20th century Victorian re-enactment. for one day, I wore a blue dress with buttons and lacey collar, my hair tucked with pins, and was not simply "Miss Grace," but the daughter of Mr. Howard Lacey, owner of the Bently motors in Indiannapolis.

during the afternoon, the kind lady tending to the apple booth pressed apples for the most delicious apple cider and allowed us to manually peel the sweet apples, then to place them in a brown paper bag to sprinkle with a generous amount of cinnamon sugar. *happy sigh* 'twas most indeed my new favorite treat. :) 

{red cross tent}

at the beginning of the day, the sweet ladies tending the barber shop kindly put up my hair for me...

{me, Miss S. {one of my dear friends}, and my darling niece}

'twas a lovely autumn day spent quite well. quite well indeed.

postscript :: you may read details here about Colony Days. oh, and I was in two papers this year, as well as interviewed on the radio last year, and my picture is on the local news website {link above}.  


  1. Oh, how I wish we had a tent city near me! I would love to participate.
    Lovely photos! Homemade apple cider? Delicious! You girls look lovely in that last photo!

  2. Oh! sounds like so much fun! we went to a civil war reenactment and it was fantastic.

  3. ps: you look lovely on the website with your violin + purple dress.