We are recently returned from our foray to the El Dorado Park Civil War Encampment in Long Beach, CA and must report it as an unqualified success! It was a bit sketchy at first on set-up day, but the ladies of our parlour felt that some organization was needed. We ran a street boundary for the civilian area and let the rest shape itself. We are delighted to report that our corner was a great location, and a street evolved to include numerous civilian groups, including the Band Headquarters, an iron monger, Oak Street, the Society of Sobriety, the Abolitionists, the United States Balloon Corps, the DD Tavern, and the Georgia Hospital Relief Society. I may have missed someone, and if so I apologize. Regardless, we civilians made a nice little town of refugees from the war.
Saturday dawned early, muggy and overcast, but the day progressed quickly to include friends, family, visits from esteemed friends and neighbors, and many guests from the public. We hosted an open house to celebrate the birthday of our companion, Mrs Marshall, co-owner of our bookshop, and visitors included Constable and Mrs. Akerman of the Society of Sobriety, President and Mrs. Davis, and Widow Peters of the Kansas Mercantile. Unfortunately, the photographer was delayed and we were unable to be seated for a portrait. Our little bookshop did a brisk trade in etiquette and pleasure reading materials, as well as providing numerous handouts for school children and intersted adults alike. Miss Melody was also in attendance on Saturday, and was certain to inform all who would listen that Mrs. Marvel had forgotten her train and toy blocks. Ah well, she found entertainment in other forms, including a knitted ball that her Gramma brought with her, and walking through the camps to look at horses, cannon, and the like with her Grandma Marie. Not so surprisingly, Miss Melody slept through the entire battle, due to fatigue brought on by excessive play.
Sunday was a bit quieter with fewer guests from the public, but just as many visits from friends in the camp. Mrs. Varena Davis found an opportunity to visit with us again, which was a nice respite, and we also had a visit from Mrs. Mary Riley, whose husband serves in the 69th Irish Brigade. Though she was quite worried for his safety during the battle, we are assured he has survived yet another engagement with the enemy hale and hearty!
An interesting occurrence took place late on Sunday afternoon. A photographer with a most interesting camera which he assured us captures moving images was present along with two reporters from WorldVideo. TV. They were promoting a book and film entitled For God And Country, and requested that our humble parlour serve as the backdrop for some of their footage. How exciting! The two reporters spoke into the camera, and briefly spoke to Mrs. Marvel. Thankfully, Mrs. Marvel did not have to speak back to them, for public speaking has never been her strong point!
Anyway, the weekend was a lot of fun and a great success! We plan to meet several times over the summer to plan our future events. Hopefully we will be in attendance at the Huntington Beach Civil War encampment over Labor Day weekend in September. I expect that some photographs were taken of us and we should be able to put them up shortly.