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Walter's Random Musings

Some Reflections on Renaissance Faire

ImageI don't generally blog about myself, but the recent passing of Ron Patterson, and the things people have been telling him via Facebook, have caused me to reflect on the impact his Faire has had on my life, and I am blogging about it not because I think you are all just dying to hear my dark secrets, but because I think my experience is very similar to that of many people I know, and I would like to just add this to the discussion that has been sparked by Ron's final journey.

A Big Deal for Small Archives - A Consumer Grade Book Scanner

Small archives, such as one finds at historic houses, have generally run into a major obstacle in any plans they have for digitizing their collections: they have had to rely on slow flat-bed scanners, which are very poorly suited to digitizing bound materials.

Volunteers Needed to Find Historic Neighborhoods and Features in Los Angeles

ImageThe Speakers Bureau of SurveyLA, a project of the Office of Historic Resources in the Department of City Planning is calling for volunteers. The five-year citywide survey identifies and documents important places, features and stories in the City's history. The survey will eventually be conducting research in our community. They first need Speakers Bureau volunteers to do presentations to Neighborhood Councils, schools and other community groups about the project.

Photo Tour of the LACMA Costume Exhibit

ImageIn December 2010 we went to see the "Fashioning Fashion" exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). At this exhibit, my wife Sheila took a couple hundred pictures.

These have been uploaded to Flickr. (View photo set)
Some day I may get around to annotating them. Until such time, you might want to purchase the catalog (Go to catalog on Amazon)

Ladies and Their Hats

ImageIn my previous posting, I addressed what gentlemen should do with their hats. I will now briefly address the ladies, for whom the rules are altogether different.

As with a gentleman, when a lady went outdoors, she wore a hat. It might be a practical hat or sensible bonnet, or it might not serve any conceivable purpose of protecting the wearer from the ravages of nature -- it might be little more than a tiny caricature of a hat, but it would be a hat.

Historical Hatiquette (Hat Etiquette)

ImageThe subject often comes up at living histories and vintage dances of when a gentleman should wear a hat and when he should remove it. While the stuff they told me in the Army about "Hats on outdoors--hats off indoors" is not a bad rule of thumb, in historical practice, it wasn't always that simple.

Another Event Sold Out

ImageThis is a repost from my old blog of an entry dated December 2006. I am no longer handling ticket sales, and with the crap economy, sell outs are not as pervasive as once they were, but most of this still applies.

1840s Tail Suit from a LACMA Exhibit

ImageThis is a typical tail suit from just before the period that is the primary focus of my website - but since men are notoriously slow to cast aside unfashionable garments that still fit, this is, with the exception of the shirt collar and tie (which seems to be an area where men did keep up with the times) what you might see on an older, more conservative man until the early '60s.

1910 Sack Suit from a LACMA Exhibit

ImageThis is a very sober, typical business suit of the early 20th Century. Note the commuter-friendly ticket pocket on the outside of the coat.

1880s Sack Suit from a LACMA Exhibit

ImageThe sack suit in these images dates from around 1880. While most sack suits of the time tended to be in sober colors like black and dark gray, a general exception seemed to apply for plaid and plaid sack suits. While not a dominant style, they were not uncommon and allowed a rare opportunity for exuberance in a period of otherwise restrained male fashions.

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