Thursday, December 29, 2016

Part Two, Events Recap - Or What I Haven't Blogged About Until Now!

As promised here is part two of my 2016 events recap. (Read part one here.) In August, Cori and I traveled to Conneaut, Ohio for the big D-Day event. It's a loooooong drive for us but this event does not disappoint! The event has grown like crazy over the years, there approximately 1200 to 1500 reenactors from across the U.S. and Canada that attend. As a visitor you can tour both the Axis and Allied camps, listen to a number of different talks by veterans and other guest speakers, see demonstration and of course there are the battles, including the recreation of the Normandy landings on D-Day. If you are able to go you will want to catch a ride on one of the Higgins boats, the very same kind used during the landings. Talk about experiencing history first hand!

For a full schedule of events and guest speakers visit the D-Day Ohio website. Also, there are TONS of photos from this year and past years in the official gallery here. In case you need more incentive than my blog to go to this event. :)

Cori and I with WWII veteran Sm2c Clifford A. Goodall Sr. Cliff was a member of the 7th Naval Beach Battalion, a group of sailors responsible for helping the Allied landing craft make it to their landing sites on D-Day. He worked on Omaha Beach for nearly three months following the landings. 
One of the things I really enjoy about this event, other than the growing home front displays and visiting with my reeneacting friends I only see once or twice a year, is the fact that this event is really dedicated to the veterans themselves and services to honor them and the sacrifices they made. On Saturday there is a special parade and ceremony for the veterans. This year, as with last, part of the ceremony included bestowing the French Legion of Honor to several veterans. It's very moving. Each year there are fewer WWII veterans and every time I have the chance to meet one I consider it a great honor and privilege. One of the many reasons I pay such attention to details when creating my vintage looks is for those people who remember and lived through some of our country's darkest times. To have a veteran tell me, "you look just like my mother, aunt, sister, (or my personal favorite!) sweetheart did during the war" is a real thrill. I know that whatever I'm doing, even if I feel frumpy or my hair isn't quite right that day, that I'm doing something right. I've found it's a great way to get these gentlemen and their family members to open up and share their stories and experiences.

This year I wore my WAVES blues for Saturday morning and had the awesome opportunity for a photo shoot with Patrick Hurst from Canteen Cowboy two other WAVES. Lake Erie made for a gorgeous background. I look forward to spending more time with these ladies at future events.

These few photos are from my phone but be sure to check out the professional ones in the D-Day gallery starting here. My favorite is this one with the Higgins boat in the background. It was one of the hottest days of the summer and by noon I was ready to melt so I had to change.

Goofy selfie but I had to take one!

My new outfit for that weekend was a late 1930s brown linen skirt and matching bolero - made from the same fabric as my Simplicity pants - and paired with my Eagle print blouse, vintage hat and shoes. I used Simplicity 3738 for the skirt and New York 611 for the bolero. As you can see I had the usual kitty "help."

I didn't get the best photos of the finished outfit because we were so busy during the day. But I was very happy to change into linen after spending the morning in my wool uniform!

For the USO dance Saturday night I decided to wear a vintage dress and new bright red shoes from Royal Vintage Shoes. Cori wore his US Navy Dress blues. And yes, those are Army Paratrooper jump boots some of the guys are wearing with their blues. It's a strange look but there is documentation for a very specific impression of members of the 6th US Navy Beach Battalion wearing them in England prior to D-Day. I learned from the guys who did the research that there were some rather colorful exchanges between those sailors and some of the paratroopers that were also stationed in England. Apparently they took a real dislike to sailors wearing their boots!

U.S. and Canadian sailors enjoying a night on leave.
And finally, our last event of the year, the Battle for the Airfield at the Collings Foundation in Stow, Massachusetts. Saturday's weather was beautiful but it rained all night and all day Sunday so I only have the one photo to show you. I wore my "Red Dots" blouse with a pair of made-by-me 40s pants.

This year I finally took the leap and had my hair cut in a more vintage appropriate style. No layers this time, just the classic U shape. About a week before the Collings event I had my hair trimmed again and the result you see below was my first attempt at styling the new length. Still need to work on the frizz factor but if I'm going to be outside all day I'm not sure there is much I can do. I just remind myself that real women from the 1940s didn't look Hollywood perfect all the time and just roll with it. :) I'm actually working a a hair video for my YouTube channel and should have that ready soon.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, some fantastic events and outfits! Happy New Year!!


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