I don’t know how a person can turn a fun day into a boring article, but I’ve started this at least three times, and I have succeeded in boring even myself all three times.
I could just describe the site of my story, and let you take guesses about where it takes place, but the title was the one good thing I started writing, and I refused to edit it. So I ruined that serendipitous moment. I wanted to tell you all about my pictures of Evangeline’s Costume Mansion, but I forgot to resize my pictures, and they wouldn’t load fast enough, so in the interim I started writing about paying $20 for parking, then getting lost. That’s an exaggeration. No, not the parking fee. You can’t get lost if you have a working a cell phone. If you can’t read a map, or the directions, or even if you can, and you can’t see your husband, if you are conspicuous enough, he will see you and text you, “Look to your left.” There he was waiting to eat at Railroad Fish and Chips at 1100 Front Street.
But Evangeline’s really was the shop that grabbed my attention. At work I am planning a student event in Allensworth, a turn of the century freedom colony State Historic Park in southern Tulare County, and my fellow planners want to bring the historic state park to life by training 150 African-American teen docents to be the townspeople resplendent with turn of the century costumes. So when I saw costumes in this old west town, I thought, “Perfect, I’ll find just the costumes I need to bring Allensworth to life.”
I walked in and was greeted by the saloon girl up on the shelf. She probably gets her feathers ruffled by the air conditioning blowing on her all the time, but she never complained while I was there.
Sally pointed the way with her cane to the Old West Room. This was the room if you wanted to look like Sally.
I was pretty sure that we didn’t want 75 young teen-aged female students looking like Sally. For a little bit more respectable look, you could walk out the door and into the hall. However, the key words here were “a little bit”. Still not quite right for a student event for teaching local second to fourth graders about California’s only all African-American freedom colony, founded by Col. Allensworth, a retired Army chaplain. Fortuitously, there were more rooms.
Unfortunately, the rooms had different themes, and none of them quite fit the Allensworth I had envisioned. It was an interesting diversion, though. For someone feeling a little more militant, and a little pessimistic about the air quality in California, then this might be the perfect costume topper.
Now, if you want to go even higher in the line of military gear, you can go to the very top.
Maybe you’ve felt a bit off your game, a little strange, out of it even. Have they got the costume for you!