Geoff and I found a lot of great things at Brimfield this year. Unlike past years we didn’t go looking with extremely specific things in mind. This helps tremendously because you tend to happen across things that you can use or give as gifts and spend more time browsing and less time hunting. I’ve managed to photograph most of the items. We’re going to break them up into a few posts over the next week or so because listing them all at once would be insane.
Geoff and I go to Brimfield every year. Last year was the exception, we were too broke and working too many jobs to be able to take off the time to go. This year, because we’ve saved our pennies and because Geoff starts a new job on Monday, (more on that later) we’re here.
We wouldn’t be able to talk about Brimfield if we didn’t talk about the freak June 1, 2011 tornado that ripped through the area last year. Most of our area watched our TVs in horror as a rather large tornado danced down Rt. 20 through Brimfield and Sturbridge and upended homes, trailers, and historic buildings.
We were on our way home from taking Thumbelina to the vet* yesterday when I spotted a couple of guys from Gentle Giant on Binney Street in Cambridge in the middle of a move. Rerun was in my lap and I pointed them out to him and we waved in our typical dorky “I have a dachshund in my lap “way. It was then that I was reminded that I’d promised the Gentle Giant folks that I would post these pictures.
Nope, this is not a post about me telling you what to do at the wedding. (That comes later… KIDDING!)
This is a post about a book. As you know if you’ve ever been to our house or seen photos, we have a lot of books. Many thousands of them. We collect books of various sorts and we have a vast reference library. We decided at Brimfield this year when we came up with some truly spectacular and funny finds that we’d take some time to share some of them with you from time to time. This may take the form of photos of really beautiful books or this may be by transcribing choice portions of really amusing texts.
This, is the the latter. Oh yes. This find was from Brimfield this year and was what sparked the idea. It is a gorgeous leather bound tome entitled Correct Wedding Customs. It is gorgeously put together and comes in its very own satin lined box. There is no copyright date or year listed, but it looks, in my estimation to be 1920’s- 30’s or so. It was published by Livermore & Knight Co. of Providence, R.I.
And if you’ve ever heard of these “correct customs” before, you’re doing better than me.
Page 54: “At a church wedding the wearing of hats by the bridesmaids is obligatory. These must be as carefully selected as the costumes themselves and must be in harmonious accord therewith. They may, without any risk of even an appearance of ostentation, take the form of a gift from the bride. At a home wedding, however, the maids may either appear with absolutely unadorned heads or with wreathes, crowns, aigrettes, ostrich tips or bows as may be preferred.”
Page 60: “Finally it is permissible, either in conjunction with these juvenile attendants or in lieu of them, to make use of the services of a “ring bearer,” a small boy in a page’s dress, who precedes the bride to the altar, carrying in both hands, at the level of his breast, a satin, flower-encircled cushion, on which rests the mystic ring of marriage, to be offered at the appropriate moment to the bridegroom preparatory to his placing it on the bride’s finger.”
Pages 117-120: “… the bride, following a pleasant old custom, is wont to throw her bridal bouquet, of which she has previously loosened the fastening, so that it falls more or less to pieces as she throws it. The maiden who is lucky enough to catch the largest portion is destined to marry before any of her companions. Then follow the hurried adieus, the bride’s last embrace of her mother, the front doors are flung open and the married pair step into the carriage which is to convey them to the station. At this point there too often takes place a scene or series of scenes which do rob of its gracious sentiment all that has gone before. Let it be said at once that the violent throwing of showers of rice in such a manner as to be a positive and intentional annoyance to the young couple, the hurling of ancient footgear with a strenuousness that approaches brutality, the beribboning of the carriage so as to attract the attention of the passer-by, the hand-cuffing together of bride and bridegroom, all or any of these acts of misplaced humor, can only be described as vulgarity of the most pronounced description. It is perfectly proper for the maid-of-honor to throw after the departing carriage a worn white satin slipper and thus preserve an ancient tradition which at least has antiquity to commend it.”
And that, I guess, is that. If you can read that, especially that last one, without laughing, you’re doing better than I am.
Geoff here – I have to say that we had a really good weekend at Brimfield. This was our first road trip in the new car, and it did quite well. It is phenomenal the gas mileage that thing gets. I did not have to refill the tank at all for the entire trip. In fact despite driving over 200 miles we barely made a dent in the gas tank – the gauge went down maybe a quarter. I haven’t figured out exactly what kind of mileage we got but it is probably somewhere around 40 on the interstate. We managed to get everything packed inside of it, and still have room left over for the things we bought AND to make a little space for the dogs to lie down and nap.
Anyway, we stayed at our usual place, the Publick House in Sturbridge, about 7 miles away. We love that place, it has always been good to us. And the restaurant is phenomenal. We usually try to eat breakfast there on Sunday and sometime we will have dinner there if we are meeting other people. This year we just went for breakfast. We did not go out much for dinner, since we were trying to be more thrifty. We brought our big cooler (to keep all the food in) and the small cooler (to put in the wagon to hold drinks). The wagon Jo (Kelly’s mom) got us is turning out to be the envy of everyone. Seriously, we must have been stopped at least 50 or 60 times so people could ask us where we got it. There were a few other people that had the same wagon, and whenever we would see them we would joke about it because they got the same questions. We even got our picture with them. See Kelly’s earlier post for that picture.
Of course, the dogs were also a center of attention wherever we went. We were greeted by all sorts of “awww”s and such, especially when the dogs were in the wagon looking particularly cute, which was often. Rerun especially got tired after a while, and by Saturday he really did not want to go anywhere. I even had to lift him out of the car and put him in the wagon that morning. So he stayed in there most of that day, and occasionally Thumbelina would join him. We saw a lot of other dogs this year. It seemed like more than we usually do, and this time we saw a lot of other dachshunds. It was quite cute to see how Rerun and Thumbelina would interact with the other dachshunds. Thumbelina definitely liked them more than the other dogs she saw.
We got a little sunburned on our first day, but after that we did pretty well. In fact, we got quite a bit of exercise ourselves. Kelly’s pedometer showed we had walked over 7 miles on one day – no wonder the dogs were tired! But the weather but cloudy and somewhat cool most of the time we were there, until late Saturday when it started to look like rain. Luckily it did not rain until after we had already quit for the day. The next day, Sunday, it was already raining by the time we got out there. So we decided to leave the dogs in the car where they were sleeping while we checked out the last few tents that we had missed the previous day. While we were inside the first tent, the skies really opened up. It was raining so hard that suddenly there were rivulets forming in the tents and vendors had to start moving things around. After an hour or so of heavy rain some tents had several inches of standing water in them, and low-lying areas near some tents had water that must have been close to a foot deep. People were quickly abandoning any hopes of shopping and many vendors were packing up. Still, we managed to wander through the last few tents and even find a few real bargains. It helps when the vendors would rather sell for a song then have to pack things away. Afterward we stopped by a couple of other places to pick up some things on our way out of town, and then we headed home. The dogs were asleep in their little bed area most of the drive back to Cambridge.
I have uploaded all of the photos here. You can look through and see the things we saw and look at the purchases we made. Feel free to comment, etc.