40 Years at the "Feast of the Hunter's Moon"
by Cathy Grafton on 09/25/12
Last weekend was a milestone for me. I have been demonstrating and being part of the Feast of the Hunter's Moon in W. Lafayette, IN for 40 years now. I first attended right after college and even as I came over the hill and saw the tents, the tipis and smelled the wood smoke - I knew I wanted to be a part of this event.
By the next year I was there, asking people to join me in a quilting bee, before long I was the quilter and over the years have added silk ribbon embroidery and processing flax to my booth. The Feast portrays the 18th century celebration of the return of the French Voyagers to the area with their packs of furs. They arrive in canoes, singing songs and hauling the canoes up the ramp, greeted by a fife and drum group. Being a part of this event has been a family tradition - with all three of my children growing up as 18th century urchins, enjoying the story telling, music and wonderful foods.
I can't think of much else that I have done for 40 years in a row. The years run together now, so many people have been a part of my life because of the Feast. This year sadly we lost a long time friend, who was like a grandfather to my kids. Art Willing was a master story teller and toy maker for many years - we all miss him.
Setting up camp so I can be there for school days is a fun time, I make "my house" for the weekend - and this year went from my family sized Marquee tent down to a small wedge and fly which is my work area and booth. It was nice to be able to downsize and bring less. The chilly nights weren't a problem, wonderful wool blankets and an extra sheepskin kept me cozy. Friends and I cook and have our kitchen out back where an evening of music and wine are common around the fire. At the end of the weekend, we say our farewells to our small camp circle and head home with our memories. Until next year..... I am grateful for the chance to be a part of living history and though I participate in many other events, this one will always be special for me.