Labor Day

Labor Day – 1991

When I woke up this morning and it was raining, my first thought was of the people out at Ren Fest. I spent many rainy, cold, and muddy weekends out there in the SCA dell. One Labor Day weekend I remember quite clearly.

It was 1991. That was the summer I was having health problems. It was also the summer my roommate, my youngest daughter, and I went to Pennsic. Now, Pennsic was in mid-August, and while we were there, I bought a piece of elk-skin suede and a gray fox tail that almost perfectly matched Lars’ hair to make a hat for him.

Come Labor Day (just two weeks later), it rained all weekend, and I don’t think the temperature got over 70 degrees. It was so cold at Fest you could hardly do any demos because your fingers wouldn’t work.

The next week all I heard every day was, “When are you going to make my hat?”, “I sure could have used that hat last weekend.”, etc. So the following Sunday, I hand-sewed that elk skin as my demo. Now, if you know anything about working with elk-skin suede (which I didn’t at the time), it stretches. I measured his head and sewed the hat – it was too big. So I measured again – it was too big. I think I sewed the sides of that hat four or five times. Finally it was finished, and the fox tail was sewn on. I walked over to where Lars stood at the edge of the list field and handed it to him. “Here’s your hat. Put it on.”

That weekend it was sunny and 95 degrees – he put the hat on and wore it the rest of the day.

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