Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Ladies and Gentlemen of the 1860s Conference: Part 1

I must start off these posts about the conference with some thank yous and kudos. First to Carolann Schmitt and her staff at Genteel Arts LLC. They do an amazing job producing this event and providing such interesting topics and educational opportunities. Next to Maggie Halberg and Teri Peterson for their help in bringing the bricks and bran I needed for my workshop. It made everything so much easier and saved me stress and money. Thanks to all.

If you aren't aware of the Ladies and Gentlemen of the 1860s Conference, it is held each year the first weekend of March in Camp Hill Pa. It consists of pre-conference workshops and a weekend of wonderful presentations on various material culture and 19th century life. In addition there are displays of original garments the participants can photograph. And then there is the marketplace hosting several well known and respected vendors of garments, books, music, accessories, head wear and jewelry among other things.

This is an event that I highly recommend. The educational opportunities are some of the best in the country and the networking and fellowship opportunities are wonderful. It is really great to spend the weekend with so many people who understand you. Since I very seldom get to events east of Texas I really enjoy meeting people I only talk with online.

So, this year's trip. If you just want the pictures you can find them at For some reason it won't link directly, so you'll need to copy and paste.

Because I was conducting a workshop I left for the conference on Wednesday. It turned out that I didn't have any on Thursday though. I left Austin at about noon on a smallish plane to Dulles International. My carry on roller wouldn't fit in the cargo bin so I had to gate check it. I had no seat mate so it made for a more comfortable flight than expected. We landed in a different concourse than where I was picking up my connecting flight. Since I had to wait for my gate checked bag and walk across the tarmac to the gate it made for a bit of a quick walk to my next gate. Dulles is not the easiest airport to get around, but I made it to my next flight on time. The next plane was smaller, but it was only a 22 minute flight; the attendant didn't even get out of the jump seat.

Landed in Harrisburg. I like this airport, small, easy to maneuver and it has rocking chairs! We had planned to rent a car on Thursday, but I decided to go ahead and get it when I got in on Wednesday. I got a Hyundai Accent...cute car, but really a slug. This was the first time since I had started going to the conference that there was no snow on the ground, not even dirty piles in the back of the parking lots. Very strange.

Arrived at the hotel; Kimberly had arrived a bit earlier. Nancy would arrive Thursday evening. The conference is held at the Radisson Hotel in Camp Hill. I enjoy staying here. A bit inconvenient without elevators and some rooms are showing signs of use and age, but I still like it. The hotel restaurant is ok, but there are plenty of other eateries in the area and fairly close to a grocery store. After all the years of having the conference there they are usually prepared for us and offer discounts at the restaurant.

Dropped stuff off in the room and went looking for Kimberly. Found her finishing up dinner in the hotel restaurant. I joined her and ordered a hamburger. Then Beth Chamberlain came in and we invited her to join us. Then a friend of Beth's joined us. A very merry party indeed.

Kimberly and I spent the rest of the evening talking, watching tv and getting stuff settled for the next day.

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