Emily is guest-posting today. Send her comments. We love comments. JMH
My mother and I shared several squeals and a victory dance this New Year’s Eve Day. This was the day I first opened the door of Plimoth Plantation’s intern house, standing under the colonnade in the freezing cold of the December afternoon. I was immediately overtaken by the strong urge to let fly with a loud, self-congratulatory expletive, but my mother came up to me, my bags in hand, and beat me to the punch with a grin on her face. Cursing thus achieved and dispersed of, we moved all of my stuff up the stairs and into the two-bedroom apartment, wondering at what were going to be my proverbial “digs” for the next six or so weeks. I appreciated the house entirely, but to be very honest, all I wanted to do was get to work. I had a few days to wait, so I hunkered down with a book and some coffee to wait out my anxiety, to wait for the day that my internship with the Wardrobe Department began.
To appreciate the abject form of costuming geekery that dwells within the tiny body of one Ms. Emily Woods Hogue, or yours truly, there really is only one thing to understand.
Sarah Morton’s Day was my favorite book kindergarten-second grade.
For those of you unfamiliar with the book that planted the seed for what would become a history/ costuming double major, it was published in 1989, and it features a young girl going about her quotidian activities on Plimoth Plantation in 1627. Pages 6-7 feature Sarah getting dressed, putting on petticoat after petticoat, along with everything else that made up a young girl’s garb in the seventeenth century. I was the kind of little girl who wore overalls like it was her job, so this fascinated me. I had one “twirly skirt”, but as a general rule I wore what was best for kicking around the back woods of my New Hampshire home, i.e. pants. This era in which women wore more than one skirt and men wore pants that often did a darn good impression of a skirt befuddled me, and I vowed to learn more.
So I learned more. And more. And more.
As my majors might tell you, I have made it my business to continue learning more about not only the social history of dress, but also construction of clothing through the ages. Hence, the amount of time that I have spent in the Plimoth Plantation Wardrobe Department makes a great deal of sense. I am incredibly glad to be back this summer… so glad, in fact, that when Jill asked me to return, I danced an impassioned victory dance and cursed an ecstatic blue streak, just like I did upon my initial arrival.
If you have any questions about what it is like to be an intern at Plimoth, in the wardrobe department, living in the intern house, or really anything else, just ask. I will be more than happy to receive your queries.