They Knew They Were Pilgrims

The 17th Century Adventures of Plimoth Plantation's Colonial Interpreters

The Kindness of Strangers.

May 13th, 2014 by Alexandra

“I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.”

- Tennessee Williams

Call us conceited, but we Interpreters love to hear that we’ve made an impression (however small it may be) on the lives of our museum visitors, whether it be teaching them something about history they never knew before or simply greeting them with a friendly face.  But a lot of our museum visitors rarely realize things go the opposite way as well – they sometimes make an even bigger impression on us than we do on them.

It’s an undeniable perk of our job that we Interpreters get to meet people of all ages, stations in life, and from around the globe while working at Plimoth Plantation. The downside? Often its difficult to express exactly how much their interactions mean to us because we’re in character.  But guess what? That’s what having a blog is for!

And since I have the blog password it means I can commandeer it just this once to personally thank some museum visitors for the kindness, generosity and all round adorableness they showed me and my coworker yesterday.  We often get visitors who are descendants of the Pilgrims, eager to meet their great-times-10 “grandmother” or “grandfather,” and on Sunday I had the pleasure of meeting two descendants of the character I play, Susanna Winslow.  I then invited them to return on Monday since it was May 12, the day we know courtesy of William Bradford as Edward and Susanna Winslow’s wedding anniversary (the Winslows were the first wedding in New Plimoth, in 1621), and myself and my colleague Doug who plays Edward were planning some festivities for the day.  

But not only did our “relations” return to help us celebrate our “anniversary” with company and good conversation, they even brought us roses for the occasion!

flowers

So thanks new found friends for the gift, and for reminding us that a job where the kindness of total strangers is a regular occurrence can’t be that bad of a gig.  We hope it made your day to meet us, because meeting you definitely made ours!

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5 Responses to “The Kindness of Strangers.”

  1. Steven Weyand Folkers says:

    I’m working on a supplemental application to the Society of Mayflower Descandants for William, Susanna, and Peregrine White! I have already proven George Soule, and Francis and John Cooke. Also descend through Richard Warren (his daughter married John Cooke). I think another trip to Plimoth Plantation is in order! :)

    • Alexandra says:

      Yes come visit! We’ll be happy to see you!

      • Hi Alexandra. My name is Dan Watts and we met on the 6th wedding anniversary of Susanna and Edward. We brought the roses. Yes you made my day. It took several days to get that silly smile off my face. What a hoot. And I’m so glad to have left such a good vibe with you both. It was very special for Sue and me to have met you both in such an unusual way. Susanna was my 12x great grandmother, making Edward my 12x step great grandfather. Pretty cool. That makes any children born to Susanna and Edward “relatives” as well. But my blood line with Susanna continues on through Resolved, making him my 11th great grandfather.

        Thanks for suggesting that we come back to Plimouth Plantation on the 12th of May, 1627.

        Kindest regards,

        Dan and Sue Watts
        Grand Rapids, Michigan
        dan@danwatts.com

        • Alexandra says:

          Thanks again for the visit! We love to see people with such enthusiasm for history, its what makes our job worthwhile. (Oh and fun fact, I’m originally from Michigan too!!)

  2. Sam Fuller '14 aka Ray Byrne says:

    Goodday, Goodwives (Alex & Sally)

    Just had to drop a note to tell you that my wife (21st century) and I just read several of your blog entries, together…and, not surprisingly, she was most impressed, not only by your writing skills but also the content which truly conveys what it’s like to be a “Pilgrim.”

    She then also questioned me why I had complaints at the end of certain days re the heat/cold/staffing…etc. I think you’ve maybe taken too much of a lesson from our neighbor Edward’s “Good News From New England.” But just kidding. You two are doing a marvelous job of bringimg our lives as interpreters to our visitors. I’m very proud to be your colleague.

    Anon,
    Ray

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