Hello dears! I am so excited to share with you all the recap of our girls’ adventures at the Cincinnati History Museum’s 1940s Weekend! In a word, it was magical. This is the type of event that sends us home boosted with energy, and revving to go and relive the history of the 1940s again and again. We feel the most at home in it, like it’s a part of us.
We have a few snapshots to share with you all, and some entertaining stories, so I hope you’ll enjoy!
The day got started with we girls clicking our spiffy new oxfords up the pavement leading to the great Union Terminal. Our hearts were practically singing, our smiles bursting with excitement. We set up in the Reakirt Auditorium, marked off the sound check from our list of to-do’s, and completed several other mundane tasks that go into getting ready for a show. Then came the shining moment, the one we had been looking forward to since we got the email asking us to sing at this wonderful event:
As the clock ticked up to 10:00, we girls assembled ourselves in the great Rotunda of the Union Terminal and sang, a cappella, the introduction to Chattanooga Choo Choo, announcing to the visitors that we would be performing shortly. Why was this such a big deal, you ask? Well, we girls are the types that don’t get into bold, daring deeds in a hurry. In fact, I could probably count on my fingers how many pranks I’ve participated in. Yeah… we’re girly girls 😉 But, it had always been a dream of ours to sing an impromptu Chattanooga Choo Choo in the Rotunda of the Cincy History Museum for all the people there… and that dream came true 🙂
Then began our hour-long show in the Reakirt Auditorium, followed by another performance half an our later in the actual museum part of the Terminal. It was such a joy singing for all those people, sharing the history and memories of the past with the present generation.
“… Your feet were so heavy they hardly could move… Now they’re light as feathers and you’re right in the groove…”
Oh, here comes the good part 🙂 We knew that the Lindy Exchange would be taking place that afternoon in the Rotunda, but we girls contented ourselves with the fact that we would probably just have to watch and wonder at all those experts out on the dance floor.
As we were in line getting lunch, the Jump ‘n’ Jive Big Band were warming up their instruments. Now, we girls are real suckers for Big Bands, and to hear those trumpets making their runs, the pianist and the saxophone players warming up… it still gives me chills 🙂 As we sat down to eat, I recognized the familiar tune, “In the Mood” sounding in great echoes in the Rotunda. I leapt to my feet, dragging Brigid behind me, and even though we are real “squares” on the dance floor, we still did a little swing dancing to that famous song. After feeling a little embarrassed by our elementary skills in the dance contrasted by the expert ones of the surrounding couples, we exited the floor, panting and very, very happy 🙂
We had a spell of free-time between lunch and our last show in the museum, so we spent that watching the dancers do their thing while the band played away. I guess we were standing a little too close to the tape marking the dance floor, because a man came up to us, asking if one of us would like to dance. We politely declined, and left it at that. But then another one came up. I declined, but Brigid whipped her head around, got the approval from Dad, and was on the dance floor.
And so it began. Request after request came, and we girls found ourselves on the dance floor having the time of our lives learning new steps, turns, twists and what have you. It’s one thing to perform the music of the era you love, but it’s another world entirely to dance to it! The rhythm that first got your toes tapping now has your feet flying and heart soaring as you swing the steps to the beat the generations before you established. Magic.
After a grand old time of that, we left the Rotunda to prepare for our last show in the Museum. We had a bit of time once we got to the area where we would be performing, so Jess and I made our way over to the tables where some WWII veterans were seated, and were so happy to have heard a story or two from the ones we got to meet.
And then came time for our last show. Our girls’ voices were worn out (thanks very much, Summer Cold. Blergh) and our feet were positively killing us (note-to-self: get better (period correct) dancing shoes!), but we got through it nonetheless. The crowd for that last show was quite a bit smaller than the previous one at first, but as we were nearing the end of our program, a whole flood of people came! So, we extended the show a little longer, and somehow made it through even though our voices were clearly going out on us. A little while afterward, we were quite content to make our way back to the dance floor and better our technique in spite of our painful footwear 😉
And thus ends the recap of the Cincinnati 1940s Weekend! Sadly, this might be the last one at the beautiful Union Terminal for a while, as the museum will be under renovation for a few years. We’ll see. But we were so blessed to have had the privilege to sing there this year!
Have you ever been to a 1940s Reenactment or event?
-Charlotte, for the B. Sisters