Hello everyone! If you have been following us since last August, you will recall the post Charlotte put up, in said month, concerning our big day at the Cincinnati History Museum, for their annual 1940s Weekend. There was a great deal she covered in that post, like the excitement of our performances, and of course, (who could forget?) swing dancing. But one thing that we three agreed she needed to purposefully leave out at the time was the fact that Levi came with us! Yes, you saw the pictures of him, but we were trying to keep his profile low for particular reasons… you know what I mean. 😉
So why did we invite this relatively new chap to tag along for the ride?
There were a couple of reasons actually, but the first needs a little background. Early on, Levi told us about how, as a young boy, he was taken to a reenactment down in Florida, where he and his family used to live. It was there that he sparked an interest in the hobby, however the spark didn’t light up in flame until he was a 14 year old, participating in the Chickamauga 145th, in Georgia. Since that reenactment, he has participated in several Civil War battles, a few WWII battles, and continues to pursue his passion by making historical costumes from many different eras. With that said, we thought that Levi would really enjoy a good excuse to dress up in his WWII military costume.
The second reason is a bit easier to explain. Levi learned right away that the girls and I sang 1940s swing music, which happens to be one of his favorite “modern” eras of music. He had voiced his interest in hearing us perform at some point. We realized that the 1940’s Weekend would be the perfect place to show him our stuff! It turned out to be a superb idea, too.
Dressed in our civilian performance attire, we arrived and met Levi at the Museum. He was dressed in his dashing Piper Bill Millin Military uniform. He had told us a little about this WWII hero, but we couldn’t quite picture how the vintage military attire would look paired with a kilt. It was impressive to say the least!
As we walked up the lengthy parking lot and into the Museum, I couldn’t help but think how neat it was that we girls, who had been singing the famed old tunes about lonely soldiers fighting overseas, actually had a representative by our sides for once! I don’t know about the girls, but having Levi with us made me hold myself just a little higher, and do my best to “get into character”. And if you’ll recall, we had been through a rough week of summer colds, and so getting up on stage for that first performance was a bit nerve wracking. I’m not the one to get nervous either, when we perform, but that’s usually when I know my voice will work properly, and that morning was definitely the exception. With some nasty drugs floating around inside me to keep my nasal passages clear, and my throat from getting croaky, I did alright. I did my best though on my take on Vera Lynn’s “The White Cliffs of Dover”, which happened to be Levi’s favorite song in our show. That song held special sentimental value for him. His Mimi grew up during WWII, and Vera Lynn was her favorite singer. She has kept her music all her life, and shared it with Levi and his sister when they were growing up. So in a word, his love for her music goes deep. Now I have become his new Vera Lynn as he likes to say, and I am flattered to be likened to such a sensational singer as she.
Our big day progressed from our early 10:00 performance to our 11:30 one, and it was during our second show that Levi took leave of us to peruse the Museum at his own pace. And wouldn’t you know it? While we were performing, a period Costume Contest was taking place. Ha ha! I’ll bet you can guess what’s coming! Our second show ended right before the results were announced, thankfully, and Brigi and I made a bee-line over to the room where the Contest was being held just as quick as our heeled feet would let us. We arrived in time to catch the words, “And the third place winner…” Oh goodie! We made it just in time! Yep, just in time to see a very elegantly dresses man take 3rd, a rather stylish 40s attired lady take 2nd, and a kilted young man… Levi! But of course! We both squealed like little girls with delight. Yes, it was just a contest, and yes, the small trophy Levi came walking out with was just what one could expect from a History Museum. It was merely the simple delight that he, who was so careful about being period correct in just about everything, should be rewarded for doing just that. We were beaming with pride when he came out. You could see it on his face just how pleased he was with the judges’ verdict. 🙂
Once again, Charlotte has already recounted to you the joys and thrills of our first time swing dancing with the pros for the Lindy Exchange. But there is a funny story to add to it…
We explained to Levi early on that, though we sang 40s swing music, we actually weren’t allowed to swing dance. So Levi approached the Lindy Exchange with the expectation that we would just watch. He had never tried swing before, and was very eager to get out on the floor and be taught as soon as the Big Band struck up. When it finally did, we (parents included) all ran out into the Rotunda, and arranged ourselves outside of the roped off dance floor to watch the phenomenal dancers. Levi was soon out there with the best of them. We watched for a minute, before we three turned to Dad with pleading looks and asked if we couldn’t go out and dance. We all had been paying careful attention to the way the dancers were interacting with each other, and noticed that no two partners ever danced with each other consecutively, but switched with every new tune. Dad also noted how there was not a great deal of close contact, no more than what you get when dancing ECD or SCD. So. In the end, he nodded a yes. Yippee! It didn’t take long for all three of us to be swept off our feet to go swinging across the floor.
Then Levi noticed.
Eehee hee! You should have seen his face when he walked over to Dad to ask what had happened. Dad explained what I already told you, and, with curiosity satisfied, he was soon seen dancing with Brigi and Charlotte. Um, yeah, I still have no idea why he didn’t dance with me…? I should ask him sometime… But at the time, I didn’t care. I was still happily unattached, and our friendship had remained nothing but autonomous. Anyhow, we danced an hour away before we took our leave to go to our last show. It went very well. The whole day in fact went better than I expected it would. So, footsore, exhausted, and with hardly any voices left to speak of, we made our departure for home. We said our goodbyes to Levi, and left him to socialize with the new friends he had made that day. Let’s see, I think he ended up visiting with several of the vintage car owners who had parked their sleek rides all along the Museum entrance. He stayed well past the Museum’s closing time, too. Yep, that’s Levi in a nutshell right there; making friends, learning new things, and thoroughly enjoying the ride of a bachelor’s life. 🙂 But that would soon come to an end as you’ll read about next week…
With love to you all,
Jessica, the Eldest Sister & Singer