Sunday, October 08, 2006
Your one-stop shop for Lesbian Herstory Re-Enactment
I have fallen in love. I need to go live here. Yes, live, I say. So what if it's completely imaginary? How is that different from any other nostalgia trip, hm? For that matter: what IS real?...oh, fuck that, it's far too late for that sort of existentialist crap (does this place have a Simone de Beauvoir exhibit? oh, right, John-Paul would probably keep her out of the 70's section at least).
SHIRLEY, NJ - With a mission to resurrect the days before lesbian chic, Curve magazine and The L Word, reenactment village, Ol’ Tyme Herstoryville, opened its gates last weekend to “teach these ‘grrrls,’ as they’re called, what it was like back in the day,” according to director, curator and property owner, Josephine Kinney.
Tourists at Ol’ Tyme Herstoryville’s 40 acre park, located in bucolic South Jersey, walked through various exhibits where costumed actors reenact the lives of lesbians of yesteryear.
A Radical Feminist Pot Luck is served at 11am and 3pm daily in a mock up of a 1960s New York City apartment. “We tried to schedule four shows a day, but the ‘men as oppressors’ discussion during the meal runs so damn long, we’re only doing two right now,” explained herstorian and associate curator, Vivian Vagin.
At the reenactment of a women’s collective, circa 1972, visitors are encouraged to interact with the unshaven cast by learning sandal-making and enjoying samples dishes in the communal kitchen, such as curry legume surprise, lentils over more lentils, and tempeh with tofu sauce.
Down a side street on the edge of the village, in the basement of a non-descript building, is a reconstructed women’s bar from the 1950s. Bulldykes dance to the strains of Connie Frances with dates decked out in authentic poodle skirts or crinoline dresses. “Maps to this exhibit are recommended and available at the main entrance,” said Vagin. “It’s really hard to find, if you don’t know where it is.” Police raids on the bar occur every hour, on the half hour...
...On the other side of the park, Kansas native Susan Hailey was less impressed by the authentic period dress at the “Lesbians of the Dustbowl” reenactment. “Maybe I don’t get it,” she said pointing to an actor in overalls and a flannel shirt, “I wore that yesterday.”
Tip o'th'cutlass to me hearty, Cap'n Dyke. Arr!