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Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'

Jim Dixon 03 May 02 - 01:45 PM
Alice 03 May 02 - 02:26 PM
GUEST,irishajo 03 May 02 - 02:26 PM
GUEST,fretless, at work 03 May 02 - 02:53 PM
GUEST,Mike Billo 03 May 02 - 03:05 PM
Troll 03 May 02 - 03:12 PM
katlaughing 03 May 02 - 03:12 PM
Jim Dixon 03 May 02 - 03:12 PM
Alice 03 May 02 - 03:17 PM
CapriUni 03 May 02 - 03:30 PM
GUEST,Chip A. 03 May 02 - 03:30 PM
Deda 03 May 02 - 03:32 PM
GUEST,Mik Billo 03 May 02 - 03:32 PM
Jim Dixon 03 May 02 - 03:35 PM
Alice 03 May 02 - 03:41 PM
GUEST,irishajo 03 May 02 - 03:51 PM
Alice 03 May 02 - 03:55 PM
Rich_and_Dee 03 May 02 - 03:56 PM
Alice 03 May 02 - 04:07 PM
GUEST,Mike Billo 03 May 02 - 04:13 PM
Jim Dixon 03 May 02 - 04:16 PM
Jim Dixon 03 May 02 - 04:33 PM
Alice 03 May 02 - 04:34 PM
Alice 03 May 02 - 04:49 PM
GUEST,Mike Billo 03 May 02 - 04:52 PM
katlaughing 03 May 02 - 04:59 PM
Alice 03 May 02 - 05:04 PM
Alice 03 May 02 - 05:17 PM
katlaughing 03 May 02 - 05:26 PM
Alice 03 May 02 - 05:56 PM
Lepus Rex 03 May 02 - 06:40 PM
Les B 03 May 02 - 06:48 PM
CapriUni 03 May 02 - 06:51 PM
Lepus Rex 03 May 02 - 06:55 PM
Jim Dixon 03 May 02 - 07:21 PM
Alice 03 May 02 - 07:28 PM
SINSULL 03 May 02 - 08:11 PM
Les B 04 May 02 - 12:47 AM
Alice 04 May 02 - 10:59 AM
SINSULL 04 May 02 - 12:13 PM
JohnInKansas 04 May 02 - 12:34 PM
Les B 04 May 02 - 10:09 PM
SINSULL 04 May 02 - 10:54 PM
Alice 04 May 02 - 10:54 PM
Metchosin 05 May 02 - 02:21 AM
Metchosin 05 May 02 - 02:40 AM
katlaughing 05 May 02 - 04:25 AM
Metchosin 05 May 02 - 05:16 AM
Melani 05 May 02 - 05:06 PM
GUEST,oj 06 May 02 - 12:17 AM
Melani 06 May 02 - 12:54 AM
SharonA 06 May 02 - 12:37 PM
GUEST 06 May 02 - 01:19 PM
nickp 08 Jul 02 - 04:59 AM
SharonA 08 Jul 02 - 12:58 PM
GUEST,Kim C no cookie 08 Jul 02 - 02:48 PM
SharonA 08 Jul 02 - 03:45 PM
GUEST,Kim C no cookie 08 Jul 02 - 04:43 PM
Jim Dixon 08 Jul 02 - 07:32 PM
GUEST,Kim C no cookie 09 Jul 02 - 09:48 AM
Alice 23 Jul 02 - 08:12 PM
nickp 24 Jul 02 - 04:31 AM
SharonA 24 Jul 02 - 09:32 AM
Alice 24 Jul 02 - 11:24 AM
nickp 24 Jul 02 - 11:33 AM
Alice 24 Jul 02 - 11:34 AM
nickp 24 Jul 02 - 11:37 AM
SharonA 24 Jul 02 - 03:24 PM
Kim C 24 Jul 02 - 05:01 PM
Coyote Breath 24 Jul 02 - 10:26 PM
SharonA 25 Jul 02 - 08:06 AM
Alice 25 Jul 02 - 11:23 AM
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Subject: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 03 May 02 - 01:45 PM

I'm surprised no one has yet mentioned the PBS series Frontier House. It was shown on Twin Cities Public Television in three 2-hour segments on Monday through Wednesday evenings, April 29-May 1, and the whole series will be repeated on Sunday, May 5, from noon to 6 pm.

I know that not all PBS affiliates follow the same schedule. So I'm advising all Mudcatters to go pbs.org now, and follow a link to your local station (see "Station Finder" in the upper right corner), and find out when the show will be shown or repeated in your area. If you can't watch it, tape it or get somebody to tape it for you. Even if you can watch it, you may want to tape it anyway because you may want to watch it more than once. I plan to.

I haven't been this moved by a PBS series since Ken Burns' "Civil War" or maybe "Lewis & Clark."

The concept is that 3 families have to live like homesteaders in Montana in 1883. I guess that makes it "reality" TV, but it's a lot more real than "Survivor" and the other crap that gets shown on commercial TV. There is no phony competition, or voting on who gets kicked out. (Although one of the kids does say, at one point, "I wish we'd get kicked out.") It's a bit like The 1900 House which was produced in London, but more dramatic and more relevant to me at least, because it's closer to how my own ancestors lived 2 or 3 generations ago. Heck, it's closer to how my parents lived when they were kids.

There's only a little bit of homemade music in it, but that doesn't matter. It's about the kind of things songs are written about, and that's what should matter.

I could say more, but I want to hear your comments first


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: Alice
Date: 03 May 02 - 02:26 PM

I wondered if someone would start a thread on the Frontier House. I was glued to it, my son and I cheering the dignity and maturity of the Brooks family, and flabbergasted at the arrogance of the Clunes and backstabbing of the Glenns.

I found the forum for the Frontier House on the PBS website, so I have been discussing it a bit yesterday and today online at that forum. I feel talked out about it now, after going over so many aspects of it with people on that forum. I did share some experience of my Montana homesteading family.

One of the most obvious blunders of the two families that failed was their lack of understanding how long and cold and snowy a Montana winter would be in that mountain valley. They did not heed the information about getting enough firewood. Gordon Clune was so obsessed with his hunting fantasies, he was in denial about how he would even cook that meat if he had it. Duh, Gordon, no firewood!!

In spite of talking about how close they had gotten to their children, when they showed Gordon Clune back at his multimillion dollar Malibu mansion, he pushed his son away when he wanted to help his dad mow the lawn.

Frontier House Forum, PBS website Click Here

Alice (in Montana)


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: GUEST,irishajo
Date: 03 May 02 - 02:26 PM

I haven't seen the whole series. I just saw the last two episodes. I need to get my VCR programmed to record the whole thing I guess.

Even what little of it I saw struck me. One of the first things I picked up on was the difference between the men's and women's reactions upon leaving the frontier and returning to the 21st century. The men literally cried, and from what I could see the women were pretty happy to be getting back.

The children also seemed glad to get back to the 21st century - but admitted they were already bored with all the 'things' in their lives.

I can't forget the scene of the one man (Clune is his last name) wandering around his huge house after he'd returned from the frontier - he seemed so lonely.

I am interested to hear what others thought. Especially what we as a society have gained/lost in 130 years. I don't want to say much more until I've seen the whole thing.


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: GUEST,fretless, at work
Date: 03 May 02 - 02:53 PM

It broke my heart to see that fiddle hanging on the wall of the Glenn cabin, never touched once during the whole series.

I'm an archaeologist. I don't teach currently, but I imagine it would be great fun to include viewings of the Frontier House and the 1990 House in a course on historical archaeology. A good way to emphasize the human dimension in a course where students can get bogged down in the material equipment/artifacts.

Finally, I got a little tired of the inter- and intra-family bickering on the Frontier House. I think the producers could have give less air time to the soap opera aspects of their story, although that sort of conflict was certainly a real part of the historic prairie experience.

And didn't I see a fiddle accompanied by a GUITAR at the wedding? My recollection is that the guitar didn't penetrate the Appalachians until after the Spanish American War. Did it perhaps get to the northern plains earlier, via Mexico/Texas?


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: GUEST,Mike Billo
Date: 03 May 02 - 03:05 PM

I hate to be the lone naysayer, but at the outset, when they were told they would not be allowed to hunt, due to 21st century laws (this was poorly rationalized by saying that some laws regulating hunting did exist in the 1880's) it lost all credibility for me.

From that point, the tractors being called in (the 'experiment" had begun by that point),cheating by trading with the 21st century neighbors down the road, menustration belts (available only to the wealthiest women in America at the time),etc. made it little more than a costume party to me.

However, I do respect that many (including my wife and daughter)thought the show was wonderful. I hate it when I'm the only person who finds fault, but I guess I'm a stickler on the subject of historical accuracy.


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: Troll
Date: 03 May 02 - 03:12 PM

Been there. Done that. Give me central heat and air.

troll


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: katlaughing
Date: 03 May 02 - 03:12 PM

I only watched part of it, last night, but I have to agree with Mike. I didn't like the soap opera aspects, plus what bothered Rog and me both is there are people who are basically living that kind of life, today. Admittedly they may be few, but it seemed sort of silly to show these apparently unprepared folks when the film-maker could have documented close to the real thing. I know that wasn't the point, but it would have been much more interesting, imo. It just seemed kind of stupid to me.


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 03 May 02 - 03:12 PM

Fretless, did you say 1990 house? Well, it did make me think for a minute what life would be like without the Internet!

More later.


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: Alice
Date: 03 May 02 - 03:17 PM

Mike, they did get a deer that was given to them, and they could fish. They had PLENTY of food, frankly, and Gordon Clune's obsession with hunting was, I think, part of his western fantasy. They did not focus on what they should have, which was getting firewood cut and split on an ongoing basis (they had a paltry fraction of what would be needed). The Clunes also avoided cutting hay for their livestock, gathering dry grass that had no more nutrition than straw. Hunting really was not the issue. My family homesteaded in Montana, and hunting was not a big deal. They did rely on fish, which didn't take the money (ammunition) or time that hunting would take.


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: CapriUni
Date: 03 May 02 - 03:30 PM

Irishajo --

I didn't see the beginning of this series, and only saw bits of the last two days, but I Erinn Glenn (one of the daughters) did cry at the thought of leaving her horse behind. And Tracy Clune (the niece/cousin) sniffled a little at the thought of leaving the home they had all built together just being left behind as if none of it meant anything -- and she said that she had no regrets about coming out there, even if she hated it at first, because the experience made her a stronger, more confident, person.

I, too, was struck that Gordon Clune was so arrogant -- sure that the rules didn't apply to him. Not only would he not have been able to cook any meat he hunted without firewood (or, even if they had enough food, keeping his family from freezing to death), but he seemed to assume that he could hunt through the winter... Good thing he didn't have to try with the snow 5 feet deep...

One question I've had from the very beginning that was never answered: What happened to the cabins themselves after the families left? Were they torn down? Turned into educational exhibits? Anybody know?


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: GUEST,Chip A.
Date: 03 May 02 - 03:30 PM

What Kat said.

I only saw two hours of the program. I guess I never understood who sponsored this or WHY!? I lived a life very close to this for several years. For us it wasn't a game it was a life.

There are many doing it still. Why not study them?

Still, it was interesting to see. I was really interested in the kids and how it changed their perspective.


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: Deda
Date: 03 May 02 - 03:32 PM

I only saw the last episode but I also found it intriguing. I thought the kids, both those from wealthy Malibu family and the Glenn boy who had so resisted seeing his pet pig slaughtered, were having a lot richer life during the experiment than they had back in the 21st century. The Malibu girls were soaking in their hot tub by the pool, complaining that there was nothing to do, and the boy was glued to a videogame, in one of those TV-induced stupors.


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: GUEST,Mik Billo
Date: 03 May 02 - 03:32 PM

Hi Alice; My Father and Grandfather were hunting for subsistance (granted they were in Minnesota, not Montana) as late as the 1940's. Maybe they just liked hunting :)

I guess the fact that hunting was "forbidden" by 21st century law and not an option for the participants at all was kind of a sticking point with me.

It's probably just nit picking on my part, but there was widespread hunting in the 1880's.


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 03 May 02 - 03:35 PM

About that guitar: Yeah, maybe it wasn't historically accurate, but I'd cut them some slack on that. In fact, I'd cut them some slack on everything that has been criticized so far. I noticed they were less strict with the visitors than with the three families that were there full time. The grandmother who came for the kid's birthday wasn't required to wear period clothing. She was wearing what looked like polyester slacks and a short-sleeved shirt.

When they killed the pig, they used a modern rifle instead of whatever the homesteaders might have used—an ax, maybe? In the interest of killing the pig humanely and reliably, I'd allow them that. If any of the people had gotten seriously ill, I suppose the show's producers would have allowed them antibiotics. Heck, maybe they did take antibiotics and that part didn't make it into the final edit. Who cares?

The point is for all of us to learn something, not to torture people.

Mike Billo: When were tractors used in the series? I must have missed that part. I'll watch it again, though.


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: Alice
Date: 03 May 02 - 03:41 PM

Fretless, not only were there guitars (and even opera houses in many towns) there was a mandolin and guitar society organized around the turn of the century in my town, Bozeman, Montana. The current Montana Mandolin Society was formed recently when an old photo came to light showing the original group from around 1900. The opera house in Bozeman was built in 1888, and was unfortunately torn down in 1964, when people didn't value historic preservation. Here is a photo of the mandolin society: Click Here Virginia City and Nevada City, Montana, had musical entertainment. Many instruments were brought by river, including pianos, and then hauled overland. When the railroads came in, even more goods came to this area.


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: GUEST,irishajo
Date: 03 May 02 - 03:51 PM

I thought the point of the show was not just to show how people lived during that time period, but also to show how modern families would adjust to it. So the historic liberties (not that I would have noticed the more subtle ones) didn't bother me so much.


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: Alice
Date: 03 May 02 - 03:55 PM

The cabins and artifacts from the project are being moved to Nevada City, Montana, where they will be on display. Virginia and Nevada city are authentic old Montana towns, with the old buildings preserved. It seems odd to me to put these new log cabins in that location. I would have liked them to go to go to the reservation for people to use. If you didn't see the earlier part of the series, there was a deer shot and donated by a native American whose ancestors were the inhabitants of that area until homesteaders came and took it over. Because there is no restriction on their hunting, they did supply a deer and show the families how to skin and butcher it. The Indian who brought the deer then gave them some valuable history lessons.
There is a website for the Frontier House "museum". You can find it with a Google search.


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: Rich_and_Dee
Date: 03 May 02 - 03:56 PM

Hi,

I read about this series in this month's Smithsonian Magazine.

I haven't had a chance to see the show yet, but I'm certainly planning to.

As I understand the Smithsonian article, the attempt wasn't really to make a historically-accurate film, but to track the likely psychological and emotional progression of people leaving, say, Philadelphia or Boston and hoofing it out West on a wing and a prayer during the 19th Century.

A lot of folks with no experience in homesteading signed up for the Homestead Acts in the 19th Century. There were something like 2 million people who got their 126 acres. I don't have the numbers handy, but either 40% succeeded or 40% came back East looking for a warm bed and a decent meal in the cities.

Many of us (I'm a city slicker by birth and choosing)have archtypical images of frontier life. You know, some confused mix of "Little House on the Prairie" and "Grapes of Wrath", I just can't conjure up any image of the daily emotional life.

The fact that the people in this series had to do some cheating is a fairly chilling indication how serious and nasty striking out there could get.

For myself I bless my Irish famine emigrant great-great grandparents for deciding the Boston and Manhattan pubs were very comfy indeed, thank you very much.

Rich


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: Alice
Date: 03 May 02 - 04:07 PM

The stated goal of the project was to survive a Montana winter. The families were supposed to prepare for that. They did not actually have to stay there once winter began. The consultants for the project examined the final state of each homestead. The Brooks were the most likely to survive. The Malibu Clunes were not focussed on what they should be doing to prepare, except for having a garden and filling a root cellar. They would have frozen before they ran out of food, since they did not stockpile firewood. Gordon Clune's family owns a missile manufacturing business (Klune). He had an alcohol still made by the company and shipped to him and he spent more time on that than haying or woodcutting. Here is another web site about the planning for the project, plans which started before 1900 House. Planning of Frontier House Click Here


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: GUEST,Mike Billo
Date: 03 May 02 - 04:13 PM

Hi Jim; After they completed their training and began the trek to the valley, they encountered a road that had been washed out. The people who were walking took a long detour and walked around the problem, but those riding in the wagons had tractors fill in the road for them. The producers explained, in the narration, that the "time constraints" of the show made this necessary.

After seeing that, I remarked to my family, "If they stop at an ATM or check their email, we're changing the channel".

If looks could kill (they liked the show) I would have been dead.


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 03 May 02 - 04:16 PM

Here's what troubled me. It looks like conditions were harder for the reenactors than for the typical real-life homesteader. Even if it was typical for Montana, Montana wasn't typical of the American west. Why didn't they choose to hold the experiment in, say, Kansas, where the winters are shorter and milder, there is more rainfall, and the land is more fertile? Probably because Kansas is already cultivated from one end to the other; there is no sod left to bust (except on prairie preserves). And why is there still a lot of uncultivated land in Montana? Because that land is still economically marginal. In other words, it's nearly worthless as farmland. If it weren't worthless, it would have had farmers on it already.

But I missed the first hour or so of the series. Did they give some kind of explanation there that I missed?


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 03 May 02 - 04:33 PM

Mike: If these little lapses in realism bother you so much, what do you normally watch on TV? Professional wrestling, maybe?

I am ideologically opposed to using smiley-faces, but consider yourself smiled at. With malice toward none, of course.


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: Alice
Date: 03 May 02 - 04:34 PM

Jim, not all homesteads became farms like the cornfields of the midwest. There is some excellent agricultural areas of Montana for wheat, barley, sugar beets, etc., and then there is range land for livestock, and there are forested areas for timber. One part of Montana is a major source of mint (as in mint for flavoring.) The area the project was done in is high country ranching. Did you see the part where a neighboring ranch moved their herd through the area? There are livestock ranches that still exist in Montana that started out as homesteads. There is a documentary on three sisters who went to Montana, aired on PBS, called "Sun River Homestead". You can read about it at the pbs web site. That Sun River ranch is still in the same family, three generations later.


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: Alice
Date: 03 May 02 - 04:49 PM

I don't think the conditions were harder for these families - I think they had it much easier than real homesteaders. As far as the location they were in compared to the mid-west... at least they had alot of timber to cut for buildings, fence posts, heat. They had a good water supply, no need to dig a well. The prairie has tornados, the mountains don't. There were many advantages to being in the location they were in.


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: GUEST,Mike Billo
Date: 03 May 02 - 04:52 PM

Hi Jim; Smiles gladly accepted. I've already admitted to and apologized for being a nit picker. My gripe is that this was ostensibly an experiment to see how 21st century people would survive under 1880's conditions and what followed was presented as the results of that "experiment".

With tractors helping them out, hunting forbidden and a bunch of other problems, they weren't living under 1880's conditions.

Now what's all this you mention about professional wrestling having a lapse of realism?? You can't mean it!! I'm shocked.


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: katlaughing
Date: 03 May 02 - 04:59 PM

All good points, Alice, equally applicable to parts of Wyoming and Colorado. There is a good book out called High Country Cowboy, by Ken Reyher, which chronicles early ranching in Western Colorado. here's a blurb on it:

Life was tough for the western Colorado Cowboy. He faced a set of challenges that were totally different from his counterpart in Texas or even those brave men who worked on the open plains of eastern Colorado. Deep snows made it necessary to keep the cattle at lower elevations in the winter yet drought required they be driven back to the high country in the summer. A variety of predators could quickly disappear into the rugged countryside. Newborn calves might never be found.

I might add that this is still true. My dad's cousin still ranches on my great-grandparents' old place and heads to high country in the summer, etc. Funny thing, my dad, his parents, and grandparents prided themselves on not hunting for meat. They raised their own and went without if not. It was really kind of looked down upon as a way to supply one's family with food.

kat


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: Alice
Date: 03 May 02 - 05:04 PM

Well, first of all, modern equipment was used to build the Glenn cabin before they arrived and partially build the Clune cabin. That was part of the situation that was constructed for the project, along with imaginary scenarios for each family's economic conidition. The Brooks, who came out on top, were "penniless" and had to build their own house from scratch. I was impressed by them, their grace and dignity to work hard and rise to the top in spite of starting with much less than the other two families.


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: Alice
Date: 03 May 02 - 05:17 PM

hi, kat. Interesting point about shooting game for food instead of raising it. I recall the old photos of my uncles when they were boys, holding rifles. Shooting coyotes and prairie dogs (varmints) is what comes first to my mind. I agree. It was considered more civilized and successful to raise poultry and livestock for meat.


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: katlaughing
Date: 03 May 02 - 05:26 PM

Alice, nice to know someone else's family had that perspective, too. I guess mine was even a bit different in that they didn't shoot coyotes or prairie dogs, either, at least not according to my dad, who spent most of his childhood out on the range with his dad. They even had a coyote or wolf, can't remember which, that took up with a bitch of theirs. I think it must've been hard for my dad as he's never wanted to nor been able to shoot anything but tin cans, not even a horse which broke its leg...he had to call the vet over and still cried his eyes out over the loss. And, being raised with poultry all over the yard, he wouldn't touch it, as an adult...he was totally grossed out over how filthy he thought they were..he still will not touch chicken or turkey.

While I know its more honest for people to have to raise and kill their own meat, I'd be concerned about the long term effects on the kid who didn't want the chicken to be killed and the pig mentioned above.

kat


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: Alice
Date: 03 May 02 - 05:56 PM

To connect this homesteading thread with music, tonight is an old time country dance being held as a fund raiser for the local historical society. The contra dances here are regularly held once a month, but this month is a special "pioneer costume" event. I did the poster for them a couple of weeks ago. The local pioneer museum has a huge archive of donated photographs from early settler families of Gallatin County. We used one that shows a group of people gathered for a picnic. Note the fishing pole, the ice cream churn, the lean and lanky look of these folks:Old Time Dance poster.


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: Lepus Rex
Date: 03 May 02 - 06:40 PM

I liked it, and was glad when the Brooks "won." They were the only family that I'd like to live next-door to. That's probably why only about 1/8th of the show was devoted to them. (No fighting, backstabbing, cheating)

Watching Gordon Clune throw a tantrum upon finding out that he and his evil, lazy, greedy, stupid family (didn't care for them) had "lost" was the highlight of the final episode for me. He threw down the report, whimpered about how unfair everything was, and pulled a couple of "Malibu rabbit" (I'm guessing that means "cat") carcasses out of his freezer to demonstrate how easy it is to kill things is real life.

And the wife, crying about the make-up ban, and the girls sneaking out to watch MTV... Why couldn't that bear in their yard've been rabid?

That huge, hollow mansion in Malibu was so perfect for the Clunes.

The Glenns were bitchy and kind of disturbing to watch, but at least they were trying to keep things authentic (the mom even left her toilet paper behind in the "honesty box"). The fiddle on their wall was kind of depressing, I agree. (And not ONE of the families was seen to play the jew's harps supplied to them, grr)

So, pretty entertaining show, for a "reality" series. Nothing I'll save for my grandkids or anything, but good.

---Lepus Rex


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: Les B
Date: 03 May 02 - 06:48 PM

Alice - nice poster. Congrats by the way, saw your new CD written up in the MT Arts Council newsletter.

I saw only the first night of this series and was both intrigued and dismayed. I thought the producers were pushing for animosity and backbiting, and got it!

In terms of the hunting. My understanding was that it would contravene modern hunting laws, and the nearby modern neighbors might object.

Having been a participant in buckskinner rendezvous, pre-1840 settings, I wondered when the dread spectre of "authenticity" would rear its head. I thought, all things considered, that it was handled pretty well. They were all costumed appropriately, had the correct tools and foods, etc. What they made of it was up to them.

If you really want to complain about realism - there were no video crews with cameras recording humiliating details in 1883! So it's all a state of mind, anyway.

Alice is correct. Bannack and Virginia city were settled some two decades before these familys "arrived" (1861-63)(and Custer got his arrow shirt, 150 miles away in southern Montana, about seven years earlier) - there were pianos, fiddles, banjos and surely guitars here by then.

All in all, I have mixed feelings about what these shows try to convey. I like the history, deplore the histrionics.


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: CapriUni
Date: 03 May 02 - 06:51 PM

No, but there was one shot (during the final closing credits) of Nate having fun playing the saw...

They never did do a follow-up on the Clunes niece/cousin...

And I thought having 3 families was a little more fair than what they did with The 1900 House, with only one family. I really felt for the eldest daughter in that show, not having any peers because she had to avoid contact with the 20th Century...


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: Lepus Rex
Date: 03 May 02 - 06:55 PM

The niece/cousin was in the hottub with the daughter at the end, being "bored."

---Lepus Rex


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 03 May 02 - 07:21 PM

I think whether you look down on hunting depends a lot on what alternatives you have. And who exactly were the hunters that they looked down on? Indians, maybe? My mother grew up in the Ozarks, and they ate possum, squirrel, rabbit—not regularly, but occasionally. If you eat possum, it's only because you need the nourishment. There were 11 kids in her family. If they ever shot anything as big as a deer, I never heard about it. In some parts of the Ozarks there were wild pigs. That is, pigs that had escaped from a farm and reverted to the wild state. I don't know if my mom's family hunted them, though.

Other things in the story rang true. Like the kids having oranges as a rare treat. My dad told me that when he was growing up in Kentucky, the kids would each get an orange and a peppermint stick for Christmas, and that's all they would get. And they were mighty glad to get it.

Yes, in Kansas they would have built sod houses and used buffalo chips for fuel. Tornadoes are a lot rarer than non-midwesterners tend to think. They're very destructive, but usually only within a narrow path, and your chance of being in that path is quite small. A root cellar isn't always just a root cellar. In fact, the people I have known who had them called them "storm cellars" because that was their primary purpose—as a refuge for the family in case of a severe storm—not only a tornado.

Would kids be traumatized by watching livestock be killed? I don't know. I watched my grandpa chop the head off a chicken when I was a little tike, and it didn't traumatize me, but then I wasn't attached to the chicken. In fact I was afraid of them. There was a rooster that used to chase me!

I think people who grow up with farm animals, at least people in my parents' generation, simply steeled themselves against the emotional pain of losing pets. They thought it was an important part of character development that you had to learn to do this. When I was a kid, we had a beagle that was supposed to be both a pet for me and a hunting dog for my father. When my father figured out that the dog was useless as a hunting dog—he was "gun shy" probably because I had frightened him with my toy guns—my dad insisted we give him away. He knew somebody who wanted him, or so he said, but I wonder.... Anyway, the dog disappeared. I was heartbroken, but my dad wouldn't budge. Was that cruel? Maybe so, but his upbringing taught him that you couldn't afford a non-working animal. Even cats had to catch mice.


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: Alice
Date: 03 May 02 - 07:28 PM

Yes, the "histrionics". What is it with the media obsession of making every issue into a controversy or soap opera conflict? I expected better editing from PBS. The current TIME magazine issue has an article on the project, a photo of the Clunes (why them?), and the same spin of controversy and competition. Their comment about the Brooks was that they were "neighborly and mellow", hence little air time. The Smithsonian website has a longer article, pdf format.


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: SINSULL
Date: 03 May 02 - 08:11 PM

I too was "glues to the television". The relationship between Nate Brooke and his father was nothing short of beautiful.
Th women and their bickering made me think that Mrs. Olsen of "Little House..." was not too far off the mark.
The Clune's rationalization that homesteaders would never pass by an "opportunity" in order to trade with the natives and even sneak in a box spring was laughable. His "protein deficiency" which turned out to be dehydration was also a laugh. His wife's snide comment about it said a lot about their relationship.
I loved the Glenn's daughter. She seemed to get the most out of the experience and I suspect is the only one to retain what she learned about herself.
Let's face it. If the series had kept to absolute 1890s reality. None of them would have made it to the site. Through the whole thing, all I could think of was how bad they must have smelled.


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: Les B
Date: 04 May 02 - 12:47 AM

Sinsull - yes, but if they all smelled, they would have gotten used to it. When in Rome...

Not that I'm advocating poor hygiene, but there was a recent newspaper article about modern kids getting a sickness because our surroundings are too sterile -- it's a common malady and I can't think of the term - damn CRS! -- anyhow, there's something to be said for a little dirt :)


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: Alice
Date: 04 May 02 - 10:59 AM

There is a companion book to the series written by the producer and two Montana women, Linda Peavy and Ursula Smith, who were consultants. You can get it at bookstores or online. Related by someone who has read it, there is even more information in the book about the Clune family's sneaking around the rules to get comforts from outside the project. All together now, kids, "it's not faaaiiiirrr!". I wonder how many times I heard them saying that in the beginning of the series.


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: SINSULL
Date: 04 May 02 - 12:13 PM

Right, Alice. If Mrs. Glenn had been at my kitchen table I would have given her Nana Sullivan's "Life's not fair!" right between the eyes.

The bickering drove me nuts.Then I remembered reading about the Donner party and pre-disaster relationships among the women. Apparently, bickering, one-upmanship, class distinction, etc. typified their everyday dealings with one another and did not improve once thay were trapped and living on their wits. Maybe that was the norm.

Certainly, competition was the order of the day between the Mrs. Glenns and Clunes. Mrs. Brookes seemed to keep out of it. Although as a newlywed who hadn't seen her husband to be for a month, she may have had other priorities.


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 04 May 02 - 12:34 PM

I'd have to say I was a little "underwhelmed" by the whole thing. Enough so that I didn't make a particular effort to see the whole thing.

What I did see of the TV left me with the impression that the "production" people never really had a clear "objective." Too much of the editing - selection of what to show, and what to leave out - was apparently based on the need to "entertain." They gloated far too much about their "historical authenticity," which was completely contrived.

My own great-grandmother homesteaded her own "quarter" as a teenager. She "made ends meet" by trapping furs (beaver, fox, coyote, otter (Kansas mink), and even rabbits. She used a borrowed team of mules to team lumber for neighboring homesteaders, and for the nearest "trading post" - for cash to buy what she couldn't produce.

My own grandfather kept a working team of draft horses - and used them regularly, until I was about 10 years old. I was about 7 when he "got electricity," and one of my uncles was still trying to make his own home-brew wind generator work when I was 12, because the REA hadn't reached them yet.

Another cousin that I spent a lot of time with didn't have an "indoor" pitcher pump until I was 6 or 7 (he was a year older), and my uncle argued about the need for a "flush stool" when he finally considered getting an electric pump so "ma" could have running water. He ended up with a stool and one cold-water tap that was sufficient until "the kids left home and they could afford better."

I can't think of a family member who hasn't done at least some hunting. For some of us, it was more "to honor the tradition," but I still have family who consider their "quota" deer to be a significant benefit. Those of us who have to travel to search for game can usually buy it cheaper, but those with appropriate access (and especially the "cash poor") consider bringing in game a necessary part of "getting by."

Personally, I think a series about the "surviving primitives" still around would have been a lot more interesting - but of course the "producers" would have to put their "psychobabble" in to make it commercially viable.

John


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: Les B
Date: 04 May 02 - 10:09 PM

Boy, that would have made the producers happy if one of the familys had "gone Donner" and served up a member of one of the other familys for dinner some night !! :)


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: SINSULL
Date: 04 May 02 - 10:54 PM

The ratings would have gone through the roof. A whole new take on voting off a "Survivor". And you thought the scenes of the little boy crying over his soon to be slaughtered chicken were touching!


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: Alice
Date: 04 May 02 - 10:54 PM

Long pig! Hey, Gordon Clune would rationalize, at least it's PROTEIN!


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: Metchosin
Date: 05 May 02 - 02:21 AM

I watched the end segment of the programme and the only ones that seemed to have some flexible coping skills were the kids. Then again, my Mum often recounts, that as kid during the Dirty Thirties, life was good as a kid, despite the occasional hunger pang and other deprivations for herself and brothers and sisters, the true hell was borne by her parents.

But the boy and his chicken stuck a chord with me too; ah, sweet childhood memories! I'm with Troll on this, as an adult, I spent two years in a one room uninsulated shack, without running water or indoor plumbing and heated only by kerosene during the three dog nights. And speaking of dogs, my fine appreciation for them, at that time, was not really determined by their personality, but by their BTU output.

There was nothing romantic about it, most of it was pure drudgery, made bearable because of the somewhat finite time limit on our living conditions. Although, looking back, we were far healthier; not one bout of a cold or the flu, and austerity has a lot to recommend it. What it does do, is give you a true appreciation of modern conveniences, with no desire to rough it any more than you have to.

Looking back also, I'm so thankful that we did not have children or livestock to attend to; then again, we probably wouldn't have done it if we had. Such were the choices of a relatively affluent time and society.

It was not surprising that the best prepared was the childless couple. Although from present practical experience, wood aside, none of their hay supplies looked all that adequate to me either, despite the proclamation to the contrary, for two of them. But then, lacking adequate pastureland, I'm always a bit paranoid about my hay supply.

As far as reality and preparedness for survival goes regarding the premise of the show, gimme a break, the out is always there, there is no psychological burden carried for the grim reality of failure. If people really wanted to see grim reality, PBS would film some inner city families, real life on a reserve in some part of Canada, or the realities of some mid-east families in the throes of war. And even then their reality would be substantially changed by the very presence of a film crew and camera. This truly wasn't much of a step up from the basic "survivor" crap that seems to be rampant on TV now; just some PBS producers desire to do a remake of "Little Hell on the Prairie."


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: Metchosin
Date: 05 May 02 - 02:40 AM

Ah Ha!!! PBS just redeemed itself, an excellent retrospective of Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys tonight!


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: katlaughing
Date: 05 May 02 - 04:25 AM

Darn! Missed that, Mets! (Good to see you here!) We weren't quite that primitive out on the "ranchette," but snowshoe-ing in, hauling our water for everything, including horse, sheep, geese, ducks, landscaping, and us (if one is frugal, a fmaily of four can do a lot with 250 gallons per week!), and heating with a woodstove provided plenty of experience to know that we'd never go that "rough" again. It was fun at the time and the kids loved it, but Rog and I just think we were young, in love, and crazy, though I don't think we'd ever regret having done it.

The Donner thing has already hit the tabloids. I was at the grocery store, today, and noticed a headline about a new "survivor" show in which the one who gets voted off gets eaten!


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: Metchosin
Date: 05 May 02 - 05:16 AM

Hi kat! haven't had much time to pop in except for a cursory peek during the wee hours of the morning, glad to see you are all settled into your new home.

In retrospect I have no regrets either, but damn, it was hard when I finally went back to a day job in order to keep our heads above water during the last six months.

It's alright when you're totally into it, but when one foot's in the regular world and your cloths stink of kerosene, you're covered with dog hair and it took you twice as long as your co-workers to get ready for the day, because you had to sling a bucket of water in the dark from the hand pump outside to the coleman stove, in order to heat it to wash and help take the chill off just to keep from feeling like something that just crept out from under a toadstool, it could be a bit demoralizing.*BG*

Boy, you're up late too.....think its about time I called it a day, cheers.


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: Melani
Date: 05 May 02 - 05:06 PM

I also watched "Little Survivor on the Prairie", and I think I would have liked it better if there had been only one family instead of three. That did seem to make it like a contest. The families were clearly chosen for their entertainment value rather than competence. Gordon Clune was not only a major jerk, but also an idiot. If he wanted a bathtub, he probably could have built something that would hold water at least long enough to get washed, instead of spending money on one. Ma Glenn made a really major error when she washed all the girl's clothes on what was obviously not "a good drying day", and then expected them to go out in the snow wearing only blankets. Then Gordon Clune sending them off into the snow--! My friend the Costume Nazi was upset by the fact that all the females were running around in their underwear all the time--that NEVER would have happened in 1883. They might have taken their corsets off for work, but they would have had a dress on top!

I was much less pleased with this one than "The 1900 House." But I think part of the purpose of these things is to allow us comfortable folks at home to sit in front of our TV's and say, "Those idiots! I could do better than that!"


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: GUEST,oj
Date: 06 May 02 - 12:17 AM

i played a bunch of the music on the show. the composer came out here to seattle to record it and i played dobro, mandolin, banjo, and most of the acoustic guitar. i mostly enjoyed the show, not caring too much about historical accuracy, since i think the show was more about the emotional journey that people placed in a situation like this would undergo. i do wish they would have given us more of the brooks with their rags to "riches" story but i guess the viewers dig the petty conflict among the others more.


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: Melani
Date: 06 May 02 - 12:54 AM

Nice music, oj. Chanteyranger said a friend of his played fiddle.


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: SharonA
Date: 06 May 02 - 12:37 PM

I was able to watch only bits and pieces of this series, but one thing that struck me was the attitude of the woman from Tennessee toward the Clunes. Early on, she condemned them (in a statement to the camera) for not being willing to accept help from the other families, and she said that if they couldn't live in the wilderness without that give-and-take between families they ought to go home. Later on, when the Tennessee family got a second cow and calf, and evicted the Clunes' cow and calf, the Tennessee woman condemned them for complaining about it, and said that if they couldn't be more self-reliant they ought to go home. She seemed to have a pre-conceived notion about the Clunes because they came from California and were more well-to-do than her family, and apparently in her mind the Clunes couldn't do anything right. Maybe I missed some part of the program where the Tennessee woman realized her prejudice?

Not that the Clunes were such great people or anything; even in the short time I watched the program, I tired of hearing the mother and the teenage daughters complaining about how this or that was "unfair". Who ever told them that pioneer life, or any other life for that matter, was fair?


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: GUEST
Date: 06 May 02 - 01:19 PM

I believe this series was based upon a CBC (Canada) series called Pioneer Quest. In the Canadian version there seemed to be less of the competetive aspect and they did stay the winter . It was a very good series. I liked the PBS one less because they did not stay the winter and I did not really care for the people except for the young newlyweds. The other families spent too much time navel gazing to be serious about survival.


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: nickp
Date: 08 Jul 02 - 04:59 AM

Frontier House has now made it to the UK. Started last night on Channel 4. Rereading all these comments after seeing the first episode is a bit like reading the end of a book first but it helps having other peoples opinions - whether or not I agree with them (don't know yet - one episode only really gets you into the theme).

What really makes the difference to me is catters' family reminiscences which add to the background. Thank you all.

Nick


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: SharonA
Date: 08 Jul 02 - 12:58 PM

Coincidentally, the PBS station in my area (Philadelphia PA environs) is rerunning the series this week. Check your local TV listings, US 'Catters; it may be coming back to your station, too.


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: GUEST,Kim C no cookie
Date: 08 Jul 02 - 02:48 PM

The C.F. Martin company has been building guitars in the US since the 1830s. Martin came here to get away from the restrictive crafters guild system in Europe. Washburn has been in business since the 1880s. Guitars were around, and they were plentiful, although smaller instruments like the fiddle and banjo were more popular in the mid-19th century.

I don't recollect what kind of guitars they were using on the show - but the 1880s guitars are more like what we play now, than earlier guitars, which were smaller and narrower. One man theorized to me that the evolution of musical instruments has always had to do with volume, volume, volume - how can we make this thing play louder? Thus bigger guitars, steel strings, resonators on banjos, etc.

I had some gripes with this show, as did a lot of other reenactors, but on the whole I thought it was good. It could have been better, but I thought they did very well with what they had.


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: SharonA
Date: 08 Jul 02 - 03:45 PM

Reenactors? I was under the impression that "Frontier House" wasn't a reenactment but an experiment of sorts, done mainly to contrast the hardships of frontier life with the current way of life in America and to point out how we've "gone soft".

I daresay that reenactors, already well-studied in the habits and attitudes of the late-nineteenth century, would have fared better in the experiment than the volunteers chosen. So would people from the Amish sects that spurn all modern conveniences – the "plain folk" – people who already understand and exhibit the community spirit necessary for survival in such an environment as the one depicted in the program.

It must have been difficult for the participants in the experiment, especially the children, to take on the mindset of 1880's frontier folk when they were constantly reminded of the modern world they'd left by the presence of a videocamera crew, literally "in their face."


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: GUEST,Kim C no cookie
Date: 08 Jul 02 - 04:43 PM

That's just it, Sharon, they didn't want reenactors, they wanted fish out of water. And they were supposed to do EVERYTHING like it would have been done in 1883, so it was a reenactment of sorts. A living history immersion, as it were.

The biggest gripe most of us reenactors had was the women going around in their underwear. Yeah, you bet it's hot - they didn't have SPF 15 in those days, but they did have sunburn, so when you went out in the sun to hoe the taters, you covered up. Head to toe. And you wore that corset because it's a back-supporting (and bust-supporting, for them what needs it) garment.

I would have loved to have tried it. But they wouldn't have taken me. :-(


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 08 Jul 02 - 07:32 PM

Kim C: You're perfectly free to try it, whether anyone "takes you" or no! All you need is some land. And nobody cares if you cheat!

And if corsets are so practical, why didn't men wear them?

But you're right about the history of the guitar. It's a point that is emphasized in an exhibit I saw at the Experience Music Project in Seattle. See it if you get the chance.


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: GUEST,Kim C no cookie
Date: 09 Jul 02 - 09:48 AM

I have tried it, just not for six months. I do have bills to pay. And if you're going to cheat, what's the point?

Men did wear corsets! In the 1830s, when the narrow waistline was in vogue for gentlemen's wear, there did exist a waist-cincher-type garment to help one achieve that look. However, the biggest reason men didn't wear corsets on a daily basis is------ no boobs. Contrary to popular belief, the main function of a corset was to support the bust in the days before brassieres. :-)


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: Alice
Date: 23 Jul 02 - 08:12 PM

The front page article of our local paper on Sunday was about Mark Glenn returning to the area (after divorcing his wife) and working on the ranch near the cabins of Frontier House. You can read the article at www.gomontana.com, the date July 21, 2002, the title "Back To The Land" with sub heading, 'Frontier House' alum Mark Glenn didn't want it to end.
The article says he is working part time on the ranch while working on a book about his experience. An agent lined up lecture on the university fall and winter circuit. He says his message will be to simplify your life and "understand the banality of pecking orders and status systems".

Alice


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: nickp
Date: 24 Jul 02 - 04:31 AM

interesting but awkward to find - try this and maybe some kind person can make it a clickie

http://news.mywebpal.com/news_tool_v2.cfm?show=archivedetails&pnpid=311&om=0&ArchiveID=808267

like the bit about not turning the tv on - its the only way I can squeeze enough spare life in...


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: SharonA
Date: 24 Jul 02 - 09:32 AM

Wow, thanks, Alice. I haven't seen parts 5 and 6 of the "Frontier House" series yet (my local PBS station is rerunning it – those episodes air tomorrow!), but based on the first 4 parts, I didn't think Mark Glenn was going to stay in that marriage.

IMO (again based on the first 4 parts only), Karen Glenn left the trappings of the 21st century behind when she joined the "Frontier House" project, but she didn't leave her attitude behind long enough to even try to role-play as a wife with 1880's attitude. I remember that, at one point, Karen Glenn said that something-or-other that she was doing was "the Christian thing" to do... and yet, a Christian woman of the late nineteenth century would have been expected to be obedient and submissive to her husband, instead of publicly debasing him as Karen did.


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: Alice
Date: 24 Jul 02 - 11:24 AM

Back to the land: 'Frontier House' alum Mark Glenn didn't want it to end


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: nickp
Date: 24 Jul 02 - 11:33 AM

Thanks Alice - I'll learn clickies one day!


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: Alice
Date: 24 Jul 02 - 11:34 AM

Since many around the country and now in the UK have seen this series, now you know what my part of the world looks like. I live just west of where it was filmed.
What do you think of the scenery? (Bill Sables can testify.)

Alice in Montana (and Les B. lives in the area, too)


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: nickp
Date: 24 Jul 02 - 11:37 AM

As a Brit it beats most of the UK - but I still have a soft spot for western NC!


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: SharonA
Date: 24 Jul 02 - 03:24 PM

Alice: The scenery's gorgeous, simply gorgeous! (Y'mean the PBS folks didn't airbrush those mountaintop clouds – they come that way? *BG*)

I'm still trying to figure out what that article writer meant about the Clunes letting the teenage girls "go feral". As I said, I haven't seen the last two parts of the series yet; still, I have a hard time imagining those girls – who were typically concerned with their appearance and bemoaning the absence of makeup – turning into wolf children!

Actually, Gordon Clune and even Adrienne, have kinda grown on me, in spite of the difficulty they had adapting to the change in lifestyle. Their idiocy is laughable and their "not-fair" complaints are infuriating, but I'm sure their feeling of being fish-out-of-water was typical of many homesteaders of the period. I'm finding their mindset a lot easier to take than Karen Clune's "everyone's an incompetent idiot except me" attitude.... even more so when I see on this thread that the Glenns weren't judged to be as well prepared for winter as the Brookses!


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: Kim C
Date: 24 Jul 02 - 05:01 PM

They did turn into wolf-children! ;-) They had a little secret camp-thing in the woods and ran around in their chemises and smoked pipes. Mister said it was like Lord of the Flies. :-D


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: Coyote Breath
Date: 24 Jul 02 - 10:26 PM

As usual I'm off the thread sorta;

Alice, where in Montana? I just came back from visiting my cousin, Sue in Big Timber, went up to the Crazys and down to the falls on the Boulder River. Just one incredible view after another, no wonder my cousin stays there in spite of the winters. I'm reading Alice Gleason's writings: Starting From Scratch. She lived in the Choteau area near the Teton river, A.B. Guthrie was a friend of hers and a neighbor.

And KIM C you do re-enacting? what period? could you and/or Alice PM me? My ladyfriend and I are slowly inching our way West. Spending next summer in the Yellowstone if we can get jobs there.

Went to the Medicine Wheel, slept at Porcupine campground, only one there, what blessed silence!

As a "Fur Trade" re-enactor I had a few laughs over frontier house. We kept saying, "waugh, they got it MADE!" try doing that under canvas or an oilskin "tarp" or dug into a creek bank! Brother bill and I go off into the Boone Wildlife area. Nothing but nature, absolutely NO "improvements" Take a ground cloth, hardtack biscuits, some bacon and a squirrel rifle and a gourd canteen and some salt. Stay a night or a month, the place is wild and peaceful. The Missouri country can support a person forever if they have common sense and love the silence. I don't know if folks who "went West" would have been as green as that, maybe in the LATE 19th century. The pilgrims who didn't cut the mustard usually died.

CB


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: SharonA
Date: 25 Jul 02 - 08:06 AM

Kim: That settles it; I'll be glued to the tube tonight to watch the "feral" teens. Bizarre! Ah well, I guess kids that age will find some way to rebel, regardless of the environment in which they find themselves....


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Subject: RE: Review: PBS series 'Frontier House'
From: Alice
Date: 25 Jul 02 - 11:23 AM

CB, Frontier House was filmed right where you visited, in the Boulder River area near Big Timber.

Alice


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