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Because you never know

I like weird little bits of history for example: Lancaster PA (near where I grew up) was for a little while the capital of the United States while the British occupied Philadelphia. When it appeared that the British would march on Lancaster, the Continental Congress moved across the Susquehanna into York, Pennsylvania to be safer. About a century later, Lancaster County PA had a thriving silk industry - who knew.

Little known facts like those sometimes are the beginnings of great stories. Other little known concepts might include: how to wash a handwoven wedding gown. I throw my handwoven items into the washing machine and let them spin, but older handwoven items are an entirely different monster much like most antique garments.


One of my favorite family photographs is this wedding photo of my dad's parents (1946). Grandma not only sewed her wedding dress, but she wove the material for the dress as well which we still have. Today I went to talk to someone who might know something about cleaning and storing old wedding gowns (we also have Mom's dress that would be nice to save). If you want to know: hand wash in lukewarm water with Dawn dish soap. Let dry flat and keep in a 100% cotton bag. For storing, roll it to prevent creases from folding. Bring it out into the air once every couple years to check and to re-roll.

The information about washing older garments is good to have; knowing that Grandma wove the dress is also nice information. Both facts could be used in a story about World War Two or even how to care for items of historical value. If you want to write articles, books, screenplays, stage plays or radio dramas, keep a writer's journal. It doesn't have to be fancy, and it doesn't have to be a journal - a computer file works. If you want to be an artist - keep an artist journal. For me, I use one journal for both aspects, plus have a file on the computer where I put ideas and other inspirational images or quotes. Because, quite honestly, you never know when that strange little fact might turn out to be something that changes a ho-hum story into something memorable.

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