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Today is May 29, 2017

Outdoors

Reliving the way it was years ago

Reliving the way it was years ago

Socializing is a big part of rendezvous in Natchez. Photo: Tony Kinton

Why some of us are drawn to step back and relive—if only in a pretend fashion—the way life was in distant days is at best uncertain. Perhaps it is curiosity, wondering if we could have made it through the living minus modern contrivances.

Perhaps it is simple intrigue. Maybe a thirst for the knowledge of how things were done.

Regardless, there is a grand lure for many to revisit the past. This is evidenced by gatherings of like-minded individuals seeking those phantom-like rewards of experiencing.

Rendezvous is the common name given to such events. These are scattered across the U.S., some given to one specific era and some to other spots in history. Mississippi is no exception; rendezvouses are held here.

One popular venue is Natchez, and the rendezvous there typically begins the first weekend in November and runs for 10 days. It encompasses any timeframe up to 1840, so this easily embraces the long hunter and mountain man—18th to early 19th centuries. Participants are expected to employ the clothing and implements common to the era they elect to portray, and one weekend of the two involved is open to spectators. It is the perfect opportunity to see history come alive.

This year there was a first effort toward spring rendezvous. Dubbed the Cold Foot, it was held the second weekend of February but was anything but cold. In fact, it was for the most part warm. The Hill was its location and is the location for the November get-together as well, a grand setting of loess bluffs out near the airport just north of Natchez.

While a great many individuals are responsible for organizing and implementing the Natchez rendezvouses, one who surfaces regularly is Matt Avance. Matt owns Tennessee Valley Muzzleloaders (TVM). Once housed in Corinth, TVM is now located in Natchez. Matt and his staff produce a long list of handsome and functional muzzleloading firearms from all eras, and TVM is a viable source of information regarding events such as the rendezvous.

So if you are interested in acquiring a very fine muzzleloader or if you simply need information regarding events, contact Matt or his staff on the web at www.tennesseevalleymuzzleloading.com, tennesseevalleymuzzloading@gmail.com or 601-445-5482.

Even though I was too often burdened with the camera and notepad while at Cold Foot, I did manage to shoot the muzzleloader range once and enjoy camp for two evenings. It was a most rewarding experience.

Tony Kinton has been an active outdoors writer for 30 years. His newest book, “Rambling Through Pleasant Memories,” is now available. Order from Amazon.com or Kinton’s website: www.tonykinton.com.

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