Our Picnic Essay

Picnic wagons, and later trolleys, made runs from the center of town.

One of these was in Dunning, Illinois, which was still rolling prairie outside Chicago in 1870.

To make up for this, I started searching for large group game ideas and fell upon your blog post about a school picnic experience. Our future picnics will be minimally structured, as they should have always been.

I found it quite interesting, but did not have the courage to dive into letting the picnic go “Free-Range.” I spent hours over the past week preparing games, signs, collecting material for last night’s picnic. They rolled down the grassy hills, did their own face painting with the stuff I’d left on a table and meant to go back to set up, and just enjoyed being in an open space, running free.

One of cinema’s favorite double entendres occurs during a picnic in Hitchcock’s Grace Kelly and Cary Grant are preparing to dine from a hamper in the sexy Sunbeam Alpine roadster they have driven along the scenic Grand Corniche road when she deadpans, “You want a leg or a breast?

” It’s a common narrative pivot, with the picnic as a fulcrum: the spontaneous tryst in the shrubbery during an innocent excursion to the countryside.In the process, it inspired nostalgia, tested the boundaries of morality, and became a cottage business. But in large part, it has become a cultural memory instead of an activity.* * *Romanticism was the aesthetic consequence of the Industrial Revolution’s changes to social and material life.The movement reappraised nature, helping shape picnics as a cultural fad.In Guy de Maupassant’s 1881 short story “ set in 1900, a simple lunch in the Outback is enough to lure girls on the cusp of womanhood into the wilderness of their own voracious desires, trailing pieces of attire as they go.No wonder that, by 1912, * * *In America at the turn of the 19th century, the picnic presented new opportunities for commerce.Urbanization increased, and with it the desire to escape the city.Enterprising individuals bought especially scenic parcels of land—water frontage practically mandatory—and set up for-profit picnic groves.A wooded plot containing a tavern was recast as a picnic grove by Henry Kolze.It sounds so simple today, to find a bit of largely unadorned scenery such a joyful draw.We had to have the picnic to a park a couple of streets over.Only problem was that we had to forego bouncy houses on this particular site, which would be a disappointment to the kids, as this had become a tradition.


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