Skip to comments.Oprah Goes Back In Time In PBS 'Colonial House'
Posted on 05/18/2004 7:48:54 AM PDT by presidio9
Imagine one of the wealthiest people on Earth living without indoor plumbing.
Granted, she only lasted a few days, but Oprah Winfrey took that challenge. She sat down with KMBC's Kelly Eckerman to talk about what life is like without electricity, running water or modern conveniences of any kind.
Oprah and her friend, Gail, recently stayed in the PBS "Colonial House," where the pair agreed to live as people did 400 years ago.
Eckerman: "Were some people surprised you were anxious to do it?"
Oprah: "I come from a very poor family, so it was like going back in my own time for me. Gail, on the other hand, grew up with a maid and always had indoor plumbing."
There were many unforgettable moments for the television talk-show guru. Oprah seemed to take most tasks in stride, but Gail was another story.
Oprah: "First, you arrive and they make you strip all your underwear because women didn't have underwear in the 16th century. Just one of those facts, I guess I never knew that."
Eckerman: "I never thought about that."
Oprah: "You never think about it. The panties have to come off, bras off."
The chores were another big adjustment for Gail.
Oprah: "We're trying to cook bacon, gasping for air, and Gail says, 'I'd like mine extra crispy.' And I said, 'This is not the Fairmont Hotel, sister.'"
A rodent finally sent the pair packing -- that was where Oprah drew the line.
Oprah: "I'm not going to survive if a rat falls on my face!"
Oprah's said her stay was short, but priceless for "seeing how far we've come as women, as people, and all the people who did so much for us to have this exquisite life that we so often take for granted."
Oprah added that the most revealing thing about her colonial experience -- besides no underwear -- is how hard they had to work. The women, especially, never had a minute to themselves, Oprah said.
Somehow somewhere a pic of Anna K will turn up in this thread.
I'll stick with Amy-Kristina, but neither of them measure up to Bethany. She was the real deal.
What suprises me is the self-defense mechanism that has allowed all of this to suppress the mental image of Oprah Winfrey removing her bra and panties...
While we're on the subject of P.B.S,check this out,much Redcoating.
P.B.S p.c'd the hell out of it,and edited most of me out.
Her husband is a carpet salesman,what the hell kind of a job is that for a hippie?
BTW, what was up with the vivid colors of the clothing? Did people really dress that way, or did Prince have a wardrobe surplus sale?
I was very surprised, to say the least. They've got a better mix of personalities this time around.
I wonder if Oprah agrees with Danny Tisdale's comments. I'll paraphrase them since I can't find them on line : I no longer consider myself an African-American, but an American of African descent, with the emphasis on American.
Later in an online interview on PBS' website : "As I expected, the project solidified my love for this country, as a American of African descent whose ancestors shed their blood in this soil for a better life for me. It also confirmed my appreciation of the ideals for the men and women who were here originally and who came from other lands to create this great diamond in the rough that we have today. I better understand that democracy is not guaranteed, and that my participation is required to keep and enhance it; for me this is one of the greatest gifts of the project."
In another interview that was in a magazine or something (that showed up on the web and which I unfortunately do not have a link to), he said something along the lines, that he would have endured what his slave ancestors endured, if it meant his descendants could have the life and freedoms that he has in this country.
Interesting that such an experience makes some people bitter or wanting to forget it, while others like him, it makes them appreciate and love this country even more and what its founders went through.
The producer of the show made an interesting comment afterwards. She was talking about how we view life in the 1600s as being backwards, primitive, crude, etc.
She basically said "our ancestors weren't stupid, they had working systems for everything", basically you can't judge them by our standards today.
Besides the hard work, the other thing that struck me, was the reliance upon one another. Everybody had roles, and if everybody decided they wanted to do their own thing, the place would fall apart. Mrs. Vorhees had a fit when some of the women were complaining about their days off and the work. She was practically screaming "You signed up for this, you have certain responsibilies, you should get over it and deal with them". Some of them viewed this as an extended five month vacation I believe, and didn't want to cook, clean, mend clothes, etc.
Even just watching half of the show, I found myself VERY thankful for sacrifices of what people went through back then. His comments are VERY telling in light of the blather that comes out of the mouths of some today.
I want to shake them and say "Look, yeah, around 90 percent of your people got wiped out by disease. It's horrible that it happened, but you can't blame Europeans, it's nature. It could have easily gone the other way, Europeans or North American Natives could have easily brought diseases from North America back to Europe that wiped out 90% of Europe. Hell, Europe did go through several plagues that wiped out very large portions of the population. It's called nature, not much you can do.
Sorry for ranting. I'm of Spanish descent, and I just get tired of people complaining about diseases that Spaniards/Europeans carried with them.
have no idea lol
? - I skimmed the website.. what happened that took the Wyers family out?
Well calling it genocide is just PC gobblygook.
I know it's PC crap, but it bugs me that they throw words around like genocide and holocaust in regards to the smallpox and other diseases. I'm not saying that it's not bad that the majority of their people were wiped out - it is a tragedy, but Europe endured several of those tragedies.
Quick look at dictionary.com - genocide - The systematic and planned extermination of an entire national, racial, political, or ethnic group.
That doesn't fit what they call genocide at all, and in a way it lessens what true victims of a genocide or holocaust actually went through.
Bethany's fiance (or boyfriend, depending on who you ask) was killed in an automobile accident. The oldest Wyers son (who declined to appear on the show) was also critically injured. But, since Jeff Wyers returned to the show, I'm guessing that he recovered. I don't think Bethany will be returning.
Eldest daughter's fiancee killed in car crash, eldest son hospitalized in severe/critical condition.
Kind of weird considering that prior to the accident, when the youngest son was really sick (they didn't say, but I'm guessing food poisoning or adjusting to the water supply, as several other people were affected by it), the father was just about in tears talking about what it must have been like to have watched members of your family die back in the 1600s and being powerless to stop it.
Naturally occuring diseases is hardly genocide. Smallpox blankets... they have a point. The highway men clearing jungles for roads in the Congo who brought back Ebola are guilty of the same 'genocide' that early explorers were. BUT certain explorers were aware of germ transfer esp. James Cook who sought to limit exposure BUT who can stop horny sailors???
Oh my - that is a horrible. Very sad.
I've always found these shows interesting. I didn't know they were doing the colonial times one.
Saw one when I was in England about a family who went back to WWII and what it was like to live in London during the bombing by the Germans. VERY interesting ...