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jurgitemvaletem
12-04-2006, 12:20 AM
hope this is okay, I was just getting sick of that old sack coat thread and thoght that this probably warrented it's own,



the following lists are not to promote any individual purveyor of goods to the Civil War hobby, but are posted for the intelectual enlightenment for those who care.

the lists are comprised from prices on goods sold by Fall Creek and The Jersey Skilletlicker, Matt Woodburn, Carter and Jasper, WW&co. and tranMis. depot. They are prices of items that would comprise the average federal kit.

Fall Creek --- Jersey Skilletlicker(and other)

sack coat $129 --- $180
trowsers $92 ---- $175
cotton shirt $34.50 --- $85
forage cap $35 --- $95
brogans $94.50 --- $185
socks(wool) $8.95 --- $65
belt $18 --- $45
capbox $16.50 --- $65
cartridge box $39.50 --- $190
cartridge box sling $18.50 --- $30
bayonet and scabbard $47.50 --- $60 (+bayonet $34.95)
haversack (tarred) $26.95 --- $70
knapsack $89.50 --- $250
rifle (enfield) $475 --- $475 (+defarb $200)
blanket (wool) $42.50 --- $99
blanket (gum) $49.50 --- $98

totals: 1264.90 ------- 2401.95
difference of 1137.05

thanks,
Jurgitem Valetem

AZReenactor
12-04-2006, 07:44 AM
Authenticity and quality.....priceless

tompritchett
12-04-2006, 09:26 AM
Reenactor hat - As I mentioned in a reply to the discussion that emerged from your first posting of this list, the choice of mainstream vs. "campaigning" (the generic term used for the c/p/h wings) has nothing to do with cost-savings but instead is based upon wanting to portray the soldiers of that period as accurately as possible and to experience qas closely as possible what they experienced back then - both admirable goals. Consequently, while mainstreamers typically have periods of authentic behavior while the camp is open to the public, the campaigners try to adopt a typical soldier's life and attitude from the time they leave their cars at the beginning of the event until the time they start heading back to their cars at the end. The closer they can get to truly doing so, typically the better the event is for the participants. Bill Watson had a post about a year ago which also differentiated the difference between the two wings of the hobby by the expectations that each group brings to the event. I hope that he will repost it again here as it is directly applicable to your question.

Moderator hat - The subject of this thread is such that discussions could easily turn into yet another them vs. us p*****g contest. Consequently, keep your comments civil and respectful towards your fellow posters. We can disagree without being rude or antagonist about it.

Trooper Graham
12-04-2006, 10:53 AM
I see a direct relationship to uniform and equipment makers of the CW and those doing the same thing today.

If there are two authentic uniform coats side by side and one label has the home town tailor label and the other has a US Government contract label are they not both authentic? The home town tailor of course is special made and comes at a price but it has to be made to government specifications. Those items with contract labels were made by 'companies' in what is called today, sweat shops, made under a granted contract to suppy, by the same specifications, a certain amount by a certain time. The same kind of contracts still being awarded today by the government.

Your comparison of Fall Creek is the 'company' and the others is the home town/unit tailor.

Some companies today do turn out shoddy stuff but some 'companies' don't and stay with those original specifications when producing their wares.

There is the shoddy cheep stuff, the mid-expensive affordable 'company' stuff and there is the expensive 'home town' tailor stuff which is hand made but it is no less authentic as some company gear.

huntdaw
12-04-2006, 11:30 AM
Well, this just seems to be another way to approach the 'us vs. them' argument, but I'll state my thoughts on the matter for the sake of conversation. I also think that you have chosen the highest end of prices for the authentic side which skews the argument.

That being said, here are some of my observances regarding the subject.

sack coat $129 --- $180 - Proper materials and handsewing costs more.

trowsers $92 ---- $175 - See above plus I like my buttons to at least be sewed on with a proper 'x' pattern instead of modern style.

cotton shirt $34.50 --- $85 - See above, but I do agree that prices can be a bit much on these. But, you can make your own and save some money. Price will also depend on the shirt and materials being used.

forage cap $35 --- $95 - Just compare the two and the difference is pretty obvious.

brogans $94.50 --- $185 - I paid $110 for my Mattimore brogans. You can get good shoes from some top makers for between that and $125-$130. Having worn both mainstream and authentic, I'll take the authentic every time. My feet thank me after every event for my choice.

socks(wool) $8.95 --- $65 - There is not comparison between ragg wool which is not close to authentic and a pair of hand knit socks. Once again, your feet will thank you for having proper socks.

belt $18 --- $45 - I have compared materials and workmanship. The low-end belts probably aren't even worth the $18.

capbox $16.50 --- $65 A Pakistani cap pouch with whatever kind of scraggly fake fur that is they put in there compared to a hand-sewn one with real wool? That's a no brainer to me. Plus, there are quality pouches out there for less than what you have listed.

cartridge box $39.50 --- $190 - Once again, the folks that make these should get something to compensate for time spend handsewing, cutting leather etc. There is a difference in quality also. Plus, not every cartridge box through the duration of the war had the flap tab riveted like you find on sutler row.

cartridge box sling $18.50 --- $30 - There can be a difference in the leathers used many times.

bayonet and scabbard $47.50 --- $60 (+bayonet $34.95) Well, a 7 rivet scabbard isn't appropriate for every event and that usually seems to be what mainstream sutlers have on hand. An extra $12.50 for a good quality scabbard that has been hand sewn - hmm, I'll fork out the little extra.

haversack (tarred) $26.95 --- $70 - There are good quality haversacks out there for less. But, do a side by side comparison and the difference is once again obvious.
knapsack $89.50 --- $250 - Pack a mainstream bag and use it extensively for some campaign events and see how long it holds up.

rifle (enfield) $475 --- $475 (+defarb $200)

blanket (wool) $42.50 --- $99 - There can be some pretty substantial differences in the quality of blankets. Plus, many times these blankets are small runs. Those that have taken the time to do the research and make arrangements to have them made should get some recompense for their investment don't you think? I've looked at both sides of the blanket issue and I choose quality over price alone. And since I don't have a tent, ground pad, sleeping bag etc., my body thanks me for that on cold nights.

blanket (gum) $49.50 --- $98 - Yes, these took a jump in price recently but put one up against the other - no comparison when it comes to quality.

A couple of other points to take into consideration: A person can often find many very good quality items on the forums for sale at bargain prices. So, you can have good stuff for less money if you are patient and wait for something to come along.

When you decide to upgrade, get out of the hobby or whatever it might be, the good stuff will hold resale price better.

I think many mainstreamers forget that most campaigners started out on the mainstream side of things and bought the mainstream quality items. So, we're familiar with both sides of the market. I still have mainstream gear stored away. It has been my experience that it is not worth it in the long run. I understand the idea about saving money and all but, in my case, I don't think I've really saved anything because the mainstream stuff didn't hold up or I became dissatisfied with it because the inferior quality of it became obvious, so I upgraded. It made me decide that I would just buy the good stuff up front because I know I will be happier with it.

Memphis
12-04-2006, 11:42 AM
This has been mentioned before, but I feel the need to mention it again. We, as reenactors, get into the bad habit of comparing reproduction items with other reproduction items rather than comparing and contrasting the reproduction with the orginal item from which it was copied. In the WW2 hobby, some items are so close to the originals that the makers wisely put a stamp inside a sleeve or trouser leg so that generations from now some new collector won't get robbed.

Comparing the reproduction with the original is a good way to go.

toptimlrd
12-04-2006, 12:04 PM
I see a direct relationship to uniform and equipment makers of the CW and those doing the same thing today.

If there are two authentic uniform coats side by side and one label has the home town tailor label and the other has a US Government contract label are they not both authentic? The home town tailor of course is special made and comes at a price but it has to be made to government specifications. Those items with contract labels were made by 'companies' in what is called today, sweat shops, made under a granted contract to suppy, by the same specifications, a certain amount by a certain time. The same kind of contracts still being awarded today by the government.

Your comparison of Fall Creek is the 'company' and the others is the home town/unit tailor.

Some companies today do turn out shoddy stuff but some 'companies' don't and stay with those original specifications when producing their wares.

There is the shoddy cheep stuff, the mid-expensive affordable 'company' stuff and there is the expensive 'home town' tailor stuff which is hand made but it is no less authentic as some company gear.

Sam,

I understand your point here, but it is a bit off. I have purchased items from Fall Creek and still use some of them and have always been very happy with their service. Where Fall Creek and similar vendors fall short is when you compare many of their items to the contract original. The material is often somewhat different as is the construction methods. I think a better comparison would be to say that the more authentic vendors (e.g. Sekela, Daley, Bender, etc) would be the company and the uniforms made by individuals either from kits by companies such as Country Cloth or from scratch would be more in line with the hometown tailor.

Also, as was the point in the thread that spawned this one (Do you buy all of your gear from one supplier), the point is you can find proper gear in a myriad of places. I don't think that the people such as myself who posted a short list of gear owned were trying to impress anyone as another poster implied, but were trying to show that there are many places to obtain gear. I don't know if anyone noticed, but I purchased my knapsack through a more mainstream vendor who happens to make a great knapsack at a very reasonable price. Likewise that same vendor has had very complimentary write ups in "The Watchdog" for one of their lines of shirts. I believe the message is buyer beware. You can get good items in many places, but it is easy to fall into the $$ trap where you buy it because it is cheaper only to find out later that it was indeed cheaper. I know many have disdain for discussion on stiches, warp, and weft, but those things do make a difference in overall appearance. If I found a (fill in the blank) at Fall Creek which was made with the proper materials, proper pattern, and proper construction for 1/2 what Sekela wanted I would buy it. Like most I work on a budget so I do comparison shop, but I comparison shop on like items quality wise. When I look at an item now, I ask "how does this compare to one that was made in 186X?" and base my purchase off of that first, then I find the person or company that makes that item correctly for the best price. And finally to echo many here, look for used gear at bargain prices.

tompritchett
12-04-2006, 12:33 PM
The original figures used in the cost comparisions of uniform and equipment requirements came from jurgitemvaletem and not me. I only provided the "additional" costs for the items that Phil Graf was saying tipped the cost balance the other way.

Jim of the SRR
12-04-2006, 03:12 PM
I can trim that equipment list quite a bit more to bring it a minimum acceptable level for most c/p/h events.


sack coat $129 --- $180 (can only trim this if you buy a used item)
trowsers $92 ---- $175 (can only trim this if you buy a used item)
cotton shirt $34.50 --- $85 (can only trim this if you buy a used item)
forage cap $35 --- $95 (can only trim this if you buy a used item)
brogans $94.50 --- $120 (from Missouri Boot & Shoe - GREAT quality)
socks(wool) $8.95 --- $10 (may not be the best, but acceptable Mickey Blacks)
belt $18 (rarely have seen this rejected at a quality event...it will be passable and you can upgrade or borrow as needed).
capbox $16.50 (rarely have seen this rejected at a quality event...it will be passable and you can upgrade or borrow as needed).
cartridge box $39.50 (rarely have seen this rejected at a quality event...it will be passable and you can upgrade or borrow as needed).
cartridge box sling $18.50 (rarely have seen this rejected at a quality event...it will be passable and you can upgrade or borrow as needed).
bayonet and scabbard $47.50 (rarely have seen this rejected at a quality event...it will be passable and you can upgrade or borrow as needed).
haversack (tarred) $26.95 --- $55 (Haversack Depot...great quality)
knapsack $89.50 --- (NOT needed, use a nblanket roll till you can afford one)
rifle (enfield) $475 --- $475 (defarb it later)
blanket (wool) $42.50 --- $99
blanket (gum) $49.50 (rarely have seen this rejected at a quality event...it will be passable and you can upgrade or borrow as needed...just avoid the big grommets).
canteen - tin w/cover $60

totals: 1324.90 ------- 1543.50
difference of $218.60

Subtract:
A-frame tent $150?
lantern $20
other misc impedimentia $50
cooler and cot (not figured into my calculation)

The difference is then -$2.00 cheaper to start a c/p/h kit.

You will still have upgrading to do asap or you can borrow gear for a time. Your uniform items will be top shelf, but your leather gear will suck, but be passable. But, you won't be rejected at almost all c/p/h events as long as you come with a progressive mindset and attitude.

Now add this into the formula. I car pool with two to three other guys in a car (not a big truck) and haul ALL our gear. If were mainstream, we could not haul all our gear in one car. Thus, this saves us alot on transportation costs.

Regards,
Jim Butler

tompritchett
12-04-2006, 04:31 PM
The difference is then -$2.00 cheaper to start a c/p/h kit.

I do not disagree with your figures at all. A $2.00 savings is no where near the savings that in the past have been brandied about here on this forum.


Now add this into the formula. I car pool with two to three other guys in a car (not a big truck) and haul ALL our gear. If were mainstream, we could not haul all our gear in one car. Thus, this saves us alot on transportation costs.

In the past with my car, I have usually taken at least one other reenactor often times while I was carrying all the commissary gear for my old company. Even with my new unit, I have car-pooled with the other members even when two were female civilian reenactors (talk about gear and extras). But I will agree that with campaigning less gear is involved, and, therefore, more individuals can car-pool together thus resulting in more gas money being saved over the year. After all tents do take up trunk room (I tie my pools to my Thule rack on top - a rack that was bought for bicycling well before I joined the hobby).

However, truly how many reenactors will claim that they joined the campaigner ranks primarly to save money in the hobby. Because campaigning does requiring enduring more creature discomforts than typically would be done as a mainstreamer, there must be a reason more pressing for joining the "dark" side than just saving money and, truthfully there is. All I am saying is make those (the authenticy of the portrayal and of the experience) your primary selling points and stop blowing the savings portion out of porportion.

Trooper Graham
12-04-2006, 05:07 PM
Sam,

I understand your point here, but it is a bit off. I have purchased items from Fall Creek and still use some of them and have always been very happy with their service. Where Fall Creek and similar vendors fall short is when you compare many of their items to the contract original. The material is often somewhat different as is the construction methods. I think a better comparison would be to say that the more authentic vendors (e.g. Sekela, Daley, Bender, etc) would be the company and the uniforms made by individuals either from kits by companies such as Country Cloth or from scratch would be more in line with the hometown tailor.

Also, as was the point in the thread that spawned this one (Do you buy all of your gear from one supplier), the point is you can find proper gear in a myriad of places. I don't think that the people such as myself who posted a short list of gear owned were trying to impress anyone as another poster implied, but were trying to show that there are many places to obtain gear. I don't know if anyone noticed, but I purchased my knapsack through a more mainstream vendor who happens to make a great knapsack at a very reasonable price. Likewise that same vendor has had very complimentary write ups in "The Watchdog" for one of their lines of shirts. I believe the message is buyer beware. You can get good items in many places, but it is easy to fall into the $$ trap where you buy it because it is cheaper only to find out later that it was indeed cheaper. I know many have disdain for discussion on stiches, warp, and weft, but those things do make a difference in overall appearance. If I found a (fill in the blank) at Fall Creek which was made with the proper materials, proper pattern, and proper construction for 1/2 what Sekela wanted I would buy it. Like most I work on a budget so I do comparison shop, but I comparison shop on like items quality wise. When I look at an item now, I ask "how does this compare to one that was made in 186X?" and base my purchase off of that first, then I find the person or company that makes that item correctly for the best price. And finally to echo many here, look for used gear at bargain prices.


I was just making the simularity between then and now. I was in no means endorsing Fall Creek but I was pointing out there are other 'companies' just as good as the 'home town' tailor that stick to the specifications. No I have not purchased all my kit from the same supplier. I do look for quality, authenticity to specs and cost of. Let me put all this a different way. There is Bayer and there is generic and then there are fakes.
If you ever look at the label of ingredience on the name brand and the generic they are identical but a bit more less in cost. There is Macy's selling name brand and there is the shop down the street selling the same article made from the same place in the same country at half the price and then there is.....WallyWorld. I've yet to meet the person with a headache refuse a generic aspirin because it's not a Bayer.
That's all I'm saying. There are those that walk down 5th Avenue with their nose in the air because they are carrying a Macy's shopping bag. It doesn't bother me because in my plain brown paper bag is the same item at half the cost.

Mint Julep
12-04-2006, 07:48 PM
Dude, you have way too much time on your hands!

Good list, but as has been pointed out below, incomplete of the typical extras most mainstreamers carry. Also, I can tell you that you can get any of those items used for less than you have listed. I rarely buy new. I think if you shopped around a bit, you'd find some items cheaper from some quality vendors than others.

You didn't say if these were US or CS impressions. That can make a huge difference. CS stuff can become so specific to time and place, whereas a good fatigue sack coat will get you into almost any Federal guidelines.

The one thing you didn't list that can't be had at any price that makes or breaks your impression in the cph is ATTITUDE.

toptimlrd
12-04-2006, 10:06 PM
I was just making the simularity between then and now. I.

Sam,

I think you and I are both in agreement and I did understand your point. Some people may have assumed you were comparing Fall Creek to some of the higher end stuff so I was just trying to point out that it is important to keep in mind the quality level so that comparisons are made on similar items.

jurgitemvaletem
12-04-2006, 10:19 PM
Dude, you have way too much time on your hands!

Good list, but as has been pointed out below, incomplete of the typical extras most mainstreamers carry. Also, I can tell you that you can get any of those items used for less than you have listed. I rarely buy new. I think if you shopped around a bit, you'd find some items cheaper from some quality vendors than others.

You didn't say if these were US or CS impressions. That can make a huge difference. CS stuff can become so specific to time and place, whereas a good fatigue sack coat will get you into almost any Federal guidelines.

The one thing you didn't list that can't be had at any price that makes or breaks your impression in the cph is ATTITUDE.

Mint Julep,

it was in my original post that it was for an average federal kit.

And, actually it only took me about 45 minutes to do all of it.

I too have purchased alot of my stuff second hand.

You are correct, you can get some of the items cheaper, I just ended up referencing most of the prices from the Skillet Licker as they carry most of the stuff needed for an average federal kit.

the lists are comprised from prices on goods sold by Fall Creek and The Jersey Skilletlicker, Matt Woodburn, Carter and Jasper, WW&co. and tranMis. depot. They are prices of items that would comprise the average federal kit.

thanks,
Jurgitem Valetem

Spinster
12-05-2006, 03:14 AM
You know, I've known for a long time that most of us in this hobby were a bubble off level, but anyone who is in this hobby thinking he is saving some money is crazy as a bug.

But nice stuff is nice stuff--it works better, it wears better, it looks better, it IS better. I've got a plain brown wool dress, nothing fancy, just well fitted, modest, neatly made and authentic. Cost more than off the rack, but not as much as the ball gown set pay. And, I never wear it but I don't get comments on how nice I look--and I'm a portly middle aged woman, so its definitely the quality of the dress that is turning the heads. I've got other dresses--but this is the only one I've worn this year.

Authentic reproductions cost--the materials are short run, low demand, labor intensive--somebody this weekend wanted to order a 10 pound dyelot of yarn from me, and I'm going to to be hard pressed to get a pot big enough to dye that much at one time. Don't get much call for it.

The work is seasonal. I can make two items a week while holding a regular job, provided nothing else is going on. So, while I can do that in June, and pile up the warm knitted goods, when I sell them all in mid-fall, and get to December, and folks are clamoring for socks and hats and tams and mittens--well, I can still only knit two items a week.

And, I believe that folks who do this as a side business should not set prices so low that folks who do this for a living cannot make enough to eat. Therefore, I try to make sure that Sister and I set prices such that we make the minimum wage for our time, plus cover our materials and operating costs. Hence, $65 hand knit wool socks.

And yes, taking your time is always productive--I saw John Duffer this weekend, standing behind a big pile of fabulous stuff, "getting out of the loaner gear bizness". Those of us who tend to help out other folks also tend to swear off every once in awhile--I did a massive sell off two years ago, and I swear there is more now than there was then. Get some new stuff, get some used stuff----but always keep to the quality stuff.

You can't buy a quality attitude----but you can acquire one by hanging around good examples of it, and by learning from those that know good authentic reproductions.

RJSamp
12-05-2006, 11:32 AM
I can trim that equipment list quite a bit more to bring it a minimum acceptable level for most c/p/h events.


sack coat $129 --- $180 (can only trim this if you buy a used item)
trowsers $92 ---- $175 (can only trim this if you buy a used item)
cotton shirt $34.50 --- $85 (can only trim this if you buy a used item)
forage cap $35 --- $95 (can only trim this if you buy a used item)
brogans $94.50 --- $120 (from Missouri Boot & Shoe - GREAT quality)
socks(wool) $8.95 --- $10 (may not be the best, but acceptable Mickey Blacks)
belt $18 (rarely have seen this rejected at a quality event...it will be passable and you can upgrade or borrow as needed).
capbox $16.50 (rarely have seen this rejected at a quality event...it will be passable and you can upgrade or borrow as needed).
cartridge box $39.50 (rarely have seen this rejected at a quality event...it will be passable and you can upgrade or borrow as needed).
cartridge box sling $18.50 (rarely have seen this rejected at a quality event...it will be passable and you can upgrade or borrow as needed).
bayonet and scabbard $47.50 (rarely have seen this rejected at a quality event...it will be passable and you can upgrade or borrow as needed).
haversack (tarred) $26.95 --- $55 (Haversack Depot...great quality)
knapsack $89.50 --- (NOT needed, use a nblanket roll till you can afford one)
rifle (enfield) $475 --- $475 (defarb it later)
blanket (wool) $42.50 --- $99
blanket (gum) $49.50 (rarely have seen this rejected at a quality event...it will be passable and you can upgrade or borrow as needed...just avoid the big grommets).
canteen - tin w/cover $60

totals: 1324.90 ------- 1543.50
difference of $218.60

Subtract:
A-frame tent $150?
lantern $20
other misc impedimentia $50
cooler and cot (not figured into my calculation)

The difference is then -$2.00 cheaper to start a c/p/h kit.

You will still have upgrading to do asap or you can borrow gear for a time. Your uniform items will be top shelf, but your leather gear will suck, but be passable. But, you won't be rejected at almost all c/p/h events as long as you come with a progressive mindset and attitude.

Now add this into the formula. I car pool with two to three other guys in a car (not a big truck) and haul ALL our gear. If were mainstream, we could not haul all our gear in one car. Thus, this saves us alot on transportation costs.

Regards,
Jim Butler

Funny stuff Jim, I can't stop laughing! At least you've proven you're not an accountant nor financial wiz.

You forgot:
1. Shipping costs are not neutral. costs more to ship from 10 different places than it does from one.

2. Taxes are not neutral, costs more to buy from NJ, NY, Chicago, than it does from TN for example.

3. You make the same mistake with Knapsacks that Mike Chapman does with Over Coats. Plenty of mainstreamers don't need or buy knapsacks either.....$89.50 charged to mainstreamers $0 to cph is simply BS accounting.

4. Your assumptions about A tents, $50 in geegaws, a lantern, etc. don't fly. Plenty of mainstreamers use Shelters, or do without (sleep under some one elses tent always an option). I don't own a lantern. CPH geegaws can easily be $100 or more, etc. My Wisconsin Vet Museum tin ware still going strong 8 years later.....you did want a spoon, knive, dipper for the event?

5. You won't get kicked out of EBUFU HO events for $95 brogans either, no need to buy the MB&S variety (and your estimate of $125 is probably low).

6. I know many EFUFU HO events that won't let you in for federal cotton issue shirts, fruit of the looms...only one pair of wal-mart socks? Gray blanket instead of a Woodburn? OUCH. $100 Flannel issue shirt Jim....a white cotton fall creek machine sewn issue shirt will NOT cut it. and where's your Second shirt from the campaign portrayal of marching a few miles per day? Why don't you post these bare minimum standards along with no research of the vendors up on the AC and see where this ATTITUDE gets you....if it's about the attitude, and your attitude is get by with the bare minimum of standards...OUCH. What's next, non uniform looking CPH companies?

7. Nice assumptions about transportation. I drive a Prius around town. Durango to events. We regularly load up 2-4 guys and their gear and have at it. No need for an F350. 2nd WVI regularly takes a bus to events....and walk from the bus to the campsite in one trip with all of their stuff... and of course many mainstream events are less than 100 miles away, whilst it may be over 1,000 miles to attend an EBUFU HO event.... so much for saving on transportation costs by going cph.

Jim, let me know when you want to seriously discuss this on a solid financial basis. In the meantime, I'll get a fresh cup of coffee and wipe up the spew from my laughing upon reading your initial post.

And Mr. Pritchett.....I vehemently disagree on the $-2 figure arrived at by Jim's conniptions and conjugations. Shame on you for not doing any sound mathematical analysis and taking the low road of no research....

And yes, I have a degree from the Univ. of Minnesota in Business. Have taken scads of accounting courses, worked in accounting with GE for a decade, and keep the books for a number of non profit groups in my community.

Trooper Graham
12-05-2006, 12:33 PM
Funny stuff Jim, I can't stop laughing!


And yes, I have a degree from the Univ. of Minnesota in Business. Have taken scads of accounting courses, worked in accounting with GE for a decade, and keep the books for a number of non profit groups in my community.




With those kind of credentials during the war you could have mustered and equip your own unit with top notch home town tailor kit and then given a states commission as a reward.

AZReenactor
12-05-2006, 12:43 PM
Wow, what a surprise better quality gear and equipment actually costs more. Why is anyone even bothering to argue about this? Whether in time, labor, or monetary costs higher quality gear costs more. What does this really have to do with anything? Altered clothing and women's purses from thrift stores cost even less and there are plenty of guys using them at streamer events. Why stop there though, why not roll back the clock even further and reenact in jeans and t-shirts with the occasional polyester pants or gray or blue work shirt thrown in? Where authentic is less expensive is when you have the option of buying authentic from the beginning rather than buying less than authentic gear and then later pay to replace it with better gear when it doesn't take you as far as you'd like to go.

The argument that it some how adds up that being authentic is the cheap and easy road is dishonest and actually a slap in the face to those who truly work to do it right. Being authentic takes an investment, of time, effort, study, and even finances.

The point that needs to be made isn't that it one can be authentic cheaply but that one can be authentic without breaking the bank. It may take some effort, may require some time, may mean borrowing from comrades, may involve learning to sew, or might require a part time-job for a few months to pay for it. If you lack the will and determination to simply improve your kit when you know it can be done, what happens when someone asks you to march up a hill and spend the night without a knapsack and maybe even without a blanket? What happens when someone expects you to sped hours in a weekend doing nothing but drill? Ya, I know this is a hobby, but for some of us that only means we work harder at it than most anything and only get paid in personal satisfaction and understanding.

tompritchett
12-05-2006, 12:53 PM
And Mr. Pritchett.....I vehemently disagree on the $-2 figure arrived at by Jim's conniptions and conjugations. Shame on you for not doing any sound mathematical analysis and taking the low road of no research....

More than anything else, my post was trying to bring the focus away from the relative costs of the two sides of the hobby and back to true reasons why people chose the more authentic side of the hobby. Trying to justify campaigning based upon financial saving, IMHO, is grossly short changing your real reasons for your more authentic impressions.

CapitolGuards
12-05-2006, 04:12 PM
Guys:

What's fallen through the floor here is that this becomes more of an equation in calculus than simple 'rithmetic... Take, for example, the case of fellow near and dear to my heart who first spends $65 on a sack coat from, say James Country, then "upgrades" a little later to one from C&D Jarnagin, then finally throws in and gets a Sekela jacket. You've spent more than $340 in "educational fees" to get to the same point, where you have a decent sack coat that would be sufficient for some of the better quality events. That's just one garment, and something relatively simple like a fatigue jacket.

Once you factor in the spiraling costs of continuing "upgrades" from buying the cheep stuff to simply get on the field until you have a worthwhile and long-lasting item, the cost savings of "research first, buy later" begin to make a lot more sense.

Charlie Heath had a nice description of the $300 shirt back in one of the old folders that's probably gone with the wind these days...

tom

csuppelsa
12-05-2006, 04:47 PM
Funny stuff Jim, I can't stop laughing! At least you've proven you're not an accountant nor financial wiz.

You forgot:
1. Shipping costs are not neutral. costs more to ship from 10 different places than it does from one.

2. Taxes are not neutral, costs more to buy from NJ, NY, Chicago, than it does from TN for example.

3. You make the same mistake with Knapsacks that Mike Chapman does with Over Coats. Plenty of mainstreamers don't need or buy knapsacks either.....$89.50 charged to mainstreamers $0 to cph is simply BS accounting.

4. Your assumptions about A tents, $50 in geegaws, a lantern, etc. don't fly. Plenty of mainstreamers use Shelters, or do without (sleep under some one elses tent always an option). I don't own a lantern. CPH geegaws can easily be $100 or more, etc. My Wisconsin Vet Museum tin ware still going strong 8 years later.....you did want a spoon, knive, dipper for the event?

5. You won't get kicked out of EBUFU HO events for $95 brogans either, no need to buy the MB&S variety (and your estimate of $125 is probably low).

7. Nice ASSumptions about transportation. I drive a Prius around town. Durango to events. We regularly load up 2-4 guys and their gear and have at it. No need for an F350. 2nd WVI regularly takes a bus to events....and walk from the bus to the campsite in one trip with all of their stuff... and of course many mainstream events are less than 100 miles away, whilst it may be over 1,000 miles to attend an EBUFU HO event.... so much for saving on transportation costs by going cph.

Jim, let me know when you want to seriously discuss this on a solid financial basis. In the meantime, I'll get a fresh cup of coffee and wipe up the spew from my laughing upon reading your initial post.

And Mr. Pritchett.....I vehemently disagree on the $-2 figure arrived at by Jim's conniptions and conjugations. Shame on you for not doing any sound mathematical analysis and taking the low road of no research....

And yes, I have a degree from the Univ. of Minnesota in Business. Have taken scads of accounting courses, worked in accounting with GE for a decade, and keep the books for a number of non profit groups in my community.

RJ,
I'm going to try my best to keep my temper in check here.

1.) Some of the progressive vendors include shipping in the order. (Dan Wambaugh for example). And you are assuming that mainstreamers will purchase all of their equippage at one time.

2.) Likewise, this could work against buying from a mainstream maker as well.

4.) I really think that the majority of mainstreamers use A-Frames. So I feel that they should be used in the calculations. (just as I feel knapsacks should be in the C/P/H section as well.)

5.) While you won't be kicked out of an event for wearing $95 shoes, most progressive living historians will try their best to keep their impression up to snuff, and won't settle for less. By the way, Mattimore sells quality shoes for around $100

6.) I don't wear socks or bring an extra shirt when I reenact, and I always survive. Therefore I consider this an optional piece of gear.

7.) I must say that rj is dead on about transportation. I've loaded 3 A-Frames for a garrison style event into a F-150 with no problem. While you and I live in the midwest, many of these folks live down south and very close to quality events.

tompritchett
12-05-2006, 04:51 PM
What's fallen through the floor here is that this becomes more of an equation in calculus than simple 'rithmetic... Take, for example, the case of fellow near and dear to my heart who first spends $65 on a sack coat from, say James Country, then "upgrades" a little later to one from C&D Jarnagin, then finally throws in and gets a Sekela jacket.

When I talk about upgrading a kit, I am not talking about going through an intermediate step. Personally, I do not believe with starting with the $65 jacket in the first place usually because the materials are all wrong. But an intermediate jacket that has correct material and only has machine sewing where it does not show, but whose pattern may not be 100% correct, would, to me be an acceptable beginning purchase with the idea of upgrading further in the future.

csuppelsa
12-05-2006, 05:26 PM
I used fall creek for the mainstream sutler just because they seem to be one of the most popular mainstream vendors around. On

Mainstream-

notes- All garments have the buttons sewn on.

Confederate Kepi - $52.50
Common Wool Jean Jacket - $146
Plain Unbleached Shirt - $27.50
Federal Trousers -$92
Drawers - $22
Wool Socks - $8.95
U.S. Broagans - $94.50
Georgia Frame Belt - $34
Cap Box - $17.50
Enfield Scabbard - $24.95
Enfield Frog - $16
.58 Cal Cartridge Box - $39.50
Cartridge Box Sling - $18.50
CS Haversack - $14.95
Stainless Steel Canteen - $49.95
M1853 Enfield - $460
M1853 Enfield Bayonet - $47.50
Federal Blanket - $54.95
Gum Blanket - $49.95
Shelter Half - $31
Federal Knapsack - $89.50
Total- 1391.70

I'm not going to get into the knapsack stuffers, just because it could vary from person to person.

Progressive-

Confederate Kepi - $45(Lukas Berg)
Columbus Depot Jacket - $130(Randall County)
Civilian Shirt -$60(Randall County)
Confederate Trousers - $110(Randall County)
Civilian Drawers - $45(Dirty Back Boys)
Civilian Socks - $8(Dan Wambaugh)
C.S. Shoes - 100(Orchard Hill Sutlery)
Georgia Frame Belt - $30(Bob Serio)
CS Cap Box - $35(Bob Serio)
C.S. Scabbard - $45 (Bob Serio)
C.S. Cart Box - $90(Bob Serio)
C.S. Cart Box Sling - $25(Bob Serio)
C.S. Haversack - $24(Boyd Miles Sutler)
Tin Drum Canteen - $45(Orchard Hill Sutlery)
M1853 Enfield - $590(Terry Schultz)
M1853 Enfield Bayonet -$41 (Terry Schultz)
Civilian Blanket - $55(Boyd Miles Sutler)
Groundcloth - $25(Dirty Back Boys)
Shelter Half - $95(CJ Daley)
C.S. Knapsack - $140(Bob Serio)
Total-$1738


It appears that buying a cheapo impression is $346.30 less expensive than buying a progressive kit.

Just my observations...

Mint Julep
12-05-2006, 07:58 PM
"if it's about the attitude, and your attitude is get by with the bare minimum of standards...OUCH."

This doesn't make sense, RJ. What is wrong with meeting the minimum standard? As long as the standard of the event guideline is met, there should be no issue. Are you suggesting that everyone must exceed the minimum to be correct? If so, I disagree, because that is where we start getting more varied from the uniform look.

As an example, the AoP typically makes a fatigue/sack coat the primary coat. Why? Everyone that does Federal has one. It is the minimum, but it is the standard. It is also "uniform" in appearance.

MJ

Jim of the SRR
12-07-2006, 11:48 AM
And yes, I have a degree from the Univ. of Minnesota in Business. Have taken scads of accounting courses, worked in accounting with GE for a decade, and keep the books for a number of non profit groups in my community.

That doesn't impress me! I know blue collar guys who know more about the Civil War, gear, material culture, etc than you and I combined.

Additionally, I also have a degree from Arizona State University. I am in sales and I am responsible for millions of dollars of business. [deletion - THP] I have never felt a need to flash my work credentials in this forum before, but if you feel the need to do so, then I'll be glad to oblige as well. It has no bearing on this discussion. Actually, I thought you might actually agree on the premise of getting past the gear and getting guys into the c/p/h events with minimal gear. But, heck go back to ax grinding if you wish.

This was a subjective and hypothetical debate to begin with. Too bad you have to make it into something else.

Jim Butler

terry sorchy
12-07-2006, 01:29 PM
To me its very simple. Research your impression, be it CS or US. Pick up the items you need either used or new depending on the deals you come upon. If you join or belong to a progressive group or mess, then the loaner kit people give you, (and there is usually alot) will be very good. If you are a member of a mainstream group then it will usually not be the same quality.
If you are a member of a mainstream group and attend said events then what you have usually fits into the event requirements. If you want to go to a C/P/H event, then meet some pards that go to them and they will usually be more than happy to accomodate your needs.
There are to many people worrying to much about others finances. The individual knows what he can afford, he knows it is going to cost more for a better kit, he also knows that to afford those things that he will have to save more make a trade off on some things he gets now for other activities. No one is saying to deny your family, or creditors your resposibilities. One way I got extra gear was to get a low interest CC and got my stuff. I had it all paid off in six months with the OT that I put in at work. That is just one option. I have two kids and they in no way suffer from lack of anything from me.
Like Sooo many have stated (this is just the material end) good kit is just that because it has been researched and assembled just like the originals, and yes all the time and materials costs more. But thats pretty simple and self explanitory.
Cheers All
Terry Sorchy

GrumpyDave
12-08-2006, 06:49 AM
Somebody take those sticks and get everyone away from that dead horse!


It's like "Groundhog Day" sometimes.


cheeze.

reb64
12-08-2006, 07:33 AM
the real difference(in my observance) to me seems to be how much are yo willing to pay. If the lower end prices are alredy hiked up, the higher end are grossly unrelated to actual costs and quality so its a matter of how much you are wanting to go under for. The more expesive does not make you more authenic because not many of it is comparable to any museum piece I ve seen. Some farb stuf looks better worn out while some expensive stuff looks too pressed and closet kept at events. and God forbid letting a high dollar jacket get ripped, rainsoaked and faded.



Well, this just seems to be another way to approach the 'us vs. them' argument, but I'll state my thoughts on the matter for the sake of conversation. I also think that you have chosen the highest end of prices for the authentic side which skews the argument.

That being said, here are some of my observances regarding the subject.

sack coat $129 --- $180 - Proper materials and handsewing costs more.

trowsers $92 ---- $175 - See above plus I like my buttons to at least be sewed on with a proper 'x' pattern instead of modern style.

cotton shirt $34.50 --- $85 - See above, but I do agree that prices can be a bit much on these. But, you can make your own and save some money. Price will also depend on the shirt and materials being used.

forage cap $35 --- $95 - Just compare the two and the difference is pretty obvious.

brogans $94.50 --- $185 - I paid $110 for my Mattimore brogans. You can get good shoes from some top makers for between that and $125-$130. Having worn both mainstream and authentic, I'll take the authentic every time. My feet thank me after every event for my choice.

socks(wool) $8.95 --- $65 - There is not comparison between ragg wool which is not close to authentic and a pair of hand knit socks. Once again, your feet will thank you for having proper socks.

belt $18 --- $45 - I have compared materials and workmanship. The low-end belts probably aren't even worth the $18.

capbox $16.50 --- $65 A Pakistani cap pouch with whatever kind of scraggly fake fur that is they put in there compared to a hand-sewn one with real wool? That's a no brainer to me. Plus, there are quality pouches out there for less than what you have listed.

cartridge box $39.50 --- $190 - Once again, the folks that make these should get something to compensate for time spend handsewing, cutting leather etc. There is a difference in quality also. Plus, not every cartridge box through the duration of the war had the flap tab riveted like you find on sutler row.

cartridge box sling $18.50 --- $30 - There can be a difference in the leathers used many times.

bayonet and scabbard $47.50 --- $60 (+bayonet $34.95) Well, a 7 rivet scabbard isn't appropriate for every event and that usually seems to be what mainstream sutlers have on hand. An extra $12.50 for a good quality scabbard that has been hand sewn - hmm, I'll fork out the little extra.

haversack (tarred) $26.95 --- $70 - There are good quality haversacks out there for less. But, do a side by side comparison and the difference is once again obvious.
knapsack $89.50 --- $250 - Pack a mainstream bag and use it extensively for some campaign events and see how long it holds up.

rifle (enfield) $475 --- $475 (+defarb $200)

blanket (wool) $42.50 --- $99 - There can be some pretty substantial differences in the quality of blankets. Plus, many times these blankets are small runs. Those that have taken the time to do the research and make arrangements to have them made should get some recompense for their investment don't you think? I've looked at both sides of the blanket issue and I choose quality over price alone. And since I don't have a tent, ground pad, sleeping bag etc., my body thanks me for that on cold nights.

blanket (gum) $49.50 --- $98 - Yes, these took a jump in price recently but put one up against the other - no comparison when it comes to quality.

A couple of other points to take into consideration: A person can often find many very good quality items on the forums for sale at bargain prices. So, you can have good stuff for less money if you are patient and wait for something to come along.

When you decide to upgrade, get out of the hobby or whatever it might be, the good stuff will hold resale price better.

I think many mainstreamers forget that most campaigners started out on the mainstream side of things and bought the mainstream quality items. So, we're familiar with both sides of the market. I still have mainstream gear stored away. It has been my experience that it is not worth it in the long run. I understand the idea about saving money and all but, in my case, I don't think I've really saved anything because the mainstream stuff didn't hold up or I became dissatisfied with it because the inferior quality of it became obvious, so I upgraded. It made me decide that I would just buy the good stuff up front because I know I will be happier with it.

AZReenactor
12-08-2006, 09:43 AM
the real difference(in my observance) to me seems to be how much are yo willing to pay. If the lower end prices are alredy hiked up, the higher end are grossly unrelated to actual costs and quality so its a matter of how much you are wanting to go under for. The more expesive does not make you more authenic because not many of it is comparable to any museum piece Ive seen. Some farb stuf looks better worn out while some expensive stuff looks too pressed and closet kept at events. and God forbid letting a high dollar jacket get ripped, rainsoaked and faded.
I used to hold the opinion that authentic gear was way over priced, until I seriously started making some of it myself. There is a heck of a lot of time and skill involved in sewing a shirt or sack coat by hand (or by machine with hand finishing). There is also the expense and investment of obtaining quality fabrics and materials to consider. There is also the investment involved in examining originals and developing patterns and methods for reproducing itmes. It isn't as simple as buying a pattern, getting some material and suddenly start cranking out authentic gear.

Micah Trent
12-08-2006, 10:10 AM
I started out in reenacting with a mainstream group. Everything I had was sutler row quality. It was preached to me that the items I had purchased "would do" just fine. Sure they worked, but as I began to study up on the accoutrements and clothing I had, the more I realized that what I had was cheaply made and in some area, incorrect. Some friends directed me to some "approved vendors" and so I checked them out. Yes, they were more expensive, but it looked better and was made better. So, I started upgrading my gear. I didn't buy everything at once. I bought it here and there as money allowed me. To help upgrade, I sold my mainstream accoutrements and clothing and invested it into my upgrade. I am pleased with the purchases I had made and now wish that I had not bought the cheaper items when I had first started.
It might sound silly but I compare to what I do like a golfer would. A golfer might start off learning the game by playing with cheap clubs, but as the golfer gets better at the game and the shots get lower, it doesn't take long for that golfer to go out and buy a good quality set of clubs, shoes, gloves, etc. to really get better at what they do. Same goes for this hobby, you start off cheap, but as you learn more and get better at it, you upgrade to help better your impression.
Just my thoughts.

Micah Trent

terry sorchy
12-08-2006, 10:29 AM
AHMEN!
Cheers
Terry Sorchy

DaveGink
12-08-2006, 12:38 PM
I think many mainstreamers forget that most campaigners started out on the mainstream side of things and bought the mainstream quality items.

I think this is one of the most important things said in this whole thread. And those of you who have progressed (moved on from where you began) should try and remember this. Would you have even started in the hobby if mainstream gear wasn't available to buy or borrow? Would you have spent that kind of money with the mindset you had at the time you started? Would you have begun reenacting if you didn't do the cooler and beer/battle events?

Maybe some, but I'll bet a lot wouldn't. I'll bet for most it was a progression from entry level gear to wherever you are now.

I think of my nephews and my Brother-in-law, and also a friend of mine who I am trying to get into reenacting. They are just starting to get their feet wet. They are doing it to camp and fire black powder weapons. They call the uniforms "costumes" (to put it into perspective). They do not understand or care about authenticity yet. This is just a reality. They think it's weird that people would care about the fabric used on a sack or pay that kind of money. And while I am trying to guide them, if I talk about how some things are "farby" they don't really get it, instead they think the people that would call it farby are the odd ones. If they do get into the hobby I'm sure this will change as they get some experience and understanding (and learn that it can be rewarding and fun to progress towards authenticity). So IMO there is a place for "enty-level" gear. Even if they end up ultimately getting rid of it and buying better (and maybe even spending more in the long run) - isn't that better than not starting at all because the costs of authentic gear and "stitch counting" scare them away? Maybe some of you think 'no' but I'd disagree.

tompritchett
12-08-2006, 01:11 PM
nd those of you who have progressed (moved on from where you began) should try and remember this. Would you have even started in the hobby if mainstream gear wasn't available to buy or borrow? Would you have spent that kind of money with the mindset you had at the time you started?

Very well said and, as one who is in the middle of such a progression, I could not agree more.

DaveGink
12-08-2006, 01:17 PM
Once you factor in the spiraling costs of continuing "upgrades" from buying the cheep stuff to simply get on the field until you have a worthwhile and long-lasting item, the cost savings of "research first, buy later" begin to make a lot more sense.

Maybe true. But real life doesn't always work that way. Especially if someone is just starting out. How many people's first cars were high-end new vehicles? Many started off with beathers or hand-me downs (because they had to). At least that's how it was when I learned to drive and got my first car. I didn't have parents who could buy me a car, and I couldn't get a loan. And over the years I'm sure I had paid way more than if I would have had I not driven at all and saved for a new car first. But then I wouldn't have been driving at all. I see this somewhat the same way.

And with reenacting, it's not just about the adding up the final costs between the two kits side by side. There are just too many variables. How many people who have progressed have also owned or still do own an A-frame, and lanterns, and camp chair, because that was the type of event you were doing (or still attend at times). So you still spent that money along the way or would have anyway. And people starting out don't buy everything all at once. They share A-frames...borrow gear, etc. So it's just doesn't work to simply compare the numbers - it's also where people are at in the hobby (which is why its a "progression").

flattop32355
12-08-2006, 08:28 PM
So IMO there is a place for "enty-level" gear. Even if they end up ultimately getting rid of it and buying better (and maybe even spending more in the long run) - isn't that better than not starting at all because the costs of authentic gear and "stitch counting" scare them away?

I seem to recall that I had to spend a fair bit of money on my education to get my dental degree. Some of the same principles hold true here, though it's not exact.

You pay what you're able/willing to pay in the beginning. If you're fortunate, someone(s) help you along the way to avoid the worst pitfalls. You start buyng research materials (books, magazines, etc). You study and learn, according to your level of interest. You get the itch to have better and better articles in your kit, so you upgrade, continue to study and learn, and the cycle repeats itself. The same holds true for attitude.

Life's a progression. So is reenacting. It's a part of that life.

ley74
12-08-2006, 09:54 PM
Dr. B.

That, sir, gets an Amen.

Phil
12-09-2006, 01:03 AM
Actually, I wish I hadn't spent all the money on the wrong stuff to begin with, and I don't think I'm alone in that regret.

I used to be a mainstreamer, but it didn't work for me. If the right people hadn't come along when they did, I very well may have quit the hobby altogether after not finding what I was looking for. I wonder how many never made the progression at all because they started out with gear that couldn't get them to the events they were looking for?

Regardless of the fact that authentic gear is more expensive than the alternative, Civil War reenacting isn't cheap regardless of how you do it. It's a misleading myth that it's cheaper to get into the hobby by buying less expensive mainstream gear first, then upgrading later. You're spending more money in the long run, and buying a mainstream kit isn't cheap at all. The now famous $150 uniform specials weren't around when I got in, and they probably don't even meet my old mainstream unit's standards.

The car comparison isn't really a good one. The beater or hand-me-down comparisons could just as easily apply to good used gear or good borrowed stuff. I have yet to see event guidelines that require proof that the participant bought their gear new at a high price. Also, what if the cheaper mainstream car you bought was allowed on some roads, but not others? Would this change your buying choice at all if for a few dollars more, your car could be driven anywhere you wanted? I don't mean to be rude, but the car metaphor doesn't really apply to this situation.

I'm also having some difficulty with this statement:
How many people who have progressed have also owned or still do own an A-frame, and lanterns, and camp chair, because that was the type of event you were doing (or still attend at times). So you still spent that money along the way or would have anyway. I progressed. I still own all that stuff, but I don't have any idea where it is. My confusion comes from the fact that if I'd started out only buying authentic gear, I wouldn't have bought this stuff at all, and would have instead bought something I'd likely be using right now.

I'd still disagree there's a place for "entry-level" (low quality) gear. The good stuff can be borrowed, bought used or made with about the same amount of time, trouble and money it takes to obtain the low quality items. It can also be used more places, and eliminates the need and cost of a later upgrade. As stated before, low quality stuff really isn't that cheap. I would never tell anyone to start out with the cheapest stuff they can find just so they can show up to at least some kind of event, just as I'd never advise anyone to buy something they might regret later.

I've been following these threads recently, and have yet to see a good argument advocating the purchase of low-quality reproduction items. The only good reason I can come up with is that there are people out there who have no intention of attending anything other than mainstream events, and no reason to improve their impression or be "progressive". It almost seems like most of the arguments against purchasing quality gear may be some fellows experiencing "buyers remorse" and feeling a need to justify their past mistakes.

MStuart
12-09-2006, 03:36 AM
Is there anyone on this board who will admit they're glad they bought the wrong stuff? What I think some are forgetting, and was discussed at length in the "Material Culture" thread, is that some folks just CAN'T go all out and get the good stuff all at once in the beginning. Wanting the good stuff, and being able to get the good stuff are sometimes different things. We're discussing the same thing here, just a different slant.

Mark

Giving that dead horse a real good whipping

flattop32355
12-09-2006, 08:59 AM
I've been following these threads recently, and have yet to see a good argument advocating the purchase of low-quality reproduction items.

We may need to clarify what we're speaking of concerning "low quality" items.

Are we speaking only of the bottom line, $200.00 starter kit quality items, or are we also including things that are "more" correct, but not not fully accurate (for example, the old well designed and made sack coat with machine stitched button holes)?

There's a big difference, at least to me, between them. The former isn't going to cut it anywhere cph, while the latter, along with "proper attitude", seems to be acceptable to some degree for at least a time, according to posts here and elsewhere.

tompritchett
12-09-2006, 11:04 AM
The only good reason I can come up with is that there are people out there who have no intention of attending anything other than mainstream events, and no reason to improve their impression or be "progressive".

The point is that many, if not most, entry level reenactors initially fall in that category for several reasons: loyality to their units (i.e. no need to attend events that their units do not attend), seeing no need to endure the additional creature discomforts of more authentic reenacting, and, of course, ignorance (granted this excuse would not be applicable to someone who logs in here). To be honest, when I first joined the hobby, I had no desire to attend the more progressive events, as I suspect many of the current 5%ers did, because of all three reasons that I cited. Now as I have learned more, I am now attending more progressive events while not totally abandoning the mainstream side of the hobby. Of course, I did luck out in initially obtaining intermediate level pants and jacket that are of sufficient quality to allow me to attend events that allow butternut sack coats.

theknapsack
12-09-2006, 05:25 PM
Forget the money. Ask yourself the question, what are you in the hobby for? Are you in it for the experience of being a soldier in the Civil War (as close as you can get)? Are you in it for the battles? Are you in it to drink beer with your buds in funny clothes? Are you in it for any other reason?
Answer the question. Where would your allegience lay, then? If one is in it for the experience of being a soldier, or to educate people, chances are one is going to fall in the c/p/h category. The battles and the beer, chances are the m/f category. Getting back to the money issue, I figure if one is really in reenacting to better their understanding of the tragic events that happened in the 1860's and what led up to it, and also to give oneself a taste of the hardships the men we respect so much, then that person would be willing to spend the extra $500, $1000, $2000, and so on expenses in order to do so. The other would spend the money on the cheapest clothing so they can shoot their gun or drink their beer from a cooler. So is it really about the money, or is it really about what one's personal reasons for being in such a seemingly ridiculous hobby (seriously, who really wants to reenact war ? Sherman said it best: war is ****) in the first place.
My contention, therefore, is that if both levels of authenticity cost the same price, the mainstreamers and the farbs would still be wearing the lesser-quality gear. This is because it is a heck of a lot easier to go to an event and get one's gear from the sutler that is there, rather than going online and ordering the gear whose quality the said person wouldn't care about anyways.
My personal contention is also that if all mainstreamers and farbs had authentic gear they still would be mainstreamers and farbs. I started "mainstreamer" but was never really a mainstreamer. I never thought that the authentics and hardcores and stitch nazis were crazy people who liked to sleep in the mud and eat bugs while I was livin' it up in my A-frame, I envied them. I thought they were the best for wanting to do what the men that fought in the Civil War did. I respected them to the utmost level because they were doing what the unit I was in wasn't. I never thought that what I had would suffice, so I began to upgrade. I never thought the way I was camping was right, so I went out and slept by the fire, or did what they would have done in the same situation. I read, researched, and read, and researched. Mainstreamers are mainstreamers and farbs are farbs because they don't want to get better gear (regardless of the price), and more importantly, do what the soldiers did during the Civil War. That's fine, it's their hobby. Not mine.
The principle of being in a hobby for a specific reason is the same for all hobbies. If I were extremely dedicated to competition shooting, I might very well spend my money on that $3000 dollar rifle and trick it out to fit my perfect needs, windage, etc. If it was just something I did for fun, I might just buy a standard rifle and a scope, and go to shooting competitions because I thought they were fun or because I can only go once a year and it is only because I get to spend some good time with my friends.

MStuart
12-09-2006, 05:57 PM
Getting back to the money issue, I figure if one is really in reenacting to better their understanding of the tragic events that happened in the 1860's and what led up to it, and also to give oneself a taste of the hardships the men we respect so much, then that person would be willing to spend the extra $500, $1000, $2000, and so on expenses in order to do so.

I'll borrow a phrase from Bernard and say that the above statement is "pure male bovine fecal matter".

You've got a lot to learn about life, son.

(I suspect a few "like-minded pards" will fire some volleys my way, so give me a little time to raise my shields)

Mark

tompritchett
12-09-2006, 06:10 PM
Forget the money. Ask yourself the question, what are you in the hobby for? Are you in it for the experience of being a soldier in the Civil War (as close as you can get)?

A point that I was trying to make much earlier in the thread when people were saying that someone should join the c/p/h side to save money.


Answer the question. Where would your allegience lay, then? If one is in it for the experience of being a soldier, or to educate people, chances are one is going to fall in the c/p/h category.

While I will definitely agree with you in regards to being in the hobby "for the experience of being a" civil war soldier, I strongly disagree with you about only the c/p/h being interested in educating people. Even some of the most farby units have educating the public as part of their mission. I know because I was a member of such a unit when I was in the Valley Division. We often held as many Living Histories and school presentation per year as the number of reenactments that we attended.

Trooper Graham
12-09-2006, 06:32 PM
i], or is it really about what one's personal reasons for being in such a seemingly ridiculous hobby (seriously, who really wants to reenact war ? Sherman said it best: war is ****) in the first place.



I agree there....maybe instead of calling it 'reenacting the Civil War' the hobby should be called 'reenacting a soldiers life when not in battle' because you can add all the hoopla, special effects and talk the talk you want but your never going to reenact 'war'. Whether it's AC expensive kit or streamer kits it still doesn't matter.

MStuart
12-09-2006, 06:39 PM
....the way you camp, period!!

The are mainstream units that are top notch in drill, living history, and educating the public the same as C/P/H units. They camp in tents and may have (God Forbid) women there, too. Their knowledge of soldiering and the war is top notch. Their equipments are top of the line, but their attitudes suck. Not all of them are this way.

There are C/P/H units that couldn't care less about educating, or even interacting with, the public and spectators. They do their thing by themselves and don't do anything with anyone, or anything else, except during a battle. They aren't all great in drill or some of the other "benchmarks" of good soldiering. Same as some mainstream units. But they don't have a bunch of tents, or women, or grills to cook over. What knowledge they have they keep to themselves and don't want anyone else to play with them. Their equipments are top of the line, but their attitudes suck. Not all of them are this way.

You've got units at each end of the spectrum in each "side". Another whole bunch in the middle. The only difference between the two, when you factor in the above, is How They Camp..........Period.

Mark

For a small fee, I'll go through every thread on this board and give a true percentage of just how many have turned into "us vs. them".

Rob
12-09-2006, 07:00 PM
There's one point which I have not seen touched on here - comfort.

The first fatigue blouse that I ever wore, a loaner, was one of those unlined C&C specials. That first summer, I nearly passed out from the heat several times, and I began to wonder about the wisdom of my decision to reenact.

The first blouse which I bought was a lined Jarnie blouse. Immediately, I noticed that the material was thinner and breathed better (not to mention that it looked better). Even though this one was lined and the other was not, I did not feel as though I was going to drop in my tracks after marching ten steps in the summer heat. Compared to this blouse, the other felt as though I was wearing a Navy pea-coat.

Now I have two authentic-quality blouses - one lined and one not - and they are better yet. The unlined blouse is more like a heavy shirt than a coat.

It's something to consider.

Trooper Graham
12-09-2006, 07:01 PM
....

Mark

For a small fee, I'll go through every thread on this board and give a true percentage of just how many have turned into "us vs. them".


That would be a waste of time mark, after all the title of this thread is "the difference between Us & them" so what's the difference? I'm surprised this thread has gone on as long as it has.

Phil
12-09-2006, 08:24 PM
I'm not surprised at all. It's amazing how I can explain something so many times, and no one seems to pay attention.

I'll go find some other wall to bang my head against. Y'all have fun with passing out Pakistani crap to new guys and telling them you're doing them a favor.

MStuart
12-09-2006, 09:01 PM
It's amazing how I can explain something so many times, and no one seems to pay attention.

I know what you mean...........

Mark

Trooper Graham
12-09-2006, 09:18 PM
I think this thread had demonstrated that there are those who have a budget and those who know not what a budget is or worries not about a budget.

It has been brought out that there is cheap gear, less expensive authentic gear and expensive authentic gear. People need to chose what fits their budget....nothing more.

flattop32355
12-09-2006, 10:07 PM
There's one point which I have not seen touched on here - comfort.

Rob, I'm actually going to agree with you, here, except for a totally different reason. ;) In fact, I'm going to combine your thought and Mark's: How they camp = comfort.

It's not the only difference between mainstream and cph, but it is a significant one, possibly THE most obvious one. We're going to ignore the "farb" end of the spectrum (as I do not lump them into the mainstream as some folk do), and compare the middle with that other end.

How one choses to camp is a definite dividing line within the hobby. It runs from those who always use a tent to those who never use a tent. It also includes cooking utensils used, foods available, etc, etc, etc. Both views are incorrect some of the time, to anyone who pays even minimal attention to historical records.

Using a tent where they weren't used is inaccurate.
Not using a tent when they were present is inaccurate.
Using the wrong kind of tent, one that wasn't available at the time, is inaccurate.

Same for mess gear, food, and many other aspects of camping, including holding the proper activities during a particular day, responding to appropriate bugle and/or drum calls, proper paperwork being filled out and collected, mounted field officers....

Each of the above will vary some according to the event and what it seeks to portray. None can be done exactly the same way for every event and still be accurate.

The cph'ers tend to try to follow the more accurate path, most of the time. It's not a perfect science, and they do get it wrong some, at least from time to time. But we all must grant them that comfort in camp is not their primary goal, and oft times not even a particular concern for what they seek.

Mainstreamers do, comparatively, have a tendency to compromise on overall comfort issues: Greater use of tents and less attention to using the proper style of tent. More cooking gear, less attention to period foods, and of course, camp furniture, women in camp, and other such issues. Not all mainstreamers do so; some personally are just as accurate as their cph counterparts, they just choose to do what they do in the mainstream camp, with their comrades.

There are reenactments that I go to that I know will not be focusing on precise accuracy. Depending upon my mood at the time, I will either ignore the standards and meet my own higher ones, or compromise some and park my hindquarters in an A-frame for more space and to stay drier, for example. I will not seek to do less than the events standards, but will not always push my limits.

For those events designed especially to test my (our) limits, I go into them with eyes wide open. If I attend, I expect to meet the standard. If I don't feel I can achieve the standard, I don't go. If I'm not willing to push a certain comfort level, that's not a good event for me to attend.

Some folk never want their limits pushed. Others don't feel like it was worth it unless their limits have been tested. Some aren't happy unless they are pushed to the limit of all their capabilities during the entire event.

Each chooses how they will do it, one event at a time. I for one am satisfied to mix it up a bit; test the limits at one, relax a bit at some other. Some folks here see that as a bad way to reenact. I see it as doing it the way I choose to do it, not as they choose to do or would choose for me.

Dave Myrick
12-09-2006, 10:20 PM
I disagee with that. It has little to do with budget. While I know for sure that not everyone has the funds to drop buying a top notch kit at one shot, there are lots of things that can be had by purchasing them second hand. Another way to go is to invest some time, do some homework and make things yourself. A pair of low quality sutler row trousers run roughly $100. Charlie Childs sells kits cut to size with instructions for $90.

It has to do with attitude and commitment and what you are in this for. The bottom line is that there are two separate but related hobbies. There is the side that is perfectly content to attend a mainstream style event with all that goes along with it. There is the other side that feel that events based on solid historical record and all that goes with them is the way to go. To each, the other is wrong. So I'll say it again, which hobby you are in all boils down to what you are in this for.

Dave Myrick

Rob
12-09-2006, 10:24 PM
A certain Lieutenant (later Captain) Saxton of the 157th New York relates how, while in garrison on Morris Island, he had a wall tent - all to himself. It happened sometimes.

Trooper Graham
12-09-2006, 11:07 PM
there are lots of things that can be had by purchasing them second hand.


Dave Myrick

Is not buying second hand be considered being on a budget?

theknapsack
12-09-2006, 11:09 PM
I'll borrow a phrase from Bernard and say that the above statement is "pure male bovine fecal matter".

You've got a lot to learn about life, son.

(I suspect a few "like-minded pards" will fire some volleys my way, so give me a little time to raise my shields)

Mark
Mark,
I probably don't have any like minded pards. Maybe I'm wrong. But if one really loves their hobby, do they not spend a lot of time and money into it?
I'll agree that the gear is not where the heart is, but it is still part, so one who is continuously progressing in their impression is probably steadily increasing the quality of their gear. There's a word for this. It's called "dedication". Indeed, one can only spend so much on their hobby because thats all they have for it, but it does not mean that one cannot be dedicated to putting small amounts of money away to save up for that new sack coat, guitar, car, etc.
There's a lot more hobbies that involve spending more money than reenacting (in general) does. People (not just rich people) do and will continue to put a portion of their spending money into their hobby, because it is what they like to do.

Trooper Graham
12-09-2006, 11:16 PM
I think this thread had demonstrated that there are those who have a budget and those who know not what a budget is or worries not about a budget.

It has been brought out that there is cheap gear, less expensive authentic gear and expensive authentic gear. People need to chose what fits their budget....nothing more.

Cheap gear/cheap second hand gear, less expensive authentic gear/second hand less expensive authentic gear, expensive authentic gear/second hand expensive gear which usually there aren't any because you can't spend any higher. People need to chose what fits their budget...nothing more.

MStuart
12-09-2006, 11:34 PM
There's a word for this. It's called "dedication". Indeed, one can only spend so much on their hobby because thats all they have for it, but it does not mean that one cannot be dedicated to putting small amounts of money away to save up for that new sack coat, guitar, car, etc.


I think you'll find we agree on this part. Points that were made earlier, on other threads, were that to assume someone with a less than top notch kit was/is not "dedicated" are what is wrong.

Not every new reenactor, or reenactor unit, has access to loaner gear. Thus, to some, anyone who has a "farby kit" is a farb. That thinking is Bull Feces.

Is the kit the measure of a reenactor? No need to answer that, it was rhetorical in nature. The previous threads have answered that question.

Mark

Trooper Graham
12-09-2006, 11:43 PM
What this hobby needs real bad is an 'independent evaluator' that is a Dean to historic accuracy, someone that is 'not a reenactor' to gather and evaluate every makers wares and make a detailed report as to all the makers wares cost relationships and the quality. Some how though it sounds impractcal and unworkable...

theknapsack
12-10-2006, 02:08 PM
Not every new reenactor, or reenactor unit, has access to loaner gear. Thus, to some, anyone who has a "farby kit" is a farb. That thinking is Bull Feces.

Is the kit the measure of a reenactor? No need to answer that, it was rhetorical in nature. The previous threads have answered that question.

I believe you misread part b of my first post. Try again:
"My personal contention is also that if all mainstreamers and farbs had authentic gear they still would be mainstreamers and farbs. I started "mainstreamer" but was never really a mainstreamer. I never thought that the authentics and hardcores and stitch nazis were crazy people who liked to sleep in the mud and eat bugs while I was livin' it up in my A-frame, I envied them. I thought they were the best for wanting to do what the men that fought in the Civil War did. I respected them to the utmost level because they were doing what the unit I was in wasn't. I never thought that what I had would suffice, so I began to upgrade. I never thought the way I was camping was right, so I went out and slept by the fire, or did what they would have done in the same situation. I read, researched, and read, and researched. Mainstreamers are mainstreamers and farbs are farbs because they don't want to get better gear (regardless of the price), and more importantly, do what the soldiers did during the Civil War. That's fine, it's their hobby. Not mine."
I said it. Someone who has a bad kit is not necessarily not dedicated. I'm a former example. What I was saying is that anyone who IS dedicated would be willing to continuously upgrade their kit until it IS top notch. 'Nuff said.

Jim of the SRR
12-10-2006, 05:20 PM
There are C/P/H units that couldn't care less about educating, or even interacting with, the public and spectators. They do their thing by themselves and don't do anything with anyone, or anything else, except during a battle. They aren't all great in drill or some of the other "benchmarks" of good soldiering. Same as some mainstream units. But they don't have a bunch of tents, or women, or grills to cook over. What knowledge they have they keep to themselves and don't want anyone else to play with them. Their equipments are top of the line, but their attitudes suck. Not all of them are this way.
Mark



Mark,

I have never met or seen a c/p/h group that fits the description you have stated. What events did you witness this at? This could be your perception of them at a mainstream event they may have attended. Your spouting myths like, "Farbs wear gaiters and coon bones. well, not all of them...just many of them." Have you attended any c/p/h events?

Jim Butler

MStuart
12-10-2006, 05:30 PM
Jim:

You took the post a lot more literally than it was meant. Attacks are not my forte'.......it was a generalization to go along with the whole of the posting to further the theory that there can be only one small difference between the factions.

Mark

tompritchett
12-10-2006, 06:57 PM
You took the post a lot more literally than it was meant. Attacks are not my forte'.......it was a generalization to go along with the whole of the posting to further the theory that there can be only one small difference between the factions.


You could have gotten that generalization across better if you had qualified your statement by saying there are some or a few C/P/H units that. When I read your post, I heard the "some" in your statement, but then I know you from the field and have been reading your posts here for years. I can see how other would not have.

Memphis
12-10-2006, 07:23 PM
There are C/P/H units that couldn't care less about educating, or even interacting with, the public and spectators. They do their thing by themselves and don't do anything with anyone, or anything else, except during a battle.

This is one time I wish we were allowed to name names on the forum.

Saying "some unit somewhere in some galaxy far away" is just casting aspersions, and it is a common tactic on this forum to whip out the paint roller and coat "those people" with a coat of the "they don't do this" latex of the day. That dog won't hunt. That dog won't get off the porch. That dog may still be in the kitchen looking out the screen door.

Show us C/P/H groups that don't do living histories on actual battlefields, and you will have shown us a rare bird. This may run counter to popular opinion, but those interpretive programs are definitely about educating the public.

flattop32355
12-10-2006, 07:24 PM
To each, the other is wrong.

Is the answer always so extreme? "I'm right, you're wrong", coming from either end of the debate?

Is it possible that it's just somewhat different, with variations in goals and expectations, while heading in the same general direction?

When you get right down to it, there are not two hobbies; there are X number of hobbies, with X being the total number of reenactors at any given time. That's either good, bad, or indifferent, depending upon how a given individual chooses to see it.

On another point being made: Inexpensive or less expensive used gear.

Since I began reenacting, I've stayed on the lookout for such. It may have something to do with my being a TUG (Tubby, Unbearded Guy; 5' 10", 225#), but I don't often see items of clothing in my size. Even then, though less expensive than new, they are fairly up there in price compared to what I can get made from my existing tailor (a member of my unit) whose wares get good reviews from those in the cph community who see them. Even when they drop the price, it's usually in small increments. I understand them wanting to maximize the value they get, as it cost them good amount to buy in the first place, but I'm looking at it from the buyer's point of view, who wants to get the best value from his end of the transaction.

It's probably less an issue for non-clothing items as far as availability, but the cost factors still remain. Maybe I'm just a cheap old SOB, but there seems to be a lot of us out there.

MStuart
12-10-2006, 07:41 PM
You could have gotten that generalization across better if you had qualified your statement by saying there are some or a few C/P/H units that. When I read your post, I heard the "some" in your statement, but then I know you from the field and have been reading your posts here for years. I can see how other would not have.

Tom:

Good point. The "written word" sometimes does not do justice to thoughts.

FWIW, that particular posting was not an indictment of any side of the hobby, nor was it meant to cast aspersions, just a "general comparison" of could be's, would be's, and possibilities.

Mark

tompritchett
12-10-2006, 07:48 PM
Show us C/P/H groups that don't do living histories on actual battlefields, and you will have shown us a rare bird. This may run counter to popular opinion, but those interpretive programs are definitely about educating the public.

I think that part of the problem it that many of us mainstreamers have not gone to nor participated in the Living Histories on the battlefields so that most of our interactions with 5%ers is at reenactments for whatever reason. Thus you get comments that are like three blind men trying to describe an elephant based only upon the parts they are feeling at the time.

tompritchett
12-10-2006, 07:52 PM
To each, the other is wrong. So I'll say it again, which hobby you are in all boils down to what you are in this for.


For some that may be the case. For others, it is more of a case that neither is right or wrong but rather a man's reenacting style is what is "right" for him at the time. Personally, I have no problem with reenacting either style. It just depends on what I want to get out of a specific event.

Huck Finn
12-10-2006, 09:23 PM
Mrs. L:

"And, I never wear it but I don't get comments on how nice I look--and I'm a portly middle aged woman, so its definitely the quality of the dress that is turning the heads."

Sorry, wrong. You are fine cut of a woman. Very PC. And many of us thank you for your efforts and are more than willing to part with our greenbacks for quality.

Now just remember, no dress ever turned a man's head. It is always the woman under it.

flattop32355
12-10-2006, 10:22 PM
Mrs. L:
Now just remember, no dress ever turned a man's head. It is always the woman under it.

Mrs. L:

You may not be Paris Hilton, but then, I wouldn't be caught dead with Paris Hilton.

We real humans have a better take on what makes a good woman.

Justin Runyon
12-11-2006, 12:22 AM
Wow, a decade or more of the Campaigner movement and this is still where we're at. The singers change but the song remains the same. A couple of points that keep popping randomly into my head as I read all of this.

Gear: No one needs to post about differences in gear anymore. Everyone go get item X out of the closet and run off to a museum or two and compare. No need to post your findings, it will either be obvious or not. Shall we move beyond the gear? Material culture is merely one of the myriad of differences between these two opposing sides. If you don't believe me, register for Billie Creek Village and Immortal 600 this year. When your done, write up a little compare and contrast paper. You'll top 10 pages easy and never mention even a shoe nail.

Cost: This burns my britches. Some authentic gear costs more, some costs about the same. That list that appeared earlier, though an accurate representation of prices from one particualr vendor, is not representitve of all the quality makers out there. What really sets me off is when people say that you just can't afford the dreaded hardcore kit. I'm a non-traditional (older than most) college student forced to quit his job to keep up with the university work, with a fiance' who (no shocker here) expects me to occasionally buy her things and feed her. Some months I don't have 2 nickles to rub together. Yet through all this, I have over a half dozen top of the line impressions to yank out of the closet when I attend various events. If you want to do it, you can do it.

On "Farbs" and "Cores": I admit 2 things here publicly. 1. I was once a blissful farb and 2. shortly after that I was one of those "I hate farbs they must be converted or wiped from the face of the earth" guys. I have left both attitudes in the dust. The bottomline here is that some percentage of us get our rocks off by expirementing with material culture in the field, doing hands on research, pushing the envelope (not for anyone else, but for ourselves, to see if we can do it and what it feels like), &c. &c. and some other percentage of us get our respective rocks off by donning clothes we dont get to wear on a regular basis, packing up the wife and kids and heading out to spend a fun weekend shooting some guns and sharing some times with firends. So, we have wierdos who attempt to construct a facsimile of 19th century military culture, and wierdos who are, in many respects, theme campers. Kindly choose the variety of wierdo that seems most like you and go out and have a blast. I know I do, and my one hope is that everyone on this board is having as much fun as I am when I head out to an event.

PS. In the 2006 season I had the oppurtunity to sleep on a bed in a wall tent (scenario specific) at one event, and in a literal mud hole without so much as a dish towel to lay on or under at the very next event. Variety is the spice of life.

Apparently, a 5%'er and loving it.

bill watson
12-11-2006, 08:12 AM
People keep referencing "get beyond the gear" as if it is an admonition like "don't worry about the gear." As it was originally presented several years ago (not by me) I believe the concept was "get the gear and get beyond the gear" in terms of developing a well-rounded impression focused on non-gear aspects of a more authentic impression.

For purposes of this discussion, absent a universal decree of what is right, "the gear" in any given moment depends on the criteria set by the event the reenactor plans to attend. That can vary, but it's the only thing we've got as a practical guide to "the gear."

It is interesting to note what events still take 40 pages of nine-point type to delineate "the gear," which "shall" be required, and very little space to outline what else is expected of people. Just like people, some events don't seem to get beyond the gear.

Justin brings up another point. There are some who keep thinking the cph, history-heavy side of things is into minimalist impressions, always an army in the field. That's not the case at all. What's necessary in any particular case is whatever the historic record shows was an element at the history being depicted. Sometimes that's actually a lot of canvas, as at a couple of depictions of major training camps in Harrisburg a couple of years ago. Sometimes it's not even a shelter half, as at Shenandoah 62 -- armies on the move and the shelter halves, we believe, had not yet reached the Shenandoah armies.

Just keeping the dialog moving toward a socially redeeming conclusion....

Robert A Mosher
12-11-2006, 10:37 AM
Bill -

I wasn't going to contribute to continuing the life of this thread at all - and now I find you've pretty much covered the viewpoint that I was about to put forward!!

The argument over labels and whose sack coat or haversack you absolutely have to have to be authentic had just about convinced me that the people who counter argue that attitude was really the most important were right. When I thought about it, I realized that the first thing I notice about a reenactor whom I haven't met before is his (or her) attitude (whether they were doing first person or not). I might notice a piece of gear or a uniform bit if what was really obviously out of place or just clearly so right - but what would really be noticed first was the attitude reflected in how they carried themselves and interacted with people.

So having come to this conclusion, I then go off to an event and watch a mixed unit form up, inspect weapons, and start practicing the drill movements that they will have to execute during the event. Now this was not a campaigner/hardcore authentic event and draws on a rather broad segment of the 'hobby.' As I watched this process of trying to create a unit from these odd elements, I realized that there were several types present each of whom presented something I saw that needed correction. Many people couldn't properly execute 'inspection arms' or simple drill movements such as change of facing, etc. Just as troubling were the people who couldn't seem to wear their gear properly - and properly meaning two things - the gear just didin't fit them, and more important - they didn't fit the gear. If you are anything other than a fresh fish, I think you'll understand what I mean - a veteran wearing his leathers, etc, just knows where everything should be, wears it there, and makes an effort to keep it there. The cartridge box should be right where he can reach back, open it, and pull out a cartridge - same with the cap pouch and the bayonet scabbard and canteen. (And I can't believe a veteran wouldn't fill his canteen up at the first opportunity and keep it filled up every chance he can). Whether wearing a blanket roll or knapsack, it would be worn so that it does not hinder movement.

Anyway, that's a long winded way of saying - yes, it is the gear; yes, it is the attitude; but also yes, it's what you do with the package that makes it work.

Bill - you're tempting me to put down my reporter's notebook and pick up my Enfield again for McDowell.

Robert A. Mosher

Memphis
12-11-2006, 11:00 AM
It is interesting to note what events still take 40 pages of nine-point type to delineate "the gear," which "shall" be required, and very little space to outline what else is expected of people. Just like people, some events don't seem to get beyond the gear.

Glittering generalities only exacerbate the problems with casting aspersions. Which events? Which organizers? Was the 40 page gearhead list the only information available to participants? Is this a real or imagined mental picture?

As for me, I would like to see one of these 40 page lists in nine point font size. Post a hyperlink, please.

Trooper Graham
12-11-2006, 11:06 AM
anybody else agree with me that the overwhelming degree of arguements, disagreements, hostile attitudes and unpleasentness in general in our american society is due to the use and overuse of preservatives in our food chain over the past 30-40 years?

tompritchett
12-11-2006, 11:29 AM
anybody else agree with me that the overwhelming degree of arguements, disagreements, hostile attitudes and unpleasentness in general in our american society is due to the use and overuse of preservatives in our food chain over the past 30-40 years?

I always thought it was due to the heavy use of corn surup in just about everything. Most people are on a sugar rush without even realizing it. :)

Trooper Graham
12-11-2006, 11:34 AM
I always thought it was due to the heavy use of corn surup in just about everything. Most people are on a sugar rush without even realizing it. :)

Corn syrup for the North and molasses for the South...Ummm logical I suppose. :rolleyes:

MStuart
12-11-2006, 12:30 PM
anybody else agree with me that the overwhelming degree of arguements, disagreements, hostile attitudes and unpleasentness in general in our american society is due to the use and overuse of preservatives in our food chain over the past 30-40 years?

I used to work on the north side police zone in Pittsburgh, which covers the Heinz plant. For a lot of years they made ketchup, relish, all kinds of stuff there. I'm here to tell you that when that "cloud" of whatever it was drifted into the urban valley near the plant for years and years, things began to go awry. And I mean that in a Darwinian way :-)

Sam and Tom have a point. Now, if you don't mind, I'm gonna go have the nails trimmed on the hand that is growing out of my back.

Mark

Trooper Graham
12-11-2006, 12:46 PM
I base my opinion about preservatives from my childhood when everything was still organic. I remember playing the Three Musketeers and shouting..."One for All and All for One" as we helped little ole ladies across the street.....it's gotta be the food chain!!!!!!!!!!!! or bad moonshine.

bill watson
12-11-2006, 12:52 PM
"As for me, I would like to see one of these 40 page lists in nine point font size. Post a hyperlink, please."

OK, "Rog," I promise that the next one to come along will get a link. We won't have long to wait, I'm sure.

tompritchett
12-11-2006, 02:16 PM
Corn syrup for the North and molasses for the South...Ummm logical I suppose.

Actually corn syrup all over the country. Next time you are in the kitchen just look at the labels on your food and drinks. You may be very surprised. Remember the indgredients are listed in order of their percent composition in the product (i.e., there will be more of the first listed item than there will of the second and so on). Some even try to link the advent of widespread use of corn syrup with the rise in obesity in the U.S. Corn syrup pretty much replaced sorghum molasses in most Southern products needed sweetening and made possible the development of fruit juice concentrates.

Memphis
12-11-2006, 02:39 PM
Psssssssst, Tom, he was making a joke about the molasses. It was a good one, too. :D