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Frenchie
01-02-2007, 12:53 AM
The Whine Cellar's for complaining about things, right? Good, I want to complain about TBGs. Beards are no problem, got one myself - tubbiness is my peeve here.

I see ad after ad for "sack coat, size 52" and there's one now talking about a jacket that will fit a 5 foot 220 pounder, I think. Holy Moses! I was 5'8" when I weighed 215 and I'm telling you, son, there's no way I could delude myself into thinking I looked like a period photo if I was that danged big now. Show me a period photo of a soldier wearing trousers with a 48" waist. There's hundreds of pics of entire companies with nary 40 pounds of excess fat in the whole group. I see modern units where half the guys are carrying that much all by themselves! And how many times I've seen a cavalryman and thought, "I'm glad I'm not his horse".

Criminy, guys, look at yourselves! And don't give me this "It's my glands" or "I'm not fat, I'm big-boned" horse hockey. You're a lard ass, period.

I was a fat kid, got the scars to show for it. And no, I'm not gonna say "I worked hard to lose weight, you can too", because I lost it the hardest way, by being sick for almost three decades - that's what diabetes will do to you when you don't take care of yourself as you should. I do not recommend it; neuropathology, vision and circulation problems, etc. No fun. If I'd been in shape when it hit, it might not have been so bad. Spilt milk.

But those of you with a working pancreas have no excuse. You have a body that can burn fat and sugar and turn protein into muscle efficiently. It's a matter of eating good food and then burning up more calories than you take in. Your body will tell you what and how much to eat, and it will use what you take in better as you get into better shape.

And you will eventually look like them. That's what it's all about, right? I keep seeing this pontificating, this chest-beating, about how it's "all about them, the originals, the boys of '61". Oh, please. Personally, I think it's mostly a bunch of hooey, a smokescreen for beating up others to make oneself feel better.

But this isn't about psychology; your self-image problems aren't my subject here except for how you see yourself physically. Too many reenactors look at themselves wearing enough material to make two standard-size uniforms and think they can get away with representing men who lived on poor food, hard work and suffered from diarrhea on a regular basis.

Ah, ****, forget I said anything (if you're still reading in the first place). Go get some pizza and beer and watch the tube, it's more entertaining than I am.

Trooper Graham
01-02-2007, 01:13 AM
The Whine Cellar's for complaining about things, right? Good, I want to complain about TBGs. Beards are no problem, got one myself - tubbiness is my peeve here.

.

Last March I returned home after five years over the pond. You have no idea how much americans are the blunt of so many overweight/obese jokes.

tompritchett
01-02-2007, 02:14 AM
You have no idea how much americans are the blunt of so many overweight/obese jokes.

Two points. First, I am sure that we are the blunt for more than just overweight/obese jokes. Second, in the 15 and 16th Centuries, obesity was admired because it was a sign of wealth and leisure. The slick, muscular bodies, which are now so much admired, were looked down upon then because to have such a body meant that you were a mere laborer rather than one of the elite. (I have to get some history in here somewhere :))

flattop32355
01-02-2007, 02:18 AM
Not so much an excuse as explanation, so it doesn't excuse the exceedingly large folks, but does indicate why most of us won't meet the criteria of the photos.

We're older. Look pictures of those men later in life, and a number of them are larger. Not all, but a significant number. Middle aged spread is a fact of life for many; metabolism slows down, and even eating less doesn't do the job.

We're bigger. Nature and diet have had an effect in the last 150 years.

Less active lifestyles. We don't need to do all the manual labor they did in our real lives, and it shows.

"Better" diet. Debatable to some, but there it is. Not so much more "natural", but definitely more abundant and easier to get at. I seem to recall that being a good thing when I was younger, but someone changed the rules as I approached the time I could live off the "fat of the land".

I'm 5'10" and about 225#; that's about 50# over what the charts say I should be, and that's at the high end. I've got pictures of me when I was in early college and weighed 149#, and I look like I just walked out of a concentration camp in 1945. I'll never see that again. The knees won't let me play four hours of basketball per day anymore, and neither will my job or wife.

Do I look "odd" playing this hobby? Yup; too old, too gray, too big. Am I gonna stop? Nope; not enough young farts to do it, not enough who do it well, and besides, I like doing it.

I shake my head every time I look in the mirror, or see myself in a picture in uniform. I know I ought to knock off a good number of pounds, and may just pull it off to some degree, but I'll never, ever, look like a real CW soldier again, for multiple reasons. So, I'll just have to do the best I can as I stand right now, with some modifications hopefully taking place that help in the real world as well as the hobby world. We shall see how it all works out.

Anyway, thanks for giving me something else to concentrate on here. The winter blah's have hit hard here in bleak central Ohio, and dismounted cav is not one of my key points of interest, being infantry.

sbl
01-02-2007, 06:20 AM
Last March I returned home after five years over the pond. You have no idea how much americans are the blunt of so many overweight/obese jokes.

The truth aside, some foriegners don't understand the concept of "abundance". ;)

tompritchett
01-02-2007, 07:24 AM
The truth aside, some foriegners don't understand the concept of "abundance".

I think that it was Paul Harvey who in the mid-70's told of the new delegate from an African country being attached to the U.N. Having heard so much about Harlen being our most famous ghetto, he had to see Harlen. Therefore he ordered a ride through Harlen. After he got to Spanish Harlen and realized that he was no longer in a Black neighborhood, he asked where was this famous Black ghetto he had heard so much about. When the driver then informed him that they had just driven through it, he commented that what he had seen in Harlem was the equivalent of a middle class neighborhood in his home country. (Good thing he had not asked to drive through the South Bronx.)

However, my favorite "driver" story involved the American diplomatic escort for a visiting Soviet diplomat in the late 70's or early 80's. Again this Soviet diplomat wanted to see the sights. As the escort showed him, the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State building, Madison Square Garden, etc., the diplomat would always comment about how the Soviet Union had something far more grand. Finally, the diplomat's repeated comments of this nature got under the skin of his escort. In retaliation, the escort drove him to the closest Pathmark (for the rest of us - Pathmarks were then the chain of the largest grocier stores in NYC) and took him inside. The diplomat could make no comment and was left speakless. To rub it in further, the escort then walked the diplomat over to the butcher's display. At this point the diplomat broke down and cried.

cookiemom
01-02-2007, 09:39 AM
...You're a lard ass, period.
Ah, Monsieur Frenchie, for herself and for the other ladies, Mademoiselle Lilly de la Valle prefers the term "Rubenesque..." Mais, alors, c'est vrai.


You have a body that can burn fat and sugar and turn protein into muscle efficiently. It's a matter of eating good food and then burning up more calories than you take in. Your body will tell you what and how much to eat, and it will use what you take in better as you get into better shape.

If only we would listen to our bodies, instead of the advertising, and take only what we NEED instead of what we WANT, all would be well (or better, anyway.) And regular exercise benefits both mind and body.

The can-can dance troupe will begin rehearsals next week for the upcoming season. Join us for some period-correct aerobic exercise... ;)

With best wishes for a happy (and healthy) new year,
Mlle. Lilly

MStuart
01-02-2007, 10:35 AM
Buuuuuuuuuuurrrrrrrrrrpppppppppp! Pass me those hot wings and order us another pitcher of beer, will ya?

Had to

Mark

(5'8" and 165 lbs and loving every minute of it, for now)

hanktrent
01-02-2007, 10:38 AM
Middle aged spread is a fact of life for many; metabolism slows down, and even eating less doesn't do the job.

Eating less doesn't do the job? Nonsense. Of course it does. How is anyone getting fat if it's not coming from the excess calories they eat?

Exercise is good, but I've not found that it's the most efficient way, compared to just eating less. Takes much less time and trouble to not eat a large order of fries, than to play basketball for an hour. Yep, that's the trade-off.

I'm 47, 140 pounds, 5'7". I can only average 1700 calories a day, or I gain weight. So for the last five years, I've only averaged 1700 calories a day. The payoff in good health and the fun of not looking fat is worth every minute of it.

The nice thing is, it's an average. Went out for Christmas and had a full upscale hotel dinner and dessert. Went out again at New Years, had chocolate torte and pumpkin cheesecake that night, and gingerbread streusel for breakfast the next morning. But that's because I ate 1400 calories a day for the week in between.

There are no excuses, other than "it's not important enough to me."

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

Trooper Graham
01-02-2007, 10:54 AM
(5'8" and 165 lbs and loving every minute of it, for now)




Mark, at that weight you shouldn't have a hard time finding a horse to adopt you! :D and I'm sure at that height you'd be glad to be mounted so your sabre won't drag so far behind you.....:D :D

Had to!!!!!!

Sam

5'11'' 185 lbs...96 years old.:rolleyes:

Georgiana
01-02-2007, 11:25 AM
Yes, many soldiers were very young so they were thin. Hey they were still growing boys! And yes, there were food shortages and even those who wanted to get fat couldn't get there. I am not involved in the military side of the hobby, but I know there were fat--uh, "well cushioned" citizens! As a civilian group we would welcome any males who don't meet up to the military standards. Have you ever seen some of the pictures of those wealthy business types of the era?

Seriously, most of the citizen groups in our area are disportionately female. We won't pick on any men with love handles or a little extra cargo who want to portray the home front of the era. Without the men who stayed behind so much work wouldn't have been done. We need to portray and honor the men who weren't soldiers and whose history seems to be forgotten.

I am not saying only people with certain body types can be soldiers, I am just trying to point out that there are other roles for men. I support anyone with any body shape to doing what they want to in the hobby. I see our roles as teachers and not as replicators of history. Your mileage may vary.

G.

sbl
01-02-2007, 11:52 AM
Frenchie,

That's what I call it. Look at footage of reenactments where guys run and you'll see that fat guy or "Wide Guy" (5th NHV slang) running style of the head and shoulders back, eyes downward, and the look of being about to apply the breaks. The runner is trying to go fast and trying to be careful at he same time.


See the San Jacinto battle scene in that TNT movie on Sam Houston with Sam Eliot. Houston: The Legend of Texas (1986), half the Texas Army are wide guys.


I've got that problem. :(

sbl
01-02-2007, 11:57 AM
..said it about Fidel Castro after Castro made a remark about the President's fat brother. (Jeb)

I paraphrased Stewart.

sbl
01-02-2007, 11:59 AM
Dear Carole,

Where is your Cancan troupe going to perform??

ThumbStall
01-02-2007, 12:10 PM
There is one role where a overweight person can be truelly authentic looking: portrayal of battlefield slain who have been dead for several days. No, I'm not joking. Look at the photograph:

http://www.sonofthesouth.net/leefoundation/gettysburg/dead-civil-war-soldiers.jpg

I have a body shape to match the guy in the forground. Stick some cottonballs in my cheeks, loll out my tounge, and I'd finally make an authentic looking Civil War soldier despite my being overweight.

Now I'm sure the first reaction will be, "Oh, but that's not appropirate! Shame on you!" Well, I beg to differ. I think it would be highly appropriate to protray the bloated dead within the right context such as a living history burial detail demonstration. It sure would be a heck of a lot more authentic looking than going to a reenactment and seeing the "dead" propped up on their elbows watching the battle and taking photographs. As a big-boned fella I would be willing to do a bloated corpse impression in a heartbeat. Loot me, turn my pockets inside out, drag me into a line with other corpses prepatory to being put in a mass grave... I'll hold still for a twenty minute talk and demo. You can even put me in a shallow grave... just don't actually bury me.

After reading the book Honoring The Civil War Dead: Commemoration And The Problem Of Reconciliation by John R. Neff and the descriptions of burial details contained therein, I am even more convinced that this type of demo should be done. The Civil War was an ugly business and the unburied dead played a leading role in it.

I repeat... I'm not joking.

MStuart
01-02-2007, 12:27 PM
A couple of years ago, when they had the event at Warwickton plantation (a small event, usually about 35 per side) a "large guy" fought with us. Now, when I say large, I don't mean fat.......he was about 6'7" and about 280 in a solid frame....just a "big" man. He took a hit and laid completely still on his back in the tall grass and sun, dead, while we advanced a little. The grass was about a foot tall and, unless you were fairly close, you wouldn't know he was even there.

Upon our retreat, one of our guys was passing his prostrate form and said "don't you think we should remove the first sergeant?....he's already starting to bloat".

We giggled a bit, but then saw, rising just above the tall grass, one hand with a middle finger extended....

Radar
01-02-2007, 12:51 PM
I'm 5'10" and about 225#; that's about 50# over what the charts say I should be, and that's at the high end. I've got pictures of me when I was in early college and weighed 149#, and I look like I just walked out of a concentration camp in 1945. I'll never see that again. The knees won't let me play four hours of basketball per day anymore, and neither will my job or wife.

Do I look "odd" playing this hobby? Yup; too old, too gray, too big. Am I gonna stop? Nope; not enough young farts to do it, not enough who do it well, and besides, I like doing it.

I shake my head every time I look in the mirror, or see myself in a picture in uniform. I know I ought to knock off a good number of pounds, and may just pull it off to some degree, but I'll never, ever, look like a real CW soldier again, for multiple reasons. So, I'll just have to do the best I can as I stand right now, with some modifications hopefully taking place that help in the real world as well as the hobby world. We shall see how it all works out.

Anyway, thanks for giving me something else to concentrate on here. The winter blah's have hit hard here in bleak central Ohio, and dismounted cav is not one of my key points of interest, being infantry.[/QUOTE]

I agree with you. After 20 years of bad knees and knee surgery, my "old" body can't take the strain (includes doctor's orders). It's all of the old, overweight guys who can afford the hobbt and like to participate in it. You complain about missing the "young atheletic" types that conform to the soldiers of the day. It seems that today's young kids that fit your wishes have to desire to participate, and if they do, they can't afford it (college loans, cars, getting started in the "real" world). I guess there need to be a reenactor scholarship to sponsor these kids and pay for all their gear (who paid for ours, US).

In short, let's all of us "old" guys quit and see where the hobby ends up. Probably down the tubes, if you depend on the young kids with no moneys/interest.

Yes, I'm old & graying & overweight, but I'm staying with it, within my limitations.

cookiemom
01-02-2007, 12:53 PM
Where is your Cancan troupe going to perform??
Our schedule for the season has not been determined yet, and all of the dancers will have a vote on the matter, but generally we are willing to appear at any reenactment for which the documentary evidence supports our presence... ;)

Mlle. Lilly

sbl
01-02-2007, 01:35 PM
Our schedule for the season has not been determined yet, and all of the dancers will have a vote on the matter, but generally we are willing to appear at any reenactment for which the documentary evidence supports our presence... ;)

Mlle. Lilly

Dear Mlle. Lilly,

I noted the smiley face at the end. I haven't seen any reference to the Cancan as such for "our" period but I have seen and read references to "ballet" that didn't look or sound "classical".

Good luck with that impression. I wouldn't sulk in the parking lot or the tree line if the Cancan was performed at an event.

Wounded_Zouave
01-02-2007, 02:51 PM
There is one role where a overweight person can be truelly authentic looking: portrayal of battlefield slain who have been dead for several days. No, I'm not joking. Look at the photograph:

http://www.sonofthesouth.net/leefoundation/gettysburg/dead-civil-war-soldiers.jpg

I have a body shape to match the guy in the forground. Stick some cottonballs in my cheeks, loll out my tounge, and I'd finally make an authentic looking Civil War soldier despite my being overweight.

Now I'm sure the first reaction will be, "Oh, but that's not appropirate! Shame on you!" Well, I beg to differ. I think it would be highly appropriate to protray the bloated dead within the right context such as a living history burial detail demonstration. It sure would be a heck of a lot more authentic looking than going to a reenactment and seeing the "dead" propped up on their elbows watching the battle and taking photographs. As a big-boned fella I would be willing to do a bloated corpse impression in a heartbeat. Loot me, turn my pockets inside out, drag me into a line with other corpses prepatory to being put in a mass grave... I'll hold still for a twenty minute talk and demo. You can even put me in a shallow grave... just don't actually bury me.

After reading the book Honoring The Civil War Dead: Commemoration And The Problem Of Reconciliation by John R. Neff and the descriptions of burial details contained therein, I am even more convinced that this type of demo should be done. The Civil War was an ugly business and the unburied dead played a leading role in it.

I'd like to see some of the battlefield dead photographs like the above re-created.

bob 125th nysvi
01-02-2007, 03:29 PM
Mark, at that weight you shouldn't have a hard time finding a horse to adopt you! :D and I'm sure at that height you'd be glad to be mounted so your sabre won't drag so far behind you.....:D :D

Had to!!!!!!

Sam

5'11'' 185 lbs...96 years old.:rolleyes:

at over 1800 pounds apiece they could carry you AND pull the wagon without breaking a sweat.

Bob Sandusky
Co C 125th NYSVI
Esperance, NY

bob 125th nysvi
01-02-2007, 03:40 PM
I'll accept the 5%ers being right and leading the way when they restrict their units to guys under 25 between 5' 8" and 5' 10" and weighting less than 175 pounds (smaller guys have to be proprotionately smaller).

While I agree with you on the out of shape/over age thing I don't see how it is ever going to change.

American's are FAT. And notice throughout history affluent societies have always shown it by being outragous consumers of eveything including food.

We're affluent and that's not going to change anytime soon.

Young guys (sub 30) play sports chase girls and hang out in bars. Almost all the young guys I play ball against find NOTHING appealing in reenacting.

So they aren't coming to the park to play.

Many young families are actually cash strapped (I don't know how many times I've heard young guys complain about not having any money and then leasing a new car) and not very good at managing what they do have.

So the odds are against us ever looking like the pictures ever again.

Bob Sandusky
Co C 125th NYSVI
Esperance, NY

6' 4" 235 pounds 47 and still playing basketball with the young guys.

ps: Tom ahh Pathmark ... LI, NYC or NJ?

flattop32355
01-02-2007, 05:05 PM
6' 4" 235 pounds 47 and still playing basketball with the young guys.

*Sigh* I envy you the height, the age and the still playing basketball.
I hate my knees!

Trooper Graham
01-02-2007, 05:12 PM
Young guys (sub 30) play sports chase girls and hang out in bars.







I beg to differ kind sir!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

tompritchett
01-02-2007, 07:30 PM
I beg to differ kind sir!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am assuming that you disagree with his implication that only young guys (sub 30) play sports chase girls and hang out in bars. :)

Trooper Graham
01-02-2007, 07:34 PM
I am assuming that you disagree with his implication that only young guys (sub 30) play sports chase girls and hang out in bars. :)


BINGO!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D

tompritchett
01-02-2007, 07:35 PM
said it about Fidel Castro after Castro made a remark about the President's fat brother. (Jeb)

Speaking about jokes concerning siblings of sitting Presidents, remember all the Billy Carter jokes including his own personal antics.

tompritchett
01-02-2007, 07:37 PM
I know that you still chase girls but are you still spry enough to actually catch them :twisted:

Trooper Graham
01-02-2007, 08:21 PM
I know that you still chase girls but are you still spry enough to actually catch them :twisted:

When I'm dismounted...no. That's why 'I' never dismount and that's why I'll be a mainstreamer till I die...:rolleyes:

Frenchie
01-03-2007, 12:27 AM
In response to a point made in a couple of the replies, age is not an excuse for being overweight. Gray hair isn't nearly as distracting as a front rank man who can hide two rear rank men behind him.

reb64
01-03-2007, 12:42 AM
In response to a point made in a couple of the replies, age is not an excuse for being overweight. Gray hair isn't nearly as distracting as a front rank man who can hide two rear rank men behind him.


I guess then the community should institue a fat boy program like the real army. if you don't meet height/weight after a certain period, off you go. trouble is after the modern army released thousands for being overweight they were suddenly short for deployments and reversed policy. If its hard to stay thin when doing regular pt in the army, weekend civilian reenactors have a real challenge to maintain that look. my hats off to all those who look or think they are civil war physique correct. It takes dicipline to tell a wife, as in my case, not to cook. If I loose weight she thinks I'm chasing someone at the office.

Frenchie
01-03-2007, 12:54 AM
Well, then, anyone who doesn't want to take a hit should ask you if you're planning to take one and if not, get behind you, because there's no way any bullets can reach him unless you're flanked.

Next contestant, please. Hi, what's your name and what's your excuse?

sbl
01-03-2007, 06:28 AM
Billy came to my town pushing his Piggy Pizza once. Folks crowded his car and gave him a beer.

I guess there is a soft spot for HARMLESS screw-up brothers.

TheBaldYankee
01-03-2007, 07:29 AM
I'm celebrating my 29th birthday next month. I'm 6' tall 245-250 lbs. I have a bit of a gut, but also quite a bit of muscle and that's where most of my wieght comes from..... And so what.

Hey I'm in a western theater, Ohio unit. I'm of Lebanese and Italian descent. I guess I can't reenact, cause I'm not German (as many Ohio troops were). I wear a size 13 shoe! I hope that's not to big. Oh I forgot that since I'm younger and have a family to support I could not offord the highest "quality" gear. I got the best stuff I could find I my budget. I should be flogged!

I might be coming off as a bit of a smart ***, but honestly....

I've been visiting this forum since October. I've seen alot of threads complianing about alot of stuff. It's like listening to religious arguments, or watching an old Kugn Fu movie sometimes. "Your style if no good! Mine is much better!"

Why are some so concerned about what others do? Worry about yourself, your impression, your wieght, your whatever.

Improve yourself first. Set the example in such a way that people will want to emulate you, but not think your an arrogant jerk. (not talking about anyone specific btw).

I'm very new. I haven't attended my first event yet. If someone appraoches me , and in a respectful way, let's me know if I'm doing something wrong it would be appreciated. If they approach me to bitch at me, they'll get an earfull. If the say I'm too fat, they may get more.

Really guys, why so much venom?

Spare_Man
01-03-2007, 08:23 AM
Almost all the young guys I play ball against find NOTHING appealing in reenacting.What's not appealing about standing in the hot sun while wearing wool clothing and being yelled at by a self-appointed jackass? :-? Young people today have a more authentic option: a real war they can go and fight in. And if that doesn't appeal to them they can find a heck of a lot more statisfaction playing a video Civil War game than wasting time and money on a hobby where nothing ever goes as planned. :mad:

sbl
01-03-2007, 10:15 AM
Billy Carter sure sets some folks off.

tompritchett
01-03-2007, 10:45 AM
Billy Carter sure sets some folks off.

Sometimes you can really tell who uses the hybrid or threaded view options from those that use the linear view. This was one of those times. :)

Trooper Graham
01-03-2007, 11:03 AM
Sometimes you can really tell who uses the hybrid or threaded view options from those that use the linear view. This was one of those times. :)


but some of the responses lets you know who is as old as you are. :D

Frenchie
01-03-2007, 11:58 AM
"... and he was not alone!"

http://www.geocities.com/happyfriends1/index.html

Trooper Graham
01-03-2007, 12:20 PM
"... and he was not alone!"

http://www.geocities.com/happyfriends1/index.html


the link doesn't work Frenchie

Rob Weaver
01-03-2007, 01:38 PM
What's not appealing about standing in the hot sun while wearing wool clothing and being yelled at by a self-appointed jackass? :-? Young people today have a more authentic option: a real war they can go and fight in. And if that doesn't appeal to them they can find a heck of a lot more statisfaction playing a video Civil War game than wasting time and money on a hobby where nothing ever goes as planned. :mad:
There's some truth in that which is sobering.
Oh, and by the way, 5'5", 160 lbs. I stay under the Army weight for height table for my age, and maintain my fitness according to the APFT standards. I was a tubby reenactor when I was a teenager. Now that I'm older, I see the wisdom in maintaining my condition is such a way that marching, sleeping on the ground and eating bad food doesn't knock me out of the loop for 3 days after and event.

Frenchie
01-03-2007, 03:27 PM
the link doesn't work Frenchie

It does work, but the page is unavailable right now. It's a free Geocities account that has limited bandwidth allowance. When it runs out you have to wait 24 hours for it to reset.

tompritchett
01-03-2007, 04:55 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spare_Man
What's not appealing about standing in the hot sun while wearing wool clothing and being yelled at by a self-appointed jackass? Young people today have a more authentic option: a real war they can go and fight in. And if that doesn't appeal to them they can find a heck of a lot more statisfaction playing a video Civil War game than wasting time and money on a hobby where nothing ever goes as planned.
There's some truth in that which is sobering.

There is more than just some truth in that and that is even more sobering.

toptimlrd
01-03-2007, 06:13 PM
I'm celebrating my 29th birthday next month. I'm 6' tall 245-250 lbs. I have a bit of a gut, but also quite a bit of muscle and that's where most of my wieght comes from..... And so what.

Hey I'm in a western theater, Ohio unit. I'm of Lebanese and Italian descent. I guess I can't reenact, cause I'm not German (as many Ohio troops were). I wear a size 13 shoe! I hope that's not to big. Oh I forgot that since I'm younger and have a family to support I could not offord the highest "quality" gear. I got the best stuff I could find I my budget. I should be flogged!

I might be coming off as a bit of a smart ***, but honestly....

I've been visiting this forum since October. I've seen alot of threads complianing about alot of stuff. It's like listening to religious arguments, or watching an old Kugn Fu movie sometimes. "Your style if no good! Mine is much better!"

Why are some so concerned about what others do? Worry about yourself, your impression, your wieght, your whatever.

Improve yourself first. Set the example in such a way that people will want to emulate you, but not think your an arrogant jerk. (not talking about anyone specific btw).

I'm very new. I haven't attended my first event yet. If someone appraoches me , and in a respectful way, let's me know if I'm doing something wrong it would be appreciated. If they approach me to bitch at me, they'll get an earfull. If the say I'm too fat, they may get more.

Really guys, why so much venom?

First welcome to the hobby.

You'll find a vast array of people in this hobby just like you will in any endeavour. Try not to read the attitude through posts as it is difficult to convey true emotion through such posts. Most of the ones you probably consider full of venom are the ones that will go the farthest out of their way to help you. Most of the venom I see in the hobby are from those that are presenting a substandard impression, know they are presenting a substandard impression, and scream things like "stitch counter" anytime someone tries to help them improve. Also keep in mind that many do lead by example. To be honest the comments here are generally much more reserved than they can be on other forums which are geared towards the more experienced re-enactor so try not to take things too personally.

You mentioned you are very new and have not yet attended an event, but from reading many of your other posts on the forum it looks like you are taking some important steps such as actually trying to do some research first which I applaud you for. One thing that surprised me is that it appears from your post that you either have already purchased a majority if not all of your kit before attending an event. Most units have loaner gear and give the new recruit about a year to assemble their basic kit. I always encourage new recruits to use the loaner gear at first for a couple of reasons:

1. To see if the hobby is something they truly enjoy (not everyone likes it once they try it)

2. It gives them time to see how they want to reenact and what level of gear they want to buy (i.e. are authentic events more their style or is the mainstream event more what they want to do).

3. It saves the new recruit from having to shell out all the money for a complete kit at once and allows them to save for better gear, look for good used gear to save money, etc. Honestly you can often find used top drawer gear in nearly new condition for about the same or just a bit more than you would pay for new "sutler row" stuff.

Back to the subject of the thread, like you I am perhaps a bit large compared to someone who actually served in the war (I'm 38, 6'1" and 195 pounds at the moment) and one thing I am doing is trying to lose weight to better improve my impression and health (aiming for my college weight of 175 to 180 and am down from a high of 225). Unfortunately theres not much I can do about being much taller than the average WBTS soldier. I agree with many that there are far too many people on the field that are WAY overweight which to me is not only distracting and comical in the realm of historic accuracy but is also dangerous to them. What we do is very physical and being in very poor shape can lead to severe issues such as heat stroke, stroke, and cardiac arrest (all of which has happened). Add to this the issue of what we are presenting especially if the public is there, are we presenting an accurate portrayal of events and activities of 186X, or are we a bunch of grown men in costume playing "Cowboys and Indians"? Once the link Frenchie provided becomes active again I think you will see what he is talking about. If we are extremely overweight then are we any better than the obvious female in the ranks, the guy with the work boots and blue / grey work pants, or the guy in the Ray Bans? If we are at the point that we look out of place in the military uniform, perhaps we should find a civilian impression. I may be wrong, but it sounds like you are at a point where you would not stick out as too overweight (if at all as I do not know what your physique looks like, you could be all muscle for all I know).

Now there are people in this hobby who are built completely upside down (as there are everywhere) and yes some are on these (and other) boards but I simply ignore and avoid them. The rest of the 99% are great folks both on the mainstream and the authentic side. One thing about this hobby is that it is not for the thin skinned as there are always debates and arguments going on but they are usually more constructive than destructive. You mentioned that there seems to be a lot of complaints on the threads but if those complaints have led you to learn something or to research something then I would dare say they were quite constructive.

TheBaldYankee
01-04-2007, 07:19 AM
I did get Frenchie's link to work once. The guy's on their are extremly large. That I can see as a problem. I took the original post as a broader complaint include poeple under 300 lbs. Perhaps I misread. I'm still of the opinion though that it's best not to worry about the other guy. That goes for people that scream "stitch counter" as well. And freindly advise from someone more experienced is always to be appreciated, IMO.

Debates are a good thing, and I do learn from, and enjoy them. There's just a few out there that take things to a level that, in my opinion, can be disrespctful. It happens on either side of an argument, and it's not just on Civil War forums either. I moderate on a paranormal forum, and there's know-it-all jerks there too. You can't escape it. I'm free with my opinions there too. I'm of the mind..."You do it your way, I'll do it mine, and we can compare notes, and maybe learn from each other". There's no need to argue then, just have freindly debates.

I realizes that the venomous complaints are NOT the norm. I like this site or else I would not continue to visit it. I learned alot here and for that I say thank you to everyone.

Yes I am doing alot of research, which is why I've already got most of my kit assembled. I already know that I'm going to love this hobby, from the little bit of drilling and firing I did with my unit president. I've been into the WBTS since I was a kid.

I don't think I'll stick out, but I've been a large guy most of my life. My lightest adult wieght was 215, and that was when I was not living the healthiest way. My head looked to big in my body. I have broad shoulders, a wide chest, and musclular arms and legs. Really the only thing I can change is reduce the gut a bit. My career (massage therapy) involves alot of upper body work. I'm building muscle wether I like it or not. So I am bigger than the average CW soldier. But, my blood pressure is good, I have no trouble walkin long distances, no diabetes, and a strong immune system.

To give an idea of my build....

I'm thinking about taking my sack coat to a tailor to see if it can be taken in at the belly somehow. I bought a size 50 regular. The trouble (and I have this getting modern suits too) is they make size 50 coats wider the bottom to accomodate a larger belly then what I have. The coat fits my chest perfect, but I have a ton of room lower down. Now I know they are supposed to hang loose. That's where the name sack coat came from, but I don't want to look like I'm wearing a bell if I don't have my belt on.

Anthony Salem

Rob Weaver
01-04-2007, 08:30 AM
FWIW- While you're looking at original photos of troops in the field, check out a few of men behind the Federal lines at Petersburg, or in other places where armies were fairly sedentary. I'm thinking of a photo of the interior of Ft Burnham. There's a soldier standing in the left rear of the photo in a sack coat. He obviously doesn't miss many meals! I believe Bruce Catton mentions that Federals knew they were scraping the bottom of the barrel across the lines when the Confederates who came in were well-clothed and fat. Homeguards. I don't really want to contribute to the TBG arguement other than to say that to a certain extent, I've come to see the actual doing of reenacting less a a mental and historical exercise, and more as a weekend sport which requires a certain level of fitness maintenance in order to perform well and safely. My personal story is in other threads, so I won't reiterate it here. Suffice to say, I'm able to do more, safely, in shape than out. That having been said, not all of us are young healthy bucks (or does ;) ) anymore. Some of us have health challenges. Nevertheless, I would strongly recommend that reenactors engage in some sort of physical activity that prepares you for marching, carrying loads, running short distances over uneven ground and living under primitive conditions for short periods of time. Hunting experts recommend the same for even casual hunters. I think the stresses on the body are similar, if you think about it. Are we likely still to present a heavier-than-period appearance? Probably. Remember, some of those guys wrecked their health on army food. We don't really want to do that. But we need to be healthy enough to be safe.

Wounded_Zouave
01-04-2007, 08:38 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spare_Man
What's not appealing about standing in the hot sun while wearing wool clothing and being yelled at by a self-appointed jackass? Young people today have a more authentic option: a real war they can go and fight in. And if that doesn't appeal to them they can find a heck of a lot more statisfaction playing a video Civil War game than wasting time and money on a hobby where nothing ever goes as planned.

There's some truth in that which is sobering.


There is more than just some truth in that and that is even more sobering.
__________________


Heck, I've sobered up. It's the Gospel truth.