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jurgitemvaletem
06-20-2007, 02:02 PM
Anyone notice the Buy/sell/trade forum lately. The 3rd poster this week just posted all his stuff for sale, saying he is getting out of the hobby.


What is going on? What are we doing, or not doing as reenactors and active members of our units to not be able to retain these members?

Memphis
06-20-2007, 02:06 PM
Ultimately, the friendships you make in the hobby keep you in the hobby.

Rob Weaver
06-20-2007, 04:46 PM
I tell people never to sell their basic gear, no matter how desperate you get. You'll never get what you paid for out of it, and when you want to get back in, the cost will be prohibitive. I dragged some Rev War stuff around for 10 years that I only got to use once a year, but that once a year was worth it.
I alos believe that the so-called draw-down is going to be good for reenacting. Part of it is inevitable; the boomers are aging and retiring, and it was their/our hobby. The simple numbers involved are going to be big. There are also still people in reenacting who really just wanted to recreate the movie "Gettysburg" and weren't really interested in the period all that much. Next they'll reenact "Band of Brothers" for a few years. Finally, and please don't flame me, because I mean no harm, campaigning has a high burnout rate. The expense + the high commitment + the hard use on gear add up to an undeniably intense experience. I think the hyper-individuality of our current unit and event structure (i.e., I pick the events I go to, and I do the legwork, and I have the experience, etc) are not really conducive to forming the deep relationships that keep you in any activity for the long haul, whether it's reenacting or bowling or going to church. At some point, the thing in question becomes less important than those you're doing it with.
All that being said, I keep my advice to anyone still reading. Keep a basic kit, because you're going to wake up some morning and go "Gee, I really want to do Civil War again" and you'll be able to.

rick35ovi
06-20-2007, 05:23 PM
A agree that a lot of us are aging out of the hobby, some of them are being drawn the WW II side but i believe if we keep up the good work doing what we are doing the next generation will come around soon enough. We have recently been trying to recruit more this year and have been generating a lot of interest again, Now transfering that interest to bodies on the field is the hardest part!
If your not happy where you are at or who you are with, look around a little or take some time off, Just don't give up the ghost. What we do is really something special and should be enjoyed. I have recently proposed to our group to try and contact as many old members they can get a hold of and try and get them to come to Mill Springs as a unit reunion of sorts. Hopefully it may bring one or two back and have some fun again.

toptimlrd
06-20-2007, 07:08 PM
Like most things I believe thereis an ebb and flow to the hobby. We are now in one of the low points of the curve and with the 150th anniversaries coming up we should start to see an upswing in interest. Like many have said, as much as we hate what Hollywood does to history it does spark interest. Right now WWII is hot: Band of Brothers, Flags of our Fathers, Letters From Iwo Jima, Saving Private Ryan, etc. Hopefully we will see an overall push back towards Civil War themes in the coming years which will spark the imagination of the next generation of reenactors.

ThumbStall
06-21-2007, 07:48 AM
What is going on? What are we doing, or not doing as reenactors and active members of our units to not be able to retain these members? Several factors.

(1) Boredom. After the first few years the hobby becomes dull. Even the mega-events with thousands of troops become ho-hum. Once you've seen it, you've seen it. Been there, done that.

(2) Egos. The same old faces barking orders year after year. The self-appointed officer and NCO class doesn't want change to shatter their little worlds. Yeah, I know, lots of units have elections or mandate different officers/NCOs be rotated from the ranks every year, etc., etc., etc. Sometimes that works, but sometimes not. Like musical chairs somebody is gonna be left standing and get their feelings hurt.

(3) Macro-Farbism (e.g., too many rebs, not enough yanks.) This may be the biggest problem. Scarlet O'Hara hisses "Dirty Yankees" and the world falls for it hook,line and sinker. And people wonder why WWII is draining the CW hobby. Because of basic honesty. Nobody over there is trying to prove that the Nazis were not fighting for racial superiority... at least not openly.

(4) Micro-Authenticity. The Campaigner/Progressive/Hardcore/Stichcounting/What-Ever-Its-Called-Today movement. Yeah, it's fun for the elite few, but the majority who got into the hobby, still think of it as a hobby, not an experiment in ancient boatbuilding and seamanship a la Kon-Tiki.

Che
06-21-2007, 08:04 AM
(4) Micro-Authenticity. The Campaigner/Progressive/Hardcore/Stichcounting/What-Ever-Its-Called-Today movement. Yeah, it's fun for the elite few, but the majority who got into the hobby, still think of it as a hobby, not an experiment in ancient boatbuilding and seamanship a la Kon-Tiki.

Which is why I am an advocate for unabashed farbism. :mrgreen:

madisontigers
06-21-2007, 08:42 AM
A-men," the same $^&* , different day day" mentality drives quite a few people out of the hobby. This is the main reason I continue to try different impressions, events, and sides. This allows me to experience many different sides of the hobby, thus not making it as likely that I will burn out. One can only reenact Gettysburg so many times.


Dave Long

jurgitemvaletem
06-21-2007, 11:47 AM
Which is why you try new and different things. For me, personaly, I have started attending events such as Down The Valley, Shenandoah '62, McDowell, and a couple others over the past couple years in an attempt to broaden my understanding of the hobby in a way that I can hopefuly get a better experience of what life was actualy like for a soldier, and honestly it has probably kept me in the hobby longer than I would have been if I was just doing the same old, same old every weekend. It has given me something more to do, and has honestly given me a new aspect as to how to look at those same old same old weekends. It has allowed me to be able to make the same old same old weekends more realistic, by carrying on the experiences I have from the others.

Milliron
06-21-2007, 12:24 PM
(4) Micro-Authenticity. The Campaigner/Progressive/Hardcore/Stichcounting/What-Ever-Its-Called-Today movement. Yeah, it's fun for the elite few, but the majority who got into the hobby, still think of it as a hobby, not an experiment in ancient boatbuilding and seamanship a la Kon-Tiki.

Actually, I find this to be an amusing and quite accurate description of that end of the hobby. However, it does beg the question: Wasn't Kon-tiki at its essence an exercise in hobbying? I never quite considered authentic-type reenacting "experimental archaeology", but it is. However, it's really the same hobby at the end of the day.

I mostly agree with this statement:


Ultimately, the friendships you make in the hobby keep you in the hobby.

I find this to be the major cause of attrition. Person A leaves for his own reasons, thus causing Persons B, C, and D to leave, then their whole organization. Our relationships hold up both ends of the hobby. I personally believe many c/p/h'ers would likely bow out if all their friends were gone, although perhaps to a lesser degree. The love is the love, however. I am here because I love the period, not because I get to wear wool clothes and act like a "hardkewl." I can't really see getting out, even though a number of friends of mine have now left the hobby.

toptimlrd
06-21-2007, 08:27 PM
One reason I love being a "fence sitter"; I can be at the mega events and have a good time and I can go to the more immersive events to have a difference in perspective and a good time. By varying the events I go to it relieves the monotony of the same old same old all the time.

Shermans_Neckties
06-22-2007, 08:24 AM
(4) Micro-Authenticity. The Campaigner/Progressive/Hardcore/Stichcounting/What-Ever-Its-Called-Today movement. Yeah, it's fun for the elite few, but the majority who got into the hobby, still think of it as a hobby, not an experiment in ancient boatbuilding and seamanship a la Kon-Tiki. LOL. I have to admit I had to do a web search and give myself a refresher course on what Kon-Tiki was. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kon-Tiki ) Unlike Kon-Tiki however, the C/P/H/ movement isn't trying to prove anything other than perhaps oneupmanship. I believe in looking correct and acting correct, that's what gives the historic rush, but for the noviciate its a puzzle that takes time to unravel and may put a damper on their raw enthusiasm that attracted them to the hobby in the first place.

Milliron
06-22-2007, 09:58 AM
LOL. I have to admit I had to do a web search and give myself a refresher course on what Kon-Tiki was. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kon-Tiki ) Unlike Kon-Tiki however, the C/P/H/ movement isn't trying to prove anything other than perhaps oneupmanship. I believe in looking correct and acting correct, that's what gives the historic rush, but for the noviciate its a puzzle that takes time to unravel and may put a damper on their raw enthusiasm that attracted them to the hobby in the first place.

'Sigh' Here we go again. . .

Actually, I agree with certain aspects of your post. The remark about "oneupsmanship," eh, not so much. However, I do think that there is a definite learning curve vis-a-vis authenticity that can be a little intimidating to the new guy. I been told this by fresh fish. I was certainly intimidated when I started doing ACW. I had been doing War of 1812 for about 13 years at that time (and it don't get much streamier than 1812 let me assure you), and was really concerned I would get called out by some hardkewl a_____e at an event. It didn't help that my pard who was initiating me into the hobby was probably one of the biggest offenders in that regard (he has since left the hobby). However, I was looking for an alternative to what had gone before, so I sucked it up, did the research, spent the money, and dove right in. I have never had a problem at an event from an authenticity requirements standpoint.

Now, I realize that I came to this from a different place. Somebody who has never reenacted in their life has further to go than someone who just wants to kick it up a notch. However, I really don't think a person necessarily has to "evolve" into an authentic impression. I think you can start from one without dampening enthusiasm. This actually is where I think the mainstream and authentic wings (should) converge.

Let's suppose your average fresh fish is a young guy with a lot of enthusiasm for history, not a lot of $$, and wants to be in the big battle with lots of people, sleep in a tent, drink a little beer, meet a lot of new friends and go someplace he has never been to before. There is nothing about emphasizing or expecting authenticity that does violence to those notions. True, what he is doing may not look much like a soldier on campaign, but let's face it, mainstream reenacting is probably going to be more "fun" for him. That's OK. However, emphasizing a person's own efforts to learn more, improve his fieldcraft and endurance and improving the material aspects of his impression don't preclude any of the more "fun" aspects of the hobby.

When I met authentics, I thought they were certifiably crazy and had real skepticism about that part of the hobby ("can't we just go to the ball for a LITTLE while?") It wasn't until I did authentic events that I had the so-called "eureka" experience and "got it." I met a few people and realized that they weren't crazy or arrested-development types a la Tony Horwitz, but were really a lot of very nice, together, and accepting people. I realized I could never have that experience at a more traditional event, and have never looked back.

I always consider that making an event more physically demanding, sometimes unpleasant, and harder to "qualify for" replaces that challenge that young men in our society don't really have to face much any more (unless you happen to be in the military, particularly now). In my experience, fresh fish WANT that challenge, not just a good time. If they get it, and overcome it, they will have gained something a dozen NSA max effort events could never give them--pride in who they are and an appreciation for what their forefathers did. Those kinds of experiences are hard to find nowadays without risking death and injury in a foreign land, and are still worth trying to create, for us and for them.

Tarheel57
06-22-2007, 07:51 PM
Greetings,
I am not sure if this posting is appropriate since I am a very new member of the board, but I just thought I would share my experience. I have never attended an ACW event as a reenactor, and I have never been a member of a unit. I spent about fourteen years working with a High School medieval club doing a variety of events such as Fairs, school events, and public demos; as well as a number of adult Living History organizations. I am a Librarian 46 years old, and I have been a Civil War buff since High School. I have done much research on my ACW ancestors and their units. I first became aware of the scope of ACW reenacting about four or five years ago, and getting tired of the Medieval thing, I was very enthusiastic. I joined a local ACW forum hoping to find out about units and gain general knowledge about the ACW Reenacting world. During the several years I was on that list, I gained nothing. It was dominated by a small coterie of people who constantly criticized others. They were quick to tell you you were wrong, but they wre consistently uable to provide documentation. Thier "documentation" consisted of telling you their reenacting rank and how many years they have been doing it. They were quick to tell you that you had to "get it right" to "honor [your] ancestors", but no one would give share any advice. Their stock replies were "Join a Unit" and "Do your research". When I asked point-blank why they would not share advice on gear, the consensus seemed to be "We know a lot of people who are in the sutler business, and we don't feel we should comment on their wares." Hmmm.... I ran into several local ACW reenactors at a local ren faire, and the wife of one, upon hearing me say I was interested in ACW reenacting and finding a unit, promptly called me a "farb" who knew nothing. She shook her finger in my face "You'd better watch out!", she snapped. "[In ACW reenacting], *we* know what we're doing!" (She was wearing her Civil War era bonnet and dress at a medieval event! Talk about century-challenged!) When asked some of them about their unit, if it was local, etc. they would not answer. This happened with a number of people. It was a catch 22. They won't talk to you unless you join a unit; but you can't join a unit unless folks will talk to you! They seem like a college fraternity: you have to "prove" yourself and if you run the gauntlet of abuse, they might find you "worthy". But, for me, life is too short for this. The only people who were helpful were civilians and women, and when they emailed me offlist they acted almost furtive, like they were breaking some sort of rule. Finally, after a few years of this, I gave up and quit the list. Ironically, that list is virtually dead now. I have a basic uniform and gear and I do school visits and library visits, and community events. In my library I do ACW book displays, and dioramas. A friend of mine had the same thing happen, and he does ACW Living History as part of his teaching curriculum. I joined the present list hoping to rekindle my interest in ACW reenacting, and to gain knowedge. I don't know if my experiences as a potential newbie are common or not, but this sort of thing certainly discourages newcomers!

Milliron
06-23-2007, 08:05 AM
Wow, that is a negative experience. I can't say I have ever experienced that in 24 years of reenacting. I'm not sure what's going on down in south Florida, but it doesn't bear much resemblance to the hobby in Ohio or anywhere else I've been.

A couple of observations: Anybody who cites their "rank" and time in the hobby as authority for anything is a farb by any definition. Further, I would avoid seeking input from anyone wearing their clothing at the local Ren-fest.

Sir, you clearly haven't been talking to the right people. It's probably highly unlikely that the people you describe participate much in the hobby on any level. I'm sure there is somebody here who can put you in touch with a quality unit near you, and if not, I know there are any number of quality groups that would willingly help you if you're still interested. For myself, I am affiliated with the Western Independent Grays, among others, and mostly do events in Georgia and Middle Tennessee. You can find out more at: www.westernindependentgrays.org.

Honestly, I have never had an experience like the one you describe. Now I can add that many reenactors, now more than ever, are emphasizing authenticity and may be unreceptive to folks who aren't. I'm not sure how you approached the people who spurned you, but their reaction seems a bit odd. If you truly want to learn and develop your impression, their are dozens of people on this board alone who will help you.

ILYankee5
06-23-2007, 09:20 AM
In response to a couple posts in this thread, it is very hard to start into Civil War reenacting. In fact, in can be intimidating. I had done War of 1812 for about 7 years when I started into ACW, I was intimidated. My 1812 outfit is as about authentic as it can get. However my CW uniform is still improving. And see, that should be an important thing. A reenactor should always be trying to improve. Whether it’s their uniform, maybe a 1st person, or if you are a doctor your trade; people should look to improve. But, that is where we all should HELP one another not badger each other until a person wants to sell all their equipment and quit. As a group of reenactors as a whole, we should try to promote a fun-filled authentic HOBBY. People should realize some units don’t want to do hardcore “stitch-counters.” Other units should realize everyone don’t want to be a looser knit group. But the fact is, if a reenactment wants numbers and lets face it, that draws crowds; the reenactment will have to allow both. But I agree with many people on this post. One of the reasons why a lot of people are getting out of the hobby is because people are running them off. What good is a Captain when you have 2 men? Also, I know of 3 people from around where I live (which is Southern Illinois) who quit because they (like myself) just graduated college and were having to pay student loans off and can't afford $3.12 a gallon for gas. But it sickens me to see people quitting because of issues that went on with other people over authenticity or something like that. But, I was told long ago, just because you love history doesn’t mean you should love reenacting or have to do it. Like I said before, we should band together on this and help each other improve on our impressions and promote a fun-filled HOBBY that is “user friendly.”

ILYankee5

tompritchett
06-23-2007, 10:48 AM
Like I said before, we should band together on this and help each other improve on our impressions and promote a fun-filled HOBBY that is “user friendly.” (emphasis mine)

I would like to emphasize quite strongly the importance that this should always be an enjoyable hobby. Yes, honoring those brave men, preservation, educating the public, capturing a glimpse of what they endured are all important, but, if you can not enjoy yourself and enjoy interacting with those around you as you do it, you will either burn out yourself or burn out the people around you. Yes authencity is important, but I am not going to allow some other unit's lack of authencity ruin my enjoyment of the hobby, unless it creates safety related issues that potentially impact myself or other members of my unit. To avoid burn-out over doing the same old-same old, try attending different types of events. Challenge yourself with more authentic events. Maybe back off with a lesser authentic local event where you will have a chance to interact with the public more or just relax with good friends. If you are feeling frustrated with the hobby, take a break for a year, whatever. But for the sake of the hobby, don't take your frustration out on others. There have been times when the various CW forums have looked like a cyber-version of the Hatfields and McCoys with feuds lasting years - and not all are between the Mainstreamers and c/p/h'ers. Fortunately, we have gotten a pretty good handle on those feuds here recently, but just imagine what those feuds look like to someone wanting to come into the hobby in terms of being something enjoyable and "user friendly".

Lt15nwARK
06-23-2007, 11:28 AM
(emphasis mine)

but just imagine what those feuds look like to someone wanting to come into the hobby in terms of being something enjoyable and "user friendly".


Amen!! As we all know: if it stops being fun, most people will quit doing it. For the sake of the hobby, we got to quit infighting so much and start helping each other more!

reb64
06-23-2007, 12:04 PM
Too many sutlers and reenactors nowadys seem to have come out of a time capsule and know it all, tell it all. Nothing is good enough to wear unless made by them, approved by them. took the fun out of making my own. too many questions about stiches etc. sound like a bunch of girls talking over underwear at walmart.

Tarheel57
06-23-2007, 04:38 PM
Wow, that is a negative experience. I can't say I have ever experienced that in 24 years of reenacting. I'm not sure what's going on down in south Florida, but it doesn't bear much resemblance to the hobby in Ohio or anywhere else I've been.

A couple of observations: Anybody who cites their "rank" and time in the hobby as authority for anything is a farb by any definition. Further, I would avoid seeking input from anyone wearing their clothing at the local Ren-fest.
Sir, you clearly haven't been talking to the right people. It's probably highly unlikely that the people you describe participate much in the hobby on any level. I'm sure there is somebody here who can put you in touch with a quality unit near you, and if not, I know there are any number of quality groups that would willingly help you if you're still interested. For myself, I am affiliated with the Western Independent Grays, among others, and mostly do events in Georgia and Middle Tennessee. You can find out more at: www.westernindependentgrays.org.

Honestly, I have never had an experience like the one you describe. Now I can add that many reenactors, now more than ever, are emphasizing authenticity and may be unreceptive to folks who aren't. I'm not sure how you approached the people who spurned you, but their reaction seems a bit odd. If you truly want to learn and develop your impression, their are dozens of people on this board alone who will help you.

Thanks for the reply! I am glad to hear you say this about people who always emphasize their rank. The end for me n that particular forum came when someone posted a reeanctors joke about the Cavalry, and was blasted by a guy who began with "I'm a 1LT in the largest Federal Cavalry unit on the East coast...and I've been reenacting for 20 years." Then he proceeded to accuse the joke poster of "insulting the Cavalry" and went into a spiel about honring his ancestors and educating the public. One woman did come back and say something like hey, it was joke, lighten up, but the "1LT" seemed to sum up the list. While I've been lurking here, I've noticed that people don't make a big deal over their rank and unit, etc.

As you mentioned, I often wondered just how many people on that list were really active in reenacting, because a lot of the posts seemed to be political, i.e. who committed the most atrocities, who was "right", etc. I observed that I was interested in Reenacting the ACW, not refighting it, and this seemed to rub some people the wrong way.

I was greatly puzzled at how people would not want people to check out their unit. I must have had five or six people tell me "I'll tell our commander you're interested, and we'll give you a call, but heard nothing. Heck, in our Medieval groups, I talked to everyone and anyone, handing out our email and phone number like mad, figuring that if one in ten actually called us it was great.

Regarding how I reacted with these people, well, when the woman called me a "farb" I just walked away. When the guys wouldn't tell me their unit, I asked them again one or twice and then just dropped it. On the list, when people told me I was wrong in a discussion, I would cite my sources down to the page number, and say I really wanted to be correct so I would be grateful if they would provide sources more accurate than mine. This never happened. I emailed a few people offlist for advice on uniforms, and no one ever replied. (Several "civilians" did talk to me about civilian frock coats and hats, though.) I finally just blew it off, and had a bit of fun, One guy kept sending me messages about modern Southern Rights, so I emailed him back and asked where I could get an authentic pair of Confederate trousers and he stopped sending me emails.

I was thrilled the see that this forum discusses uniforms and equipment in such detail, in the short time I've been here I've gotten more practical information than in three years on the FL list. In a year or two I hope to move back to North Carolina, and I am hoping I can find a "home" up there. Thanks again!

Milliron
06-23-2007, 06:21 PM
I was greatly puzzled at how people would not want people to check out their unit. I must have had five or six people tell me "I'll tell our commander you're interested, and we'll give you a call, but heard nothing. Heck, in our Medieval groups, I talked to everyone and anyone, handing out our email and phone number like mad, figuring that if one in ten actually called us it was great.

Actually I'm not all that surprised. Most ACW groups are conglomerations of smaller groups or messes. Admittance to those groups is generally going to be by invitation only. Remember what was said earlier in this thread about relationships keeping you in the hobby? You are correct in that admittance is not necessarily all that easy. There are reasons for this. Anybody who has had an event ruined by being stuck with somebody's second-cousin-from-out-of town-who thinks-he-kinda-maybe-wants to reenact knows what I am talking about. Most groups have longstanding personal relationships. Remember, though, really all you need is one good traveling partner (or "pard"), and you can go to most any event you desire to. The relationships come later.

This board is a good place to start. The folks here are by and large serious minded about what they do. That you are an adult helps a great deal. You can look here or on the AC board as well. Keep in mind, however, the AC tends to be a bit more focused on more experienced reenactors and can be less tolerant of newbie questions. There are still a lot of people willing to help newcomers, however. Good luck.

Tarheel57
06-23-2007, 08:45 PM
Actually I'm not all that surprised. Most ACW groups are conglomerations of smaller groups or messes. Admittance to those groups is generally going to be by invitation only. Remember what was said earlier in this thread about relationships keeping you in the hobby? You are correct in that admittance is not necessarily all that easy. There are reasons for this. Anybody who has had an event ruined by being stuck with somebody's second-cousin-from-out-of town-who thinks-he-kinda-maybe-wants to reenact knows what I am talking about. Most groups have longstanding personal relationships. Remember, though, really all you need is one good traveling partner (or "pard"), and you can go to most any event you desire to. The relationships come later.

This board is a good place to start. The folks here are by and large serious minded about what they do. That you are an adult helps a great deal. You can look here or on the AC board as well. Keep in mind, however, the AC tends to be a bit more focused on more experienced reenactors and can be less tolerant of newbie questions. There are still a lot of people willing to help newcomers, however. Good luck.


I understand completely. This is also true of other time period reenactment as well. I guess what threw me was people saying they would be in touch and never doing so. Maybe this was just being polite, but I would be perfectly comfortable with someone simply being honest and saying a unit is by invitation only. On most websites they say they welcome newcomers, but there are probably unspoken qualifications to this. This is a huge hurdle if you live in the "outback" like I do. Virtually all of the units I've heard about in Florida are in the central/northern part of the state, making casual events is out of the question. I also work many weekends, so I have to plan long in advance. I'm not unwilling to do this. In fact, I attended a Rev War event in S.C. I think it's ironic that many people on the other list complained about not having enough people at some events, but if it's a "closed society" that's the downside. It also renders their constant refrain to "join a unit" somewhat ironic. If they are the units, and they are not willing to consider you, it's a meaningless admonition. What I was hoping to do was what I had done in Rev War, meet people on the lists who attended the event, then go as a spectator to meet them, then see how everything jived. But after all the criticism and condescension, not to mention the "I'm a (name your rank) so my word is final" stuff on the list, it put a bad taste in my mouth and I had no desire to. I actually started putting some of my stuff on Ebay (I sold a pair of Jefferson boots I am still kicking myself for) before I decided not to let that list scare me off from ACW. I think some people don't realize that whether they are on a public list or an event, they are an "ambassador" for the hobby as a whole. They can leave a potential recruit, even if it's not for their unit, with either a very positive outlook or a very negative one towards ACW reenactment. BTW, I've checked out the AC forum, I understand:) Thanks for your advice!

flattop32355
06-24-2007, 03:34 PM
I am glad to hear you say this about people who always emphasize their rank.

To quote another reenactor's tagline: "The only rank is reenactor; everything else is just an impression."


The end for me n that particular forum came when someone posted a reeanctors joke about the Cavalry, and was blasted by a guy...

Realize that some fora are there for a specific group of people who share certain, shall we say, interesting ideas on certain subjects. They aren't there for you to question, only for mutual support of whatever ideas they wish to push forth. Fact is immaterial compared to their "truth".

There are also fora where the main goal is to allow a vehicle to denigrate others under some other guise. If you ain't in the group, you're fair game; fresh meat.

[QUOTE]While I've been lurking here, I've noticed that people don't make a big deal over their rank and unit, etc.[QUOTE]

Be aware that all is not always sweetness and light here, or on any other reasonable forum for that matter. Personality conflicts, non-compatable viewpoints, etc. can sometimes run their course through this forum. The moderators try to limit the fallout and get the discussions back on track. For the most part here, even when reason doesn't win out, civil debate still reigns. That's about as much as one can hope for when people are involved.

Rob Weaver
06-24-2007, 07:13 PM
... promptly called me a "farb" who knew nothing. She shook her finger in my face "You'd better watch out!", she snapped. "[In ACW reenacting], *we* know what we're doing!"

That's a hoot. When I started in Revolutionary War we used to say, "We're not like the folks in Civil War. We actually research our impressions." An impression may be only skin deep, but apparently arrogance goes to the bone. ;)

Tarheel57
06-24-2007, 11:46 PM
To quote another reenactor's tagline: "The only rank is reenactor; everything else is just an impression."



Realize that some fora are there for a specific group of people who share certain, shall we say, interesting ideas on certain subjects. They aren't there for you to question, only for mutual support of whatever ideas they wish to push forth. Fact is immaterial compared to their "truth".

There are also fora where the main goal is to allow a vehicle to denigrate others under some other guise. If you ain't in the group, you're fair game; fresh meat.


Be aware that all is not always sweetness and light here, or on any other reasonable forum for that matter. Personality conflicts, non-compatable viewpoints, etc. can sometimes run their course through this forum. The moderators try to limit the fallout and get the discussions back on track. For the most part here, even when reason doesn't win out, civil debate still reigns. That's about as much as one can hope for when people are involved.


That is so true about forums, and the other list was a great example. I hope it's still dying a natural death. It did teach me that I should have gotten out while the getting was good. I have known many people in Medieval groups whose whole sense of self-worth was literally wrapped up in their group and "persona" amd I guess there are people like that in all areas.
I agree with your comment on civil debate being the best one can hope for, and that's much more than some lists have. I think this type of forum here is much better than most Yahoo groups, where things can really get out of hand if a moderator doesn't monitor well. I also feel that Yahoo groups are too anonymous sometimes. I know I've said it before, but I just love th discussions I've seen here on uniforms and equipment. Being a "solitary" so to speak, I've found that there is only so much one can learn from reading articles, books, websites etc. and it's indespensible to hear people who have been "hands on" for a long time. On another thread someone said that participating with a unit is vital for learning drill, and this is something I'm ashamed to admit I never thought about, but I am taking it to heart.

vamick
06-26-2007, 02:40 PM
not that Im hunting mind ya:rolleyes: but if one cannot join the "heman crawdaddy killers" or tha " One eyed tigerkillers mess' without an 'invite'...just where does one GET an invite or how?..I ,mean where are ya "seen" and deemed "worthy" of being a "greeneyed wollybogger" er some such???...this is a bit childish dontcha think???...and BTW give tha secret sign when replying!:D

Milliron
06-26-2007, 09:21 PM
not that Im hunting mind ya:rolleyes: but if one cannot join the "heman crawdaddy killers" or tha " One eyed tigerkillers mess' without an 'invite'...just where does one GET an invite or how?..I ,mean where are ya "seen" and deemed "worthy" of being a "greeneyed wollybogger" er some such???...this is a bit childish dontcha think???...and BTW give tha secret sign when replying!:D

I don't mean an "invite" like you're joining a fraternity. But do members of your particular group willingly associate with anyone and everyone? It's not a matter of being "worthy", but rather a function of whether you fit within a relatively small group of people. I can think of plenty of "worthy" people with whom I would rather not share my campfire.

I guess the best way would be to ask you how YOU became affiliated with those whom you participate? In my experience I would be a more than a bit hesitant to join any group where the only criterion was to show up at event X, and "hey, you're in!" I think it takes time to get to know people and more time to trust them not to accidentally blow your head off in line, and I don't think that's childish, but wise. But I can't and don't pretend to speak for everyone.

Frenchie
06-26-2007, 09:53 PM
"I wouldn't want to join any club that would have someone like me for a member." -- Groucho Marx :D

TNCivilian
06-26-2007, 10:10 PM
By the time I left my group in 1995, I was strongly suffering from burn-out. After 9 years, it had caught up to me, though the year before seemed worse. So I took the summer off, and came back as a Civilian. The next year, for better or worse, I made myself a Paymaster and promoted myself up to Staff Major. This lasted until I got married, and shortly after my Wife had our Daughter.

But I still have my Sharps carbine, and all other equipment, including an 1859 McClellan saddle ( supposedly with an Original Tree), and most of my other Mounted gear.

I suppose I always figured that sometime in the future I would get back into reenacting.

captdougofky
06-27-2007, 07:04 AM
(emphasis mine)

I would like to emphasize quite strongly the importance that this should always be an enjoyable hobby. Yes, honoring those brave men, preservation, educating the public, capturing a glimpse of what they endured are all important, but, if you can not enjoy yourself and enjoy interacting with those around you as you do it, you will either burn out yourself or burn out the people around you. Yes authencity is important, but I am not going to allow some other unit's lack of authencity ruin my enjoyment of the hobby, unless it creates safety related issues that potentially impact myself or other members of my unit. To avoid burn-out over doing the same old-same old, try attending different types of events. Challenge yourself with more authentic events. Maybe back off with a lesser authentic local event where you will have a chance to interact with the public more or just relax with good friends. If you are feeling frustrated with the hobby, take a break for a year, whatever. But for the sake of the hobby, don't take your frustration out on others. There have been times when the various CW forums have looked like a cyber-version of the Hatfields and McCoys with feuds lasting years - and not all are between the Mainstreamers and c/p/h'ers. Fortunately, we have gotten a pretty good handle on those feuds here recently, but just imagine what those feuds look like to someone wanting to come into the hobby in terms of being something enjoyable and "user friendly".
Last year between working out of town and rebuilding the carriage on a cannon I did not attend many events. The time away renewed my desire to get back out there. There was times in the rebuild of the cannon that I would ask myself let someone else do this you've done enough. When I completed the rebuild I was ready to go. Not the 20 events a year of old but 5 or 6 of the ones I and the rest of the Battery wanted to do. The Campbell-Hall event I went to while working in New York was a great time. No crew to worry about and meeting other reenactors. Change is good but not at the expense of the hobby. Infighting over who has the best uniforms or the proper camp needs to stop, a few of these posts by newbies should tell us all something. Keep it fun and civil, history will not suffer because we show good manners. In some circles they call that leadership.

Always
Doug Thomas
Lyons Battery CS
Kentucky

vamick
06-27-2007, 08:06 AM
"I wouldn't want to join any club that would have someone like me for a member." -- Groucho Marx :D


:D :D AHHH! a MAN OF TASTE!!! I salute you sir!

vamick
06-27-2007, 08:31 AM
I don't mean an "invite" like you're joining a fraternity. But do members of your particular group willingly associate with anyone and everyone? It's not a matter of being "worthy", but rather a function of whether you fit within a relatively small group of people. I can think of plenty of "worthy" people with whom I would rather not share my campfire.


***Well 'we' find that they seem to sort themselves out..themselves, 'many are called", but few make that step or stick. My battery has at any give time 35 er so ecffective members, with a core of that number that are able to do everything or go anywhere, as with any sizable group I feel all my comrades are worthy, some more so than others perhaps, and naturally folks congregate as they will since not all these 'worthies' mesh with each other in a social way I share all campfires and all in my battery are more than welcome to share mine..even if some get on my nerves:D ****




I guess the best way would be to ask you how YOU became affiliated with those whom you participate?

**After a few years as a 'reenactment hangaround and gopher" with a coupla cav units I came upon a battery member recruiting at a large local flea market beside the SCV and decided Id make that move and get my feet wet, Id always had a spot for horse artillery/Pelham/Breathed et al, and after all its still dept of cav!:D ****


In my experience I would be a more than a bit hesitant to join any group where the only criterion was to show up at event X, and "hey, you're in!" I think it takes time to get to know people and more time to trust them not to accidentally blow your head off in line,

**** well isnt that what DRILL is for??, how do you do it in your organization?
which was my point really..."it takes time to know people"..agreed, actually yer lucky if you really come to REALLY KNOW a hand full of people in yer life..how does this happen if a person doesnt show up at X event?? I know not every warm body that might think its nifty to play soldier is really soldier material, but here is where it gets murky for me with some of the 'messes' out there..????? and it appears that it seems 'murky' to others as well, which tends to smak of "exclusivitivy" which rubs some folks wrong, so how is this accomplished???

and I don't think that's childish, but wise. But I can't and don't pretend to speak for everyone.

***I do think it 'childish' to not just make clear what a certain group's criterian are?..why, even 'certain fraternal motorcycle groups' follow paterns..does one make contact, as the author of this thread tried to?, does one show up and watch and learn first? are blood rites involved?:shock: :D ...I mean lets spell out a few particulars for folks who might be reading this out there in the "gee wiz, this seems really interesting, but I cant get in and these guys must be stuck up or just too clannish for me and I cant even get a friggin straight answer from em" pool of potential fresh fish?? I think a few generalizations on joining units, or approaching more elite units would be good for all concerned. I have to admit Im a bit mystified about how one gets their Jefferson bootee in the door of harder core units, and Im not the shy and retireing type

vamick
06-27-2007, 08:50 AM
By the time I left my group in 1995, I was strongly suffering from burn-out. After 9 years, it had caught up to me, though the year before seemed worse. So I took the summer off, and came back as a Civilian. The next year, for better or worse, I made myself a Paymaster and promoted myself up to Staff Major. This lasted until I got married, and shortly after my Wife had our Daughter.

But I still have my Sharps carbine, and all other equipment, including an 1859 McClellan saddle ( supposedly with an Original Tree), and most of my other Mounted gear.

I suppose I always figured that sometime in the future I would get back into reenacting.


I have a hard time 'letting go' myself, If a doctor told me "If you do X again you will die"...I just know sooner er later if its something I enjoyed, Id do it:D
now that may well be compulsive. stupid er ornery,:rolleyes: but, c'est la vie!
I havent been active at this for a longish time , this is my 6th year, but its been fun and busy including 2 Morgan's raids, and I hope many more events to come but after my 4th year I was starting to , well not burn out, but maybe getting a lil toasted because I approached it whole hog, like it was war, and attended every event and what ever else I could get into...sometimes the very thing that drives us, our zeal, is what tends to burn us if we dont watch out for the warning signs

flattop32355
06-27-2007, 11:39 AM
"I wouldn't want to join any club that would have someone like me for a member." -- Groucho Marx :D

That's why you're Navy, Frenchie, that's why you're Navy. ;)

Frenchie
06-27-2007, 11:53 AM
I resemble that remark! :p

flattop32355
06-27-2007, 12:14 PM
I mean lets spell out a few particulars for folks who might be reading this out there in the "gee wiz, this seems really interesting, but I cant get in and these guys must be stuck up or just too clannish for me and I cant even get a friggin straight answer from em" pool of potential fresh fish??

First, decide what you want to do, and how you wish to do it: Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery or Civilian? Casual reenactor, accurate to the hilt, or something in between? Are you willing/able to travel to events that meet your criteria, even if they are long distance?

Start checking the internet for reenacting units in your area. Personally, I scanned the internet, getting names of outfits within a two hour drive. One fellow in Toledo, Ohio (I'm in Columbus) pointed me to a local unit that didn't have a website. The rest is history. We meshed fairly well. Had we not, there were other units available to try out.

Don't be afraid to test more than one. Falling in with them is the only way to get to know how they compare to what you want, and visa versa. Better to find out early that they aren't for you than later. Just keep in mind that no unit is perfect, we're all insane in our own unique ways, and not everyone gets along with everybody else all the time. Since no one else but me is perfect, I have to allow for that......



I think a few generalizations on joining units, or approaching more elite units would be good for all concerned. I have to admit Im a bit mystified about how one gets their Jefferson bootee in the door of harder core units, and Im not the shy and retireing type

Don't know that I'd call them "elite", but let's settle for more "history heavy" for lack of a better term.

Study the event standards where these people tend to participate. Improve your kit accordingly. Improve your attitude accordingly as well, if needed; mindset has as much (or more) to do with it as the gear. Be able to walk at least two miles in full pack if it's going to be a march.

Try an "advanced" event. It's that simple. For me, the greatest difference was not what I saw these "elite" people doing, but what I didn't see; no anachronisms at all, much less being kept out of sight. No extraneous gear. No running to the car. I knew drill as well as most and better than some, I learned the value of bugle calls, and survived quite well. Some fellows were surprised to discover that it was my first such event. All the fears and trepidations I'd had (and I did have them) were unfounded. The only bad experience for the weekend was a bad case of abrasion from my new drawers rubbing, and someone lent me some powder to help with that.

Most "elite" events are made up of individuals and small messes coming together, rather than larger "units", so a single man alone is no new thing for them.

As for trying to join such a unit/mess, I'd say ask one of the members. See what they say, what's required, and if they're seeking new members. They aren't secret societies, no blood sacrifices are known to exist, and for the most part they are nice people if you can keep them off the forums.

Poor Private
06-27-2007, 02:38 PM
I find that trying/going to different events rather than the sameo-sameo events is a big plus of avaoinding the boredom issue.
Our unit received a special invite to do a Steam train event, last year. It was just our unit and a sister reb/southern unit. We protrayed a unit guarding the corps payroll and dispatch box. We rode the train with the spectators and stayed in first person. We even had infantry riding on top of the tender. What a sight it must have been to travelers driving along side the train tracks to see union infantry on top of the train. Lots of traffic backed up at crossings for the photo opps. And fighting at the train station with the rebs really drew in crowd both days. The railroad officials said that that weekend was their highest grossing ever. Going back again this year.
It helped that the town had a civil war history with our unit. A company came from the town. The main road running thru the town is called "Iron Brigade Highway" It's US12 running thru Coldwater Mi.
To make a long story short our unit had the best participation it had had in several years. :D

vamick
07-02-2007, 01:59 PM
I find that trying/going to different events rather than the sameo-sameo events is a big plus of avaoinding the boredom issue.
Our unit received a special invite to do a Steam train event, last year. It was just our unit and a sister reb/southern unit. We protrayed a unit guarding the corps payroll and dispatch box. We rode the train with the spectators and stayed in first person. We even had infantry riding on top of the tender. What a sight it must have been to travelers driving along side the train tracks to see union infantry on top of the train. Lots of traffic backed up at crossings for the photo opps. And fighting at the train station with the rebs really drew in crowd both days. The railroad officials said that that weekend was their highest grossing ever. Going back again this year.
It helped that the town had a civil war history with our unit. A company came from the town. The main road running thru the town is called "Iron Brigade Highway" It's US12 running thru Coldwater Mi.
To make a long story short our unit had the best participation it had had in several years. :D

That sounds like a fantastic event,!!!!!!!!!!! Im big time in love with steam..when is this taking place?? Could ya post the particulars?? this is the first Ive heard of such an event

toptimlrd
07-03-2007, 06:32 AM
I understand completely. This is also true of other time period reenactment as well. I guess what threw me was people saying they would be in touch and never doing so. Maybe this was just being polite, but I would be perfectly comfortable with someone simply being honest and saying a unit is by invitation only. On most websites they say they welcome newcomers, but there are probably unspoken qualifications to this. This is a huge hurdle if you live in the "outback" like I do. Virtually all of the units I've heard about in Florida are in the central/northern part of the state, making casual events is out of the question. I also work many weekends, so I have to plan long in advance. I'm not unwilling to do this. In fact, I attended a Rev War event in S.C. I think it's ironic that many people on the other list complained about not having enough people at some events, but if it's a "closed society" that's the downside. It also renders their constant refrain to "join a unit" somewhat ironic. If they are the units, and they are not willing to consider you, it's a meaningless admonition. What I was hoping to do was what I had done in Rev War, meet people on the lists who attended the event, then go as a spectator to meet them, then see how everything jived. But after all the criticism and condescension, not to mention the "I'm a (name your rank) so my word is final" stuff on the list, it put a bad taste in my mouth and I had no desire to. I actually started putting some of my stuff on Ebay (I sold a pair of Jefferson boots I am still kicking myself for) before I decided not to let that list scare me off from ACW. I think some people don't realize that whether they are on a public list or an event, they are an "ambassador" for the hobby as a whole. They can leave a potential recruit, even if it's not for their unit, with either a very positive outlook or a very negative one towards ACW reenactment. BTW, I've checked out the AC forum, I understand:) Thanks for your advice!

Tarheel,

Although you are in South Florida, there are a number of groups in the North and Central part of the state that would welcome you. Check out our website (http://extlab7.entnem.ufl.edu/civilwar/) (or contact me off line since I just checked and the site seems to be down for maintenance at the moment) and our list of events; if you can make one or two of them to check us out we'd be glad to talk to you.

As to how to attend your first "hardcore", "history heavy", "authentic" (or whatever you want to call it) event; find an event you are interested in, contact the organizer, be up front about your impression and possible shortcomings in gear or knowledge and I almost guarantee you they will work with you to get you there. In fact, here's a pretty good primer on such events from the Common Ground Forum http://commonground.aceboard.com/249612-4922-3433-0-Questions-been-afraid.htm

Tarheel57
07-07-2007, 12:59 AM
Tarheel,

Although you are in South Florida, there are a number of groups in the North and Central part of the state that would welcome you. Check out our website (http://extlab7.entnem.ufl.edu/civilwar/) (or contact me off line since I just checked and the site seems to be down for maintenance at the moment) and our list of events; if you can make one or two of them to check us out we'd be glad to talk to you.

As to how to attend your first "hardcore", "history heavy", "authentic" (or whatever you want to call it) event; find an event you are interested in, contact the organizer, be up front about your impression and possible shortcomings in gear or knowledge and I almost guarantee you they will work with you to get you there. In fact, here's a pretty good primer on such events from the Common Ground Forum http://commonground.aceboard.com/249612-4922-3433-0-Questions-been-afraid.htm

Sorry for the late reply, I'm in NC for another day or so and only have access to dial-up, arghh. (I spent an afternoon in Salisbury checking out the site of the POW camp and other ACW related sites.) Thanks for the info! I'll definitely contact you off-list when I return to FL.

michael.shafto
07-31-2007, 04:02 PM
I just arrived at my new duty station (I am in the Army) and was looking for a mounted cavalry unit to join. There were two main things that simply made me throw my hands up in frustration:

1. I am deploying to Iraq. Again. Okay, that is not a reenactor problem, but those pesky combat tours just seem to cut into quality reenacting time.

2. Fees. Where I am now, you have to pay yearly unit dues, say about $25.00. Then you have to pay more money to the overall higher command organization, which is another 30.00 or so (the actual numbers elude me). And that is just for me. If I want to bring my wife and son, more dineros! Then, many events charge a registration fee to cover their costs. This is not counting the fact that I have to take leave from the Army to even go to the event, as well as the gas, uniforms and so on and so forth.

I have been reenacting for years, so I know it costs money. My question is, why all of the extra fees? Where is the money going? I humbly suggest that we stop charging people to reenact. This hobby costs enough without units trying to make a little change on the side.

Please don't tar and feather me for the outrageous coments above. This was something that was bothering me a little.:-o

Respectfully Submitted for Consideration,

Mike Shafto

Poor Private
07-31-2007, 07:01 PM
Sorry Gary,
I missed your post.:sad: The event is held the first weekend after the 4th of July. So it has past for this year. we keep every thing safe aaround the station by pretending that the real (modern) passengers are period. We tell them that we have top evacuate the train, because we are looking for an escaped prisoner. The passengers are hustled behind the spectator ropes and thats when the fun begins. The battle usually lasts about 1/2 hour to 45 minutes.

vamick
08-01-2007, 07:53 AM
we keep every thing safe aaround the station by pretending that the real (modern) passengers are period. We tell them that we have top evacuate the train, because we are looking for an escaped prisoner. The passengers are hustled behind the spectator ropes and thats when the fun begins. The battle usually lasts about 1/2 hour to 45 minutes.

I wondered how you handled that issue...thanks for the info!!

flattop32355
08-01-2007, 08:29 PM
1. I am deploying to Iraq. Again.

First, thanks for your service


2. Fees. Where I am now, you have to pay yearly unit dues, say about $25.00. Then you have to pay more money to the overall higher command organization, which is another 30.00 or so (the actual numbers elude me). And that is just for me. If I want to bring my wife and son, more dineros! Then, many events charge a registration fee to cover their costs.

If you're going to be gone, it doesn't make much sense to pay the dues, unless you have an established loyalty to the unit. Start paying when you get back and can take part.

Different groups handle the umbrella organization fees differently. Our company pays our unit's dues to the umbrella organization out of our dues to the unit, for example. Cavalry may be different from infantry, as well.


I have been reenacting for years, so I know it costs money. My question is, why all of the extra fees? Where is the money going? I humbly suggest that we stop charging people to reenact. This hobby costs enough without units trying to make a little change on the side.

Some fees are to be expected at an event; someone has to pay for water, hay, port-a-pots, insurance, rations, meals, etc. Many events charge extra to insure a donation to preservation causes. So long as the sponsors aren't making a personal profit, I can live with it.

Ideally, you could get the money you need from soaking spectators rather than reenactors, or from corporate sponsorships, but I wouldn't hold my breath, especially for smaller events.

tompritchett
08-01-2007, 08:37 PM
Fees. Where I am now, you have to pay yearly unit dues, say about $25.00. Then you have to pay more money to the overall higher command organization, which is another 30.00 or so (the actual numbers elude me).

Typically umbrella fees are for unit and individual liability insurance, which for cavalry may or may not be higher than infantry. It is my understanding that most larger events now require a proof of insurance for any cavalry unit prior to registration. As for unit fees, when they exist, usually are to cover unit-wide expenses such as common equipment or a newsletter. Personally, I find $25 per person high for a unit fee that does not involve some form of insurance but then that is me and I have no knowledge of what type unit-wide expenses a mounted cavalry unit might have.

As for your redeployment - be safe, come back in one piece, and don't let your buddies down while you are over there.

michael.shafto
08-03-2007, 11:11 AM
Thank you to all who replied. I sincerely appreciate the imput. See you all on the field. Eventually!

Mike Shafto

uozumi
08-21-2007, 11:36 PM
I admit I am just starting the hobby. However, I have noticed that a lot is considered "farb". Most things not farb tend to be expensive. "Farb" and "Period Correct", I am discovering are different depending on who you talk to. I had one very nice lady tell me to make a corded petticoat for my work impression then the next time I saw her, she told me that girls my age would just buy hoops. It's all very confusing to me especially since I have done my research I have been researching for years. I finally decided to join the hobby when I had enough money to pay for school and reenact.

WWII reenacting seems like a cheaper alternative with less headaches about what one unit considers "period correct" versus another unit. WWII uniforms are well documented and some can even be picked up at thrift stores or on ebay inexpensivly. (If only I could find a "period correct" corset or corded petticoat at a thriftstore for $5.) Civil War is losing members to WWII because is a cheaper alternative to a similar thrill. (And no one cares if you have coca-cola in your canteen, wear a poncho in the rain, or hit on the ladies). It's just not my era.

~Steph

sbl
08-22-2007, 04:46 AM
Steph,
I tried WW II for a while but found that as a GI I still had to have a "1942" as opposed to a "1944" this and that to be correct. Original stuff is available but the clothing was mostly too small for me. Repro-clothing is expensive, but usually pretty good quality. I just felt that the people I played with were into the gear and not the period. I was raised by WW II era folks and I had the background. Heck, my father used to Jitterbug, once with a lady guest who was in the Dutch Resistance. GI Camp life was "bitchn'" about Hilary while it seemed like the 3rd Reich guys had the better camp life and the fun wives and girl friends. I'm also twice my father's age when he did WW II for real.

In CW/WBTS you can see the smoke when you're shot at. I can see women having problems with CW/WBTS as my wife found it too "political" and too hard to do with our children.

J2H
08-22-2007, 11:23 PM
I do WWII as well as ACW, and I love WWII Reenacting. Machine guns, tanks, automatic weapons, its awesome :D

I did GI, German, Soviet, and now do Romanian.

uozumi
08-23-2007, 09:33 AM
Steph,
I tried WW II for a while but found that as a GI I still had to have a "1942" as opposed to a "1944" this and that to be correct. Original stuff is available but the clothing was mostly too small for me. Repro-clothing is expensive, but usually pretty good quality. I just felt that the people I played with were into the gear and not the period. I was raised by WW II era folks and I had the background. Heck, my father used to Jitterbug, once with a lady guest who was in the Dutch Resistance. GI Camp life was "bitchn'" about Hilary while it seemed like the 3rd Reich guys had the better camp life and the fun wives and girl friends. I'm also twice my father's age when he did WW II for real.

In CW/WBTS you can see the smoke when you're shot at. I can see women having problems with CW/WBTS as my wife found it too "political" and too hard to do with our children.


Thanks, My only experience is that a friend my age was outfitted with his WWII equipment in a few months. I have been trying to get my Civil War stuff together for almost a year and still am nowhere close. I guess he's young and could fit into some of the smaller stuff, I can see your point. I was purely from a civilian standpoint. I guess it is just as expensive to outfit the soldiers.

My grandmother has pictures of herself during the war and still a few bits of jewlery and dresses that she wore. From a civilian standpoint, I have a first account in my home who can help me sew period appropriate dresses, very similar to what she had. They are also cheaper to make as they only take a few yards of fabric as opposed to a Civil War dress plus the undergarments.

Also, I have a book on sewing from WWII that has patterns in it from which to make dresses. That is an account I am legally allowed to make a dress for myself out of. Avoiding pattern rights and the legality of copying a dress in a museum.

http://www.elizabethstewartclark.com/GAMC/DA/PDF/Ethical%20Dressmaking.pdf

I would go WWII reenact, I just do not have that passion at all.
Thank you for your time,
Steph

sbl
08-23-2007, 12:02 PM
Romanians? Neat! I had a neighbor who was in the Romanian army in WW II and was an artist when I knew him. After he passed away his daughter (pretty) showed me his war time sketch book. Hope she saved it.

One thing I hope the young guys doing WW II don't do is bring the Rambo Rock and Roll Viet Nam culture. :) :)

Memphis
08-23-2007, 01:41 PM
I just felt that the people I played with were into the gear and not the period.

Scott,

The CW hobby has way too much gearhead chatter at times, and that's in the field which is the last place men should be gushing over clothes like high school girls.

sbl
08-23-2007, 03:06 PM
Roger,

Right. I've been around awhile and seen some of this chat in CW/WBTS. I have to say I admire the folks that went to the trouble of researching and making or procuring the better clothes and gear. I also admire the folks that take the clothing and gear and try to look like period soldiers. (Or civilians)

It's just that there is a time and place for discussing it.

Roy
09-17-2007, 02:19 PM
I'm just now getting back into the hobby after a few years break. Unfortunately, I've sold most of my gear, and what I've kept, I cannot wear anymore! :shock: Nevertheless, I've got new equipment on order, and am looking forward to hitting the field again.

Most of my reenacting is actually part of my job. I'm employed as a ranger for GA State Parks, and the site I work at has just taken over the responsibility of maintaining the Allatoona Pass Battlefield. So, once my new, (much larger) uniforms arrive, I can do living history presentations for school children, and other site visitors.

In addition to portraying the infantry soldier of the Federal and Confederate Armies, I've joined a Confederate Engineer unit, so I'm really excited about reenacting from a different perspective.

7thNJcoA
09-18-2007, 01:15 PM
As a Marine who served two combat tours I could not possibly do WWII reenacting. I would be too into it and probably scare people its pretty close to hearing th real thing I suppose well without the explosions and bullets whizzing by. I dont know why but Civil War Reenacting is just a very fun relaxing hobby for me. It gives me the esprit de Corps I miss from the Marines and allows me to give back to those men who defended out way of life then just as our generation is again doing today. And I love the black powder and mass variety of Uniforms not to mention I get to don my 1859 Marine Full Dress Uniform once or twice a year!

RJSamp
09-19-2007, 01:13 AM
One thing I hope the young guys doing WW II don't do is bring the Rambo Rock and Roll Viet Nam culture. :) :)

You simply bring the Sgt. Rock impression to the war..... or mount up in a JEB Stuart light tank and start KOing Tigers and Panthers....

Where's John Wayne when you need.......Striker! Striker!

flattop32355
09-19-2007, 04:05 AM
You simply bring the Sgt. Rock impression to the war..... or mount up in a JEB Stuart light tank and start KOing Tigers and Panthers....


Gosh, I loved those comics, along with Captain Storm (how many battleships did he sink with that PT boat?)!

Now they seem as silly as watching Gilligan's Island, but back then, I couldn't wait for the next one to come out.

If nothing else, they paved the way to here...if that can be considered a good thing...

Rob Weaver
09-27-2007, 08:17 AM
I wonder how many of us got interested in real military history because of things like Sgt Rock and the Haunted Tank. I loved those, too! I also remember when anything remotely Civil War in a movie or TV show was a sub-genre of the "western." (Is it a surprise that reenactor numbers decline a decade after the so-called "death of the western?")

uhlan53
09-27-2007, 03:31 PM
Sgt.Rock?........"SILLY?!"

Mr. Biederman, we need to settle this like gentlemen.

Mr. Lesch, will you be my second?

Gordon Markiewicz
(apoplectic with rage! )

sbl
09-27-2007, 06:17 PM
There was an overuse of the acronym TNT. Sgt Fury used to have his GI shirt torn off all the time. Maybe "Jeff Gannon" of Talon News was a Sgt Fury reader.


http://i15.ebayimg.com/04/i/000/91/6d/619a_1_sbl.JPG

tompritchett
09-27-2007, 09:01 PM
I used to own that issue!!!

jthlmnn
09-27-2007, 11:41 PM
I will admit that I not only read every weekly adventure of the "Combat Happy Joes of Easy Company", I imitated them to the best of my ability with my buddies in the nearest patch of woods. We also threw in a little Vic Morrow & his squad, from "Combat". And yes, it did lead into more serious reading of, and a degree in, history.

flattop32355
09-27-2007, 11:48 PM
Yep, believe it or not, it happened, and it's stuck with me all these years.

It was the one about a black GI who had been a prize fighter, and came up against his arch rival who was in the German army while in the field.

The Americans got captured, and the German decided to whip up on the black fellow to prove he was the better boxer, all the while talking about his "black blood". In the end, the German had been badly wounded, and the only one present to give him a transfusion was the black GI, who did so.

For some reason, that stood out for me.

sbl
09-28-2007, 06:30 AM
Yep. I had that same issue. I like the artwork of Sgt. Rock to.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sgt._Rock_(comics)


The Justice League cartoon series on Cartoon Network had a one hour special with time travel back to WW II where the JL members meet Easy Company, The Blackhawks, and Wonder Woman meets Steve Trevor.

"The Savage Time"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Savage_Time_%28Justice_League%29

bulletsponge
09-28-2007, 06:16 PM
Ah yes. I spent many a late night reading grossly violent comic books with a flashlight under the bed covers... Back then I thought the enemies were nay-zees. :)

plankholder
09-29-2007, 04:45 AM
I do WW2, and Vietnam as well as ACW and to be honest you have the same good and bad in all three eras, and I would assume the same qualities in all other periods as well. Things may be more noticable in CW just because of the numbers involved. As much as my youngster would like me to, I cannot take him out when I do LRRP or 9th Guards. Doing multiple periods, will make someone a better reenactor in general and it will help keep one from getting burned out, and well...Its just fun! Right now, we are just at the down cycle and although I hate to see these people go, a number of them will be back in a few years. The 150th is going to bring big things like no one has ever seen before, so this down sizing is a good oppurtunity for units to pick up some extra loaner gear for the great influx of numbers that are coming in a few years.-ELI GEERY

Rob Weaver
10-01-2007, 07:18 AM
No offense meant to SGT Rock - I used to have a platoon sergeant who must have been his double (He didn't have that re-occuring wardrobe malfunction, thankfully). :D

sbl
10-01-2007, 10:16 AM
"re-occuring wardrobe malfunction"

No Rob, that was Sgt. Nick Fury.

Rob Weaver
10-02-2007, 07:59 AM
Perhaps I was also thinking of Doc Savage.

sbl
10-02-2007, 10:15 AM
Doc Savage...

http://i.imdb.com/Photos/Mptv/1086/3398_0102.jpg

captdougofky
10-03-2007, 04:36 AM
Scott,

The CW hobby has way too much gearhead chatter at times, and that's in the field which is the last place men should be gushing over clothes like high school girls.


Always Doug

rebkid
10-03-2007, 07:01 AM
actually, there are several up and coming people who are trying to get into reenacting. i am 27 yrs old, and have started recruiting my friends and family into it. people think that the era of reenacting has peaked, but i have found that the younger generation is very interested, but i also think that the public and such has kinda put the brakes on the whole war. i live in sc, and in 1996-98, in high school, the civil war was the #1 subject. **** i loved spending history class watching GLORY, but the other day i was talking to a student and he said that they rarely discussed the war anymore, mostly the assassination of lincoln, and the politics surrounding the war. no mention of the battles, struggles, or lives lost. so after the shocking news, i asked a teacher her thoughts on it, and it turns out, they dont want to bring it up because of fears of "rascism". seems that slavery, cotton, the underground railroad, and jefferson davis have become taboo subjects. basically i believe that its a lack of education holding people back. i am a natural born southerner, my great-great-grandfather fought out of georgia, and as far as i am concerned, i find i to be a interesting era and a great way to pay tribute to all soldiers who payed the ultimate cost, north or south. but with crazy illusionist out there making everything seem racist, and with society shunning the past, we are doomed to repeat it. just my 2 cents.

RWelker
10-03-2007, 10:00 AM
actually, there are several up and coming people who are trying to get into reenacting. people think that the era of reenacting has peaked, but i have found that the younger generation is very interested,
One of the problems with teenagers and reenacting is simply a lack of time- I got out of the hobby during junior high and high school because of band competitions, debate weekends and too darn much homework. I only just got back into reenacting as activities were winding down in preparation for graduation. (Just in time to leave the country for a year, but that's my own fault!)
Another problem is that if our families or close friends aren't into reenacting, a teenager has no way to find a unit and get to events. I'm lucky- my dad (on these forums somewhere, he tells me) has been reenacting since before I was born and I couldn't have gotten out of it if I wanted to. Then when we could start back up, I had my mom's old dresses that I could wear and a willing ride to events. I have a history fanatic friend who got into reenacting because he could come with us- his own family wouldn't have dreamed of it.
So I guess the idea is that the younger generation will get involved, but probably not as much at our current age. But there are definitely plenty of teenagers who are/will reenact!

flattop32355
10-03-2007, 02:51 PM
We old farts bring a lot to this hobby: An income level that allows us to support the younger generation by supplimenting their incomes with ours in a number of ways, reliable vehicles that can carry several folk to an event cheaper than using individual cars, and enough dedication to the hobby to make sure everyone who wants to can get where they need to be with what they need to have when they need to be there.

We may be too old, to gray, too fat, etc, but we show up, learn what needs to be known, and can be counted on.

The kid who put on my sackcoat, leathers, hat and rifle while his parents snapped pictures of him last weekend is ample reward.

Cavalrycaliber44
10-05-2007, 08:13 AM
Howdy,

I'm an 18 year old and I've been reenacting for the past 7 years. I would hope that more young people such as myself join the hobby in order to keep numbers up, and it would be good for the hobby. Unfortunatly, its a bit tough for we teens to purchase seperate parts of gear. Unless your'e a drug dealer, no one my age can pay themselves. The previous post states that teenagers need parents, relatives, friends to be in the hobby. I couldn't agree more. I dragged my Father into it. However, I also feel that I still learn everything from "old timers". Good sources of information, until they get on the battlefield and can't run around.
Of course, I would take an old guy next to me on the field then some 16 year old kid who has never done reenacting before, never fired a weapon, smiling like a mad man with braces shining in the sun.

Ohioreb1861
10-05-2007, 09:15 AM
That's a hoot. When I started in Revolutionary War we used to say, "We're not like the folks in Civil War. We actually research our impressions." An impression may be only skin deep, but apparently arrogance goes to the bone. ;)

I agree.

I actually had a beter time with Rev war and French and Indian war reenacting but the numbers were way too low.

southern_belle1861
10-05-2007, 11:23 AM
Unfortunatly, its a bit tough for we teens to purchase seperate parts of gear. Unless your'e a drug dealer, no one my age can pay themselves.


Are you saying I'm a drug dealer?;)

But seriously, it is hard for teenagers to get into reenacting. I floated around for about 6 months before I found someone willing to get me into CW stuff (I had originally started out trying to get into Rev War, but I wanted to be a civilian and no one would reply to my emails). Because really, who wants to take a single teenaged girl into a group? My parents STILL don't reenact-they say I'm crazy... Which I am.

You "Old Farts," help us New kids on the block a lot. This hobby is full of people willing to pass on what they know (be it wrong or right). Thats one of the things I love about reenacting. Everyone (for the most part), is nice and helpful.

I think that some of the reasons for teenagers not being in the hobby is:

1) Its hard to get in if you want to do it and don't know anyone in it.

2) You DO sometimes get made fun of. I've been called racist and almost every other name like that (did I mention I do northern civilians, too?) Its just not a "cool" hobby to be in.

3) From what I've seen with other kids my age, the interest in History is on the decline. Its become more about politics, dates and numbers more than it has about the actual people. Honestly, if I had not read and read and read about the common soldier for the 5 years proceeding reenacting, I would have honsetly thought thats what it was all about.

Just my 2c.

reb64
10-05-2007, 11:45 AM
Howdy,

I'm an 18 year old and I've been reenacting for the past 7 years. I would hope that more young people such as myself join the hobby in order to keep numbers up, and it would be good for the hobby. Unfortunatly, its a bit tough for we teens to purchase seperate parts of gear. Unless your'e a drug dealer, no one my age can pay themselves. The previous post states that teenagers need parents, relatives, friends to be in the hobby. I couldn't agree more. I dragged my Father into it. However, I also feel that I still learn everything from "old timers". Good sources of information, until they get on the battlefield and can't run around.
Of course, I would take an old guy next to me on the field then some 16 year old kid who has never done reenacting before, never fired a weapon, smiling like a mad man with braces shining in the sun.

I've been saying for years how overpriced goods are. I don't begrudge a profit but 150% or better on some items? I think the hobby would be better off if makers did it part time and for the enjoyment instead of trying to retire off reenactors.

sbl
10-05-2007, 11:59 AM
I've been saying for years how overpriced goods are. I don't begrudge a profit but 150% or better on some items? I think the hobby would be better off if makers did it part time and for the enjoyment instead of trying to retire off reenactors.


Reb64,

This isn't Woodstock. The 60s are over and we lost.

tompritchett
10-05-2007, 12:16 PM
I think the hobby would be better off if makers did it part time and for the enjoyment instead of trying to retire off reenactors.

Somehow, I do not think that people that only made these goods part-time would be willing to devote the years of research that makers such as Sekala, Daley, Jarnigan (leathers), etc. have in making their items as historically accurate as possible.

Frenchie
10-05-2007, 03:15 PM
Rule 1: Nothing is as easy as it looks or as simple as it seems to be.
Rule 2: Everything takes longer and costs more than you think it will.
Rule 3: Anything that can go wrong, will, at the worst possible time.

Everyone who makes reenacting items knows these rules very well.

Rob Weaver
10-05-2007, 03:19 PM
Every time I go Rev War, my comrades have to talk me back into doing Civil War! :D Seriously, I enjoy the differences in the period styles, but my deep passion is Civil War history. I seriously get choked up about the Iron Brigade. Who were you with? I was a Butler's Ranger for quite a while, and have been doing militia for about 7 years.

I agree.

I actually had a beter time with Rev war and French and Indian war reenacting but the numbers were way too low.

NoahBriggs
10-05-2007, 03:30 PM
Anyone notice the Buy/sell/trade forum lately. The 3rd poster this week just posted all his stuff for sale, saying he is getting out of the hobby. What is going on? What are we doing, or not doing as reenactors and active members of our units to not be able to retain these members?

Or the phrase is an invitation, because we associate "getting out of the hobby" with "I'm selling off my stuff at great prices 'cause I just want to get rid of it."

Which segues into the possibility the seller might be dumping his stuff on the market in order to acquire funds to upgrade.

the fastest way to find out? As soon as you read a "getting out of the hobby" sale on the trade forum, ask the person why they are leaving. That one question alone ought to clear up any misconceptions, rumors and outright lies.

reb64
10-05-2007, 05:44 PM
Somehow, I do not think that people that only made these goods part-time would be willing to devote the years of research that makers such as Sekala, Daley, Jarnigan (leathers), etc. have in making their items as historically accurate as possible.

Its all great work but I spent over 20 years now looking for "historically accurate" items, and you know what, they are still in the museum. I have seen no jean or federal coat that is a match to the real thing. very nice items out there, I have bought from the best, but still close fascimiles to the real thing. They make great stuff, but heaven forbid if the chinese get a hold of the idea to make these goods. all that research would be copied and sold ten cents to a dollar. a lot of effort to make whats already in the musuems when farbier items will do.

toptimlrd
10-06-2007, 10:05 PM
All I can say is that I wish I could get 150% profit on something. When you figure in the cost of the best material out there which can easily be $20 or $30 per yard, the hours it takes to do the sewing, the time reserarching the article, etc. The profit margin is actually quite low. Anybody who has ever tried making their own gear can attest to that. There have been a number of people who thought they could make stuff cheaper in the past but they quickly gave up when they realized just how difficult it was to make a profit. Of course you can always use cheaper fabric, construction methods, etc. but then you are getting away from the authenticity most try to obtain. As to whether or not the items in question are authentic, when you make the item with fabric that is manufactured exactly as it was in 1861, use the same patterns or make the patterns from the original, use the same sewing techniques, then you have an exact copy less 145 years of aging and deterioration. Many copies are done so well that there are crooks out there who manage to artificailly age them and pass them off as originals so I would say that we are getting pretty darn close to being right on the money.

reb64
10-07-2007, 11:31 AM
All I can say is that I wish I could get 150% profit on something. When you figure in the cost of the best material out there which can easily be $20 or $30 per yard, the hours it takes to do the sewing, the time reserarching the article, etc. The profit margin is actually quite low. deterioration. Many copies are done so well that there are crooks out there who manage to artificailly age them and pass them off as originals so I would say that we are getting pretty darn close to being right on the money.

When you buy in bulk, as I once did the material cost is way down. for less than fifty you can easily make a 200 jacket. labor is your own sweat equity. like I said if it weren't for the career making aspect of these goods they could easily come out cheaper. I like the old days when units would have a seamstress or tailor in the units and keep the costs down. Now you have to buy it off the rack like a armani suit because your ostracized for saving money. If there were more homespun maybe there wouldn't be so much woman-like grippin over clothes and fashion and who looks better ,who spent what and get back to the enjoyment of the hobby/lifestyle.

southern_belle1861
10-07-2007, 02:16 PM
All I can say is that I wish I could get 150% profit on something. When you figure in the cost of the best material out there which can easily be $20 or $30 per yard, the hours it takes to do the sewing, the time reserarching the article, etc. The profit margin is actually quite low. Anybody who has ever tried making their own gear can attest to that.

I agree.

I make most of my own things and it takes me a while to finish them (granted, I work mostly by hand, but I'm a fast sewer). For instance, I am making something quilted recently. Nothing big, just a small hood. The price for the ready made hood is $155 (silk, all hand quilted). I would gladly buy it at that price because I know how much work was put in it. I've been working on it about 3 hours every day for the past week and only have half done.

I know the owners of a company who make wonderful bonnets. I see first hand how much work and devotion they put into it. They spend countless hours studying and researching. Its not as if they're looking to kill everyone budget (this doesn't go for all I supose, but from the merchants I've talked to or seen research from, thats how it goes). In fact, I think that a lot of these people deserve more than what is paid for because of they are so devoted and spend so much time researching.

Alright, I'm done rambling :D

rebkid
10-08-2007, 02:47 PM
i work for a company that makes some of the "type" wool blends some people use for reenacting. i watched them scrap about 1000 yds of "cadet grey" last week. but what we make ours for is for the industrial industry, filters, bearings, bands, the such. maybe i should snag one of these rolls and save it?? on to the next topic, yea, i have heard the racists remarks to, and i think that it is a lack of "education" on others parts. all we can do is strive to do the best we can, if anyone doesnt like it, let them drag their asses out there in the heat and cold and do what we do!

kris

Provost
10-09-2007, 07:29 PM
Glad you're aboard here, sir. I think you may find folks willing to share knowledge and connections. It is the reason we keep the doors open and the lights on.

Your description of your experience only reinforces my belief that respectful treatment has to be the standard we adhere to here.

Cordially,

Provost
former newbie and now manager of this forum

Tarheel57
10-13-2007, 02:31 PM
I agree.

I make most of my own things and it takes me a while to finish them (granted, I work mostly by hand, but I'm a fast sewer). For instance, I am making something quilted recently. Nothing big, just a small hood. The price for the ready made hood is $155 (silk, all hand quilted). I would gladly buy it at that price because I know how much work was put in it. I've been working on it about 3 hours every day for the past week and only have half done.

I know the owners of a company who make wonderful bonnets. I see first hand how much work and devotion they put into it. They spend countless hours studying and researching. Its not as if they're looking to kill everyone budget (this doesn't go for all I supose, but from the merchants I've talked to or seen research from, thats how it goes). In fact, I think that a lot of these people deserve more than what is paid for because of they are so devoted and spend so much time researching.

Alright, I'm done rambling :D

I agree. The problem with prices are the people who sell mass produced junk that is nowhere near authentic and not worth the cost. I guess they market mainly to impulse buys at events or people who haven't been in the hobby long enough to know it's junk. On the other end are people who make some truly fabulous items, but most people don't want to pay what they are worth. I found this out the hard way in the medieval scene. You have to have buyers who know what they are seeing and who understand what goes into it. This is usually people dedicated to the hobby. Most casual buyers seem to be willing to pay outlandish prices when someone has a tent full of them, but if you just have one they want it for nothing.