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crowley_greene
05-11-2006, 04:08 PM
(I'm not so sure I used "historicity" correctly in the subject. Any grammarians please correct me, if needed.)

I've been out of the lifestyle since fall of 2003, since I started into a tailspin of medical, professional, and financial misfortunes. But I'm happy to say that I've pulled out, I'm climbing again, and ready to take to the field again.

This past weekend I was called on to serve as chaplain at a small weekend event in northeast Arkansas, so I drove up just for Sunday service and the battle afterwards.

I decided for this event just to take my place among the spectators for the "battle." It was only about 40-50 rifles total, and two artillery pieces on the Union side of the field. The rifles were equally balanced.

I was dismayed as I stood in the crowd at how lightly the whole event was taken, quite a few people laughing and joking over things happening on the field. I felt like I was among people watching a shoot-out skit at "Six-Gun-Junction and Petting Zoo." I don't fault the fellows on the field. I thought the authenticity and impressions were *outstanding*, pleased that a small event could attract historians of such serious and authentic caliber. Despite small numbers, this setting provided a good realistic scenario for a little fringe skirmish, and the fellows did rather well with it.

The question goes back to what I observed in the crowd. How do we as historians impress on people that we're serious about this, that we are here to educate and preserve history? If we as serious reenactors want to entertain like I sensed on Sunday, then we could probably get baggy pants, face paint, and seltzer bottles for a lot less than what we have invested.

Murray Therrell

dustyswb
05-11-2006, 04:25 PM
Murray,

Was there a narrator? Was there laughable things going on in the field? Maybe the crowd was aware that groups of 50 guys per side didn't stand 100 yards apart and blast away at each other in the real war?

crowley_greene
05-11-2006, 04:45 PM
Mike,

Good point about the narrator -- I almost mentioned it as a suggestion in my original post. A few years ago I took part in some company demonstrations at a national military historical park, different drills/maneuvers/tactics to illustrate the narration (no battle, just drill). I wasn't in the crowd, but I expect the demonstration might have been more seriously received that day.

This past Sunday could have provided a good opportunity for educational narration of skirmish tactics, while people observed the tactics in action.

Murray Therrell

Forquer
05-11-2006, 05:37 PM
I think that one problem is that the public has this concept that there has to be a battle or some kind of action that goes hand in hand with an event.

Unfortunately, the majority of organizers and reenactors buy into it.

Rather than try to have the Battle of Snodgrass Hill with a dozen or so rifles per side, organizers should a) have the cajones to gauge the schedule on the number of reenactors present, and, b) not promise what they can't deliver to both reenactors and 'taters, alike.

What does that mean? Well, how about holding it to demonstrations of skirmish tactics or bayonet drill? Doing straight living history may not be that sexy to some, but it sure beats the dickens out of lining up a handful of rifles at 25 yards in some kind of Wild West shoot 'em up travesty.

In many ways we have met the enemy and they is us.

Mich8th
05-12-2006, 09:59 AM
The narrator is a big part to a battle as he tells the taders what is or will happen during it. I do alot of living history of a soldiers life in the camps also and that really does not need a narrator as you are the person whom talks to the croud. I do however empathize with your feelings when you see the taders laugh and joke during a battle and would like to show them the bayonet. Just kiddin on that, many do not know what really happened as these brave people went and fought for what they thought was right. I do not blame the teachers in schools but the time in which they have to actually teach what happened. History of the United States I think should be givin more time in schools so kids these days would understand what, where, why, and when we were given these freedoms we now have. I know of alot of teachers whom would love to and I think should be givin time to actually tell the whole story of the Civil War but their time is limited. I would like to see at least a half of a school year dedicated to this war as it was brother against brother and on our soil so kids could understand better why it was fought and what the actual circumstances were. When I talk to most people many do not know that upwards of 20,000 were killed or wounded during many battles. I live in a small town and I tell the kids think of your whole town gone after one day and that gets their attention! Well now I said my two cents and I think alot of you out there think the same.

SmellyFed
05-12-2006, 06:40 PM
The answer is, you can't.

Under the guise of a legitimate hobby you have several hundred people vying for political power in an ever shrinking universe of hobbiests. The hobby isn't about history - it's about fifedoms, ego-centric personalities and beer.

Any claim to the otherwise is a misguided attempt to justify the aforementioned behavior.

I'm a hobby of one and I'm totally immersed.

bill watson
05-13-2006, 12:10 PM
"I'm a hobby of one."

Well, rethink that. I agree completely with what you said, so now there's two of us. One more and we can have a mess. Two more and it's a movement. When we get to 10, it's the Ninth Crusade.

It's taken awhile, but it's finally wearing me out.

tompritchett
05-13-2006, 02:05 PM
Ten more it is a battalion at some events. :)

Frenchie
05-13-2006, 07:56 PM
It's taken awhile, but it's finally wearing me out.

Bill, that's not a comforting thing to hear. Things would be duller without your wit and wisdom - I hope you stay around.

MStuart
05-13-2006, 08:40 PM
<Under the guise of a legitimate hobby you have several hundred people vying for political power in an ever shrinking universe of hobbiests. The hobby isn't about history - it's about fifedoms, ego-centric personalities and beer.>

Sadly, that statement holds more truth than most I've seen regarding our hobby. It leaves those of us without an agenda all the poorer.

And when (whether they like it or not) hobby leaders like Paul Calloway and Bill Watson are feeling beaten down, then we should all take a good look in the mirror. An extra look for those suffering from egomania and failure to work and play well with others.

Mark

flattop32355
05-14-2006, 12:51 AM
And when (whether they like it or not) hobby leaders like Paul Calloway and Bill Watson are feeling beaten down, then we should all take a good look in the mirror. An extra look for those suffering from egomania and failure to work and play well with others.

No one can ride a high constantly over time. The hobby, like life, has its ups and downs, interspersed with personal highs and lows along the way separate from how the hobby itself is doing.

If this is a low time in the hobby of Civil War reenacting, that only means that, at some point, it will get better. I'd hazard that a number of the "hobby leaders" in the past burned out, or at least down, during their high period. It's also quite possible that many "leaders" in our hobby became leaders, not so much because they sought it out, but had it dumped on them, often without realizing it was happening.

This begs the question of previous posts that show that we in the hobby have a hard time deciding just what constitutes a leader in our little band of misfits, much less who they actually are.

Rather than worrying about those individuals who choose not to play well with others, I'd suggest focusing on the majority of us who try to keep a good camp, salute when an officer approaches, holds his place in line and tries to stay with the script (even when he doesn't know what the heck is going on). We try to make our officers look competent, respect (or at worst, show tolerance towards) our fellow reenactors, and show appreciation to those who try to put on events, realizing that things sometimes snafu somewhere along the line, and accepting and working around such times.

It is difficult for us main-line, boogerhead folk to get to know the "leaders" well; the hobby is just too widespread, geographically and othewise, to make more than passing aquaintance with most of them. Those few with whom I've had personal contact, it is usually in passing or for brief moments only, either at events on or these fora. More's the pity, as most seem to be reasonable folk worth sharing an evening campfire and pleasant conversation.

So, take heart, "leaders" of the hobby, in that most of us appreciate the efforts made, both on and off the field. You don't always hear of it because you're busy doing what you're doing. It's there in the background, a soft undertone beneath the crashing waves of pissiness and malcontent that get in the way of hearing the majority of us. But we're there.

TimKindred
05-14-2006, 06:23 PM
Comrades,

It is my humble opinion, and nothing more, that smaller scale reenactments should get out of the "battle" part of the hobby, and instead concentrate their numbers and resources on the "education" part.

Providing demonstrations of drill and firing, bayonet exercise, and the daily life of the soldier has much more potential than a sham battle, and the rewards inherant in such programs cannot be taken lightly.

Better to give some professional demonstrations, talk to the good folks who come out to visit, and spend the time teaching your own than to line up for some silly little affair that looks like it belongs at Disneyland, or Happy Shehan's Alamo Village.

Seriously, why NOT spend the weekend drilling and teaching your men? It's certainly a period exercise, and the crowds would enjoy it. Rather than sit around the camp and act like reenactors at the zoo, being on display for the 'taters, use the time to hone your skills.

The public knows you aren't real soldiers, they know you aren't a real officer, and they know you aren't really shooting at each other, especially when you prop yourself up a shoulder to get a better view, and maybe take a picture or two with the disposable camera hidden in the haversack, where your food ought to be.....

I am NOT against small scale events. I've had some excellent times at them, but it's time to stop calling it the "Battle of XXX" and start redirecting our energies and resources to better do what we CAN do, than to do what we CAN'T and pretend that nobody is noticing.

It's time to tell the Emperor he really IS naked.....

Respects,

Fatback and Beans
05-14-2006, 08:05 PM
To the track... To the wall... It's GONE!!

Well hit, Tim.

Joseph Hodges

crowley_greene
05-14-2006, 08:09 PM
Providing demonstrations of drill and firing, bayonet exercise, and the daily life of the soldier has much more potential than a sham battle, and the rewards inherant in such programs cannot be taken lightly.

For all the encouraging and insightful responses offered in response to my original post, I think Tim's comments are among the best yet (thanks, Tim). I agree with those thoughts wholeheartedly -- I have participated in a couple of *outstanding* weekends at a national military historic park that were strictly narrated educational events. The crowd seemed interested and respectful, and at the end of the weekend I felt good about the energies we invested.

I'm not embarrassed for the soldiers on the field during the battle last Sunday -- I think they did an admirable job, with the role they were given to fill. I think highly of reenactors who do their best even in less than good circumstances.

As for the particular event that I described, that bothered me so much, I'm not sure what kind of an approach I can take to persuade the event organizers (our local SCV camp), that we could have a much more dignified event if we changed our thinking a little.

Murray Therrell

cblodg
05-15-2006, 09:33 AM
As was pointed out by one of my fellow pards in tthe Sixth, when we were participating as a group of campaigners at a local NE event, we drew quite a bit of attention.

The guy overheard one of the spectators talking to one of the mainstreamers about joining our hobby. But the guy asked the 'streamer "don't you guys do anything more than just sit around? I like what they're doing." He pointed in our direction where we were actually cleaning our muskets and working on setting up a gaurd for our small camp.

Tim is right. Not only is it good for the public to see, but its also a good reminder for all of us as well. These men didn't wake up in the morning and just lounge around and do little, to no, drill. they drilled before breakfast at times. The campaigners at this particular event actually were up before the sun, dressed, had eaten, and even drilled before the mainstreamer camps were up, cursing our names for waking them.

Chris

RJSamp
05-15-2006, 12:01 PM
Chris:
"The campaigners at this particular event actually were up before the sun, dressed, had eaten, and even drilled before the mainstreamer camps were up, cursing our names for waking them."

Have been at plenty of events where the mainstreamer camp is up early, drilling, cooking, etc. This is a hobby....local events tend to have tons of 'off duty' 'soldiers' who don't come to the event until just prior to the Theatre starting (when the spectators start entering). Campaigners tend to view events as 24 hour days....and mainstreamers do the 9 to 5 thing....once the spectators leave it's old timey looking camping, partying, and ball....none of us confuse this with reenacting/authenticity.....we're simply 'off duty' yet at the event....(saves on gasoline, travel time, and gives us more hours with friends)

Tim
Careful on the small events with names ban......Rich Mountain, Pickett's Mill, Paynes Farm, War on the James, RR I & II, et al meet your criteria..... what would you suggest we name Morgan's Raid II? we don't have x,000 cavalry, and aren't travelling x,000 miles over 70+ days in 3 states..... but we'll have a 300+ horses, and are travelling 60+ miles over 4-5 days.

Event's tend to be promoted/named for battles to drum up spectator and reenactor participation/excitement..... I don't think anyone expects the entire battle of Gettysburg to be recreated....I'll settle for the Trostle Farm vignette.....or Iverson's blunder... but only small numbers are going to come to a "skirmish at Docter's Creek" or 2nd Platoon, Co. A, 200th IN Guard Duty at Missionary Ridge.

One of the more authentic ingredients is sheer scale......something that is lost in the 28 man living histories/guard mounts/drill demonstrations.

CWread
05-17-2006, 04:09 PM
I did some reenacting back when I was in middle and high school. I went to some big events like Stones River and many smaller ones. Once I started playing football I left the hobby and I haven't been in a uniform since 1992. I recently went to the Kennesaw Mountain Battle reenactment. I was slightly disappointed. There were about 800 reenactors there and several cannon. I love to hear the cannons fired so I was not totally disappointed but there were so many things I saw that were just plain dumb and it is the same kind of stuff that was going on when I was reenacting. Little kids (why they are out there I'll never know) and even adults doing one man charges. The crowd thinks it is funny but I think it is stupid. I saw two officers standing out behind a billboard sign, which was out in the battlefield, watching the battle and later started to participate in it. The people who put these events on try to do complicated different "battle parts" and it ends up looking silly. Five on Five calvary fights are just farby. There were no pyrotechnics which should be a part of any decent size battle. Surely these people can come up with some kind of simple fight withouth having 100 man companies all over the field with skirmishers everywhere and "nurses" walking the battlefield in the middle of the fight. I remember my old unit put on a living history near an old farm house and we reenacted a woman and her young son trying to protect their home from Yankee raiders one day and Confederate deserters/outlaws the next. It was a very good show and the crowd loved it. Simple things like that can make for a good small reenactment or living history. After seeing some of the reenactments I have seen the past few years, I am very disappointed and can see why the hobby might be shrinking as some of you have suggested.

TimKindred
05-17-2006, 04:54 PM
Comrade Samp,

I'm not referring to Rich Mountain or any of those quality events in my post. I'm talking about the local "Battle Reenactment" that is held every year at the same place (usually a park, but sometimes the town square or even a football feild.. and I am NOT kidding) with the same 100 guys or fewer on each side, and with the same barbecue and craft show and dance and flea market and "old-Timey" feel to it. You know, the "B-4" format: Beer, Barbecue, Battle, and Ball...

Just because there are US and CS troops present, doesn't eman that you HAVE to have a "battle". Most of the time it is hokey as ********************. The Federals could demonstrate bayonet drill, and the Johnnies could demonstrate company drill, etc. Work the crowd, talk about what you know best and share your knowledge. Be teachers, not entertainers.

Anyway, that's my view through the looking glass...

Respects,

crowley_greene
05-17-2006, 09:20 PM
. . . but there were so many things I saw that were just plain dumb and it is the same kind of stuff that was going on when I was reenacting. Little kids (why they are out there I'll never know) . . .

Don't event organizers face some real liability risks by allowing little kids to participate? Certainly there are risks enough even with adults. But aren't those risks only magnified by opening the field to these immature persons who only see the activities as some kind of little game?

Or am I perhaps also talking about some adult reenactors in that statement? Hope I didn't step on any toes there.

I'm not sure a lot of event organizers are interested in serious impressions and portrayals of history. Many are more interested in presenting entertainment that will draw large numbers of people. Actually, that may apply more to a lot of smaller events.

Since I got into reenacting, I've been amazed to learn of the number of firing squads that immediately followed battles ("Okay, we got 'em on the run . . . let's drag somebody out and shoot him now!"). Also, I never read in any historical accounts about how humorous firing squads were. I've gained amazing new insights into the WBTS from my time in reenacting. It was really a fun time in our history -- too bad it didn't go on for 15 or 20 years.

bill watson
05-18-2006, 09:41 AM
"There were no pyrotechnics"

This has gotten trickier since 9/11. If you don't want to attract the attention of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, you need to have people with the right licenses do it, and it can be expensive.

"Don't event organizers face some real liability risks by allowing little kids to participate?"

You'd think so, but apparently the thought doesn't cross some minds.

"I'm not sure a lot of event organizers are interested in serious impressions and portrayals of history."

So far, this takes the 2006 prize for dramatic understatement. :)

MDRebCAv
05-18-2006, 11:26 AM
I have heard many times, the spectators chuckle over how the two sides blast away and no one falls down.

One of my pet peeves is being told, "We have to make this battle last an hour, so no one take any hits for the first 20 volleys." or some such thing. Once while in command of our unit I took a hit in the first five minutes to set an example...I had a nice nap on the field that day.

I really wish we could establish a "standard" protocol for taking hits at all events--color coded rounds, numbered cards, etc. It doesn't matter the method but it would be nice to have something stated at each event about the casulaty count and types.

tompritchett
05-18-2006, 03:09 PM
Personally, I enjoy taking hits but almost always take it as being wounded. That way I can crawl or limp back towards the rear to help give the appearance of wounded streaming to the rear. IMHO, there is no enough of that in the hobby.

Wild Rover
05-18-2006, 03:57 PM
Good events have officer pre battle walkthroughs that assign casualty counts, relate all historical information and prepare the team (read blue and gray) for the scripted public "play" they are about to perform.

Remise
05-18-2006, 04:09 PM
What I have found works, at least at larger events, is to be wounded, drop to the ground, and then crawl painfully to the rear. Once the battle has flowed forward (if we were advancing), and the public's eye is turned elsewhere, I will sneak back into the lines. It seems to work, especially when there is a lot of smoke, a lot of people, and waist-high grass.

B.C. Milligan
Company K, First Penna. Reserves

toptimlrd
05-18-2006, 11:49 PM
I'ts rare I make it all the way through a battle scenario without taking a hit. I do the complete gambut, the drop like a rock, the straggle to the rear, the helped out by a pard, and the drooped across a fence rail or earthworks. If I can do so without looking ridiculous, I will rejoin the fight (usually when the line either advances or retreats and with the help of a friend who is "helping me out before the enemy gets me". My biggest pet peeve is the same as many have expressed, volly after volly and both sides are wearing kevlar.

Regular3
05-19-2006, 09:07 AM
Just because there are US and CS troops present, doesn't eman that you HAVE to have a "battle". Most of the time it is hokey as ********. The Federals could demonstrate bayonet drill, and the Johnnies could demonstrate company drill, etc. Work the crowd, talk about what you know best and share your knowledge. Be teachers, not entertainers. Anyway, that's my view through the looking glass...

Unfortunately too many organizers believe that "wherever two or more in different colors are gathered, they must shoot at each other" - partly because they are convinced that that's what the crowds want to see.

My group used to attend a certain small event up here in Northern Virginia every year. It's a perfect setting for living history - it's part of the town's heritage weekend, so shuttle buses run from various points in town to the site, and there's no lack of spectator interest - and it includes a wonderful preservation opportunity, as the site is a period house in which the attic still bears graffiti left by Union soldiers who occupied it. Local groups are trying to save the house from development and a large portion of spectator admission fees go for that purpose.

We stopped attending because the organizers insisted that demonstrations were not enough, there had to be a skirmish between the half-dozen Federals and 20 Confederates in attendance, staged in an area too small not only for our own safety but for the safety of spectators - besides which there was no crowd control whatsoever, and the straw that broke our camel's back was spectators wandering around behind the Confeds, in our line of fire. We told the organizers we could not continue that way, and as an alternative we offered a full slate of demonstrations and talks ranging from uniforms and equipment to drill to the role of musicians to the roles of civilians, but to no avail - we were told if we attended we would be expected to participate in a skirmish.

CWread
05-19-2006, 03:00 PM
I will sneak back into the lines. It seems to work, especially when there is a lot of smoke, a lot of people, and waist-high grass.

This happens a lot. Unless it is a very large event, nine times out of ten it is painfully obvious and the spectators know what is going on. There should be some kind of system although it probably would be impossible to regulate. Having something where if somebody "dies" early on the first days battle they can "live" through the next battle. Maybe each "company" should be made to get together and decide who "lives" and "dies" and the ones that "die" early should only be allowed to carry a limited number of cartridges, which would be checked during weapons inspection.

Remise
05-19-2006, 03:22 PM
"...nine times out of ten it is painfully obvious and the spectators know what is going on."

Oh. So you have seen me doing this, then? You are very perceptive. When I was crawling through the waist-high grass at Spotsylvania, I didn't realize that it was painfully obvious and that I was one of many, but maybe I wasn't paying close enough attention. I guess I was hoping everyone was watching the small airplane that was circling low overhead, instead.

I don't see very many "wounded" on the field at events. What I see is a lot of "dead" guys sitting -- usually in a group -- laughing, taking photos, and generally looking a lot like spectators. I really doubt that very many people do what I do, because if they did, I wouldn't be doing it in the first place.

B.C. Milligan
First Penna. Reserves, Company K

Bill_Cross
05-19-2006, 04:26 PM
How do we as historians impress on people that we're serious about this, that we are here to educate and preserve history?
Our best bet would be to forget battle reenactments.

Let's face it, the average reenactor wants to burn some powder, not teach history. If we did, there'd be no war between the heavy campers and the campaigners. No one who advocates coolers in camp, A-tents for one man (other than ossifers), cars loading and unloading a ton of #$%& before and after, no one who is in favor of that believes it conveys the true history of the Civil War. It's a short-hand we allow to make sure we have people show up in wool. History lite.

Are the campaigners better? Somewhat, though we've got our yahoos and powder-burners, too.

We have to take shortcuts, because NONE OF US IS IN THE KIND OF SHAPE THOSE BOYS WERE. Not only is the average age of the average reenactor about 25 years too old, but we've all grown up riding in cars and doing office work instead of manual labor. So even campaigner events have "sag wagons" and make concessions to common sense. At McDowell 2001, for example, instead of getting up at 4 AM and marching up to meet the Rebs in Possum Holler, the Federal commander wisely kept everyone in their tents, dry amid what was otherwise a total SUB-mersion event for the Rebs. Historical? Nope. Sensible? Absolutely.

The problem is: once we admit shortcuts, then it's a matter of personal taste whether those concessions to our weak modernity are fewer (campaigners) or more (mainstreamers).

In marketing, we talk about keeping things "on message." Why should the taters take us seriously when we ourselves are more interested in burning powder, doing our own thing, busting scenarios, etc.?

The thing that most impresses me about the Civil War soldier is his discipline, both under fire and on the march. Think about marching 20 miles a day with everything you need on your back. Think about standing up with your pards under a swarm of bullets that made the men think of bees buzzing around them. We can't even keep our groups together because of egos, so why do we think we're giving the public the proper message?

It's a hobby. I hear that all the time. I don't get all serious when I watch someone fly a radio-controlled airplane, and when I was playing hockey, anyone who got all serious was soon shunned as an asshole. Why should we be different? Because the subject matter is more serious?

Doesn't stop folks from reenacting the Grossdeutschland Division without speaking a word of German.

tompritchett
05-19-2006, 05:59 PM
In essence you have captured the true nature of the problem - it is hobby. As such it is something that we all do because we enjoy it. Also its priority in our lives is that of a hobby although some people can become quite obsessive about their hobbies - just ask the wife of a serious bass fisherman. Yet, it is also more than a hobby. We ARE portraying those brave men, remembering and honoring them with our actions, and educating the uneducated about their sacrifices and about what this war meant to our nation. The key for us all, and an issue that I often wrestle with, is finding that ideal balance between the hobby side and more-than-a-hobby side. I am afraid that many reenactors need to revisit that balance.

CWread
05-23-2006, 11:21 AM
Oh. So you have seen me doing this, then? You are very perceptive. When I was crawling through the waist-high grass at Spotsylvania, I didn't realize that it was painfully obvious and that I was one of many, but maybe I wasn't paying close enough attention. I guess I was hoping everyone was watching the small airplane that was circling low overhead, instead.

That is why I said unless it is a very large reencatment. Plus unless you are an idiot you can see that you are not the only one walking wounded and then going back to the line. I also was talking about when a line moves foward and people take hits then the line falls back only to move foward again and the wounded are swept back up in the ranks. Again I say, painfully obvious.

cblodg
05-23-2006, 08:17 PM
That is why I said unless it is a very large reencatment. Plus unless you are an idiot you can see that you are not the only one walking wounded and then going back to the line. I also was talking about when a line moves foward and people take hits then the line falls back only to move foward again and the wounded are swept back up in the ranks. Again I say, painfully obvious.


Well, unless you'd like to have a five minute battle, then these types of things *have* to happen. We don't have 15,000 men per side, so having "walking wounded" and "lazeruses" swept back into the ranks, is the only way to keep a reenactment going.

most of the time, I'll take a hit and stay down, unless otherwise told.

Chris

flattop32355
05-23-2006, 10:45 PM
Yet, it is also more than a hobby. We ARE portraying those brave men, remembering and honoring them with our actions, and educating the uneducated about their sacrifices and about what this war meant to our nation. The key for us all, and an issue that I often wrestle with, is finding that ideal balance between the hobby side and more-than-a-hobby side. I am afraid that many reenactors need to revisit that balance.

Very well stated. Unfortunately, it is not universal among all reenactors. While many, many of us move from the simple "fun" aspect to the deeper, more meaningful aspects, it's not a requirement to participate in the hobby.

Personally, I did not start reenacting the CW so I could "honor the men who fought"; I did it because it was something my (then) eleven year old son wanted to do, we could do it together as a bonding method, and I already was a history buff. From there, it "grew" into a desire to be more correct, to do it more accurately, and to dispense that knowledge to others.

Some things that thrilled me that first season now bore the ******************** out of me, and I'm only in my third season. But not all of us are like me; some will never try the "high" road, and some will leave me in their dust as to their efforts to become more "authentic" and knowledgeable. I can live with both, and am willing to reenact with both within reasonable limits. Some on both ends will never find that balance. Some on both ends may never even suspect that it exists.